Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

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1. Shakespeare's Shylock Solved 2. Shakespeare's Othello Finally Identified 3. Shakespeare In Love Sequel Solved 4. The Real Romeo and Juliet 5. Shakespeare's Malvolio Solved 6. Shakespeare's Real Petruchio

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shakespeare Uncovered Romeo and Juliet with Joseph Fiennes

I just saw the Shakespeare Uncovered documentary about Romeo and Juliet, hosted by Joseph Fiennes.

It’s great! You shouldn't miss it!

Joseph Fiennes at the Globe

It's fun to have Joseph Fiennes, who is most famous for playing William Shakespeare in the film Shakespeare in Love, since in the movie he was playing the role of Romeo opposite Gwyneth Paltrow who played Juliet.

Not long ago, it was announced that a sequel to Shakespeare in Love will be made, and let's cross our fingers it gets made. I wrote about that here.

He takes us on a journey to investigate the meaning of the play, and explore why it is Shakespeare's most adapted play.

Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio

There are some great video clips of the Shakespeare in Love movie, and also from the Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio film version Romeo + Juliet, and other film versions like the Franco Zeffirelli version from 1968, and even the very recent one starring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (my review of that here).

There are also some clips from the 2009 Shakespeare Globe production starring Ellie Kendrick, who is currently playing Meera Reed on Game of Thrones, and some shots of the New York Broadway production starring Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom (my review of that here).

Adetomiwa Edun and Ellie Kendrick at the Globe, 2009

Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom on Broadway

Perhaps my favorite clips are from the Royal Ballet's production of the Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. I have never seen the ballet before, but this documentary has inspired me to watch it.

Royal Ballet, 2012

There are also some clips from a 1979 BBC production, and it's amazing to see a very young Alan Rickman as Tybalt! He is definitely an actor who needs to do more Shakespeare.

Alan Rickman as Tybalt, 1979

There are some scholars who add insight, including Jonathan Bate, Laurie Maguire, Marjorie Garber and Germaine Greer. I do wish there were more time spent with these scholars, and more discussion about the origins of Shakespeare's version of the Romeo and Juliet story. I have written about this here.

There is a really fascinating part of the documentary about how the famous 18th century actor David Garrick added lines to the end of the play, to give Juliet and Romeo more time to talk before they died. The documentary even includes Globe actors playing out some of Garrick's dialogue. 

George Anne Bellamy and David Garrick, painting by Benjamin Wilson, 1753

One of the greatest moments in this documentary is when Joseph Fiennes visits a school and rehearses some of the dialogue with students. It’s really fun to see him both inspire and be inspired by these students.

I hope you watch this great documentary, and see the rest of the series, both seasons. It is well worth your time!

You can purchase season 2 here:

And you can purchase season 1 here:


David B. Schajer

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