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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Articles Written For:

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

Most Popular Posts:

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



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shakespeare and James McAvoy


Should James McAvoy do some Shakespeare again?

Of course!




He played Macbeth in 2013, and he played Joe Macbeth in Shakespeare ReTold in 2005, so it seems he likes Shakespeare.

But he should really do much more Shakespeare.

Of course he is very busy with his great film career, especially with his wonderful performance as the young Doctor Xavier in the X-Men films.

He will also soon be seen as Doctor Victor Von Frankenstein in a new film, co-starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jessica Brown Findlay.


As Macbeth in 2013


But what is fascinating about him as an actor are all of the less obvious films that he has chosen to make in recent years, like Filth, Trance, and Last Station, for example. He has a real courage as an actor, an almost a completely egoless desire to do interesting and diverse films.

I admire actors who challenge themselves like this. It is exciting to watch, since we never know what to expect from him in any given performance.

He also challenged himself once again by returning to the stage for the critically acclaimed run in The Ruling Class, also at Trafalgar Studios, and directed by Jamie Lloyd (who directed him in Macbeth). 




But what about James McAvoy and some more Shakespeare?

He would be great as Iago, Edmund although he would be fantastic as Edgar/Tom, Richard III, Petruchio and many more.

But what I would love to see him do is Hamlet. As much as Hamlet may be made too often, I think he would find a way to play the role that would be very unique. He has such a cunning intelligence that he would create a Prince of Denmark unlike anything we have seen before.

I remember when I first became aware of James McAvoy as an actor. I saw Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004) where he played a patient at a hospital who has muscular dystrophy. The film is well-made, well-acted and very moving.

But James McAvoy just jumps off the screen. Wow. His character, is in the tradition of Jack Nicholson’s R.P. McMurphy character in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), who is crazy but also the sanest man around. And James McAvoy had the same electric and charismatice intensity. You can’t take your eyes off him.




I have seen just about every film he has done since, and he never fails to entertain. 

One of the reasons why I think he has not done very much Shakespeare is because it is difficult to find a fresh and new way to do it. James McAvoy clearly enjoys a good challenge, and most of what can be done with Shakespeare has been done.

That’s why I think he should do some Shakespeare Solved.

It is not the same old Shakespeare. It is not a romanticized version of Shakespeare’s life and work. It is as real a story of the events of Shakespeare’s life as we may ever know — and it presents versions of the plays that decipher and unlock the meaning of the plays for the first time. 

Each film is a Shakespeare play, as seen for the first time in history, when Shakespeare and his fellow actors first performed them.

Imagine stepping back in time, time-traveling, and seeing the very first performances of Hamlet, Richard III, Othello

When we watch the plays this way, we can finally understand who the real Hamlet was, why Richard III was the play that launched Shakespeare’s career, and why Shylock is not the villain but in fact the hero of Merchant of Venice




With my forthcoming version of Othello, now we can finally understand why Shakespeare wrote the play, what it really means, and where Shakespeare got the name Othello in the first place.

Who could James McAvoy play in these Shakespeare Solved  film versions of the plays?

I would love to see him as one of Shakespeare’s fellow actors, as John Heminges, for example.

I think he would be fantastic to watch as he and other actors perform these plays, and bring them to life in a way that we have never seen before — because only when Shakespeare’s plays are seen in their original historical context do they make any sense.

But what would be even more exciting is if James McAvoy played the part of King James.

I think he would be amazing as brilliant and imperious King of Scotland who became King of England, and tried to unite the kingdom into Great Britain. He was called “the wisest fool in Christendom” and I can think of precious few actors who could capture that quality within the character of King James.

Also, the relationship between King James and Shakespeare has never been fully understood, and in these Shakespeare Solved films, we can finally see why Shakespeare wrote such classic plays like King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest,  for example.

I think for as courageous an actor as James McAvoy, this is exactly the right kind of challenge he would enjoy.





What do you think?


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And your comments are always welcome!


Cheers,

David B. Schajer



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