We are encouraged to believe, wrongly I think, that a play must be seen to be appreciated. To read a play, we are told, is to miss most of what … Continue reading
We are often exhorted to work on our physical forces by walking or cycling or working out in the gym. But it is not only British bodies that have grown obese, the same thing has happened to British imaginations.
Each new novel is the start of another phone call from a scammer.
Shakespeare could always see the funny side. His first comedy, A Comedy of Errors, was based on Menaechmi (The Twins) by the Roman playwright, Plautus, the Ben Elton of ancient … Continue reading
There are certain words and phrases that are so closely linked to a particular source that the association is never lost. Such words and phrases must be used cautiously, if … Continue reading
Shakespeare drew on various sources for the plot of King Lear, but what he made of them was a play about growing old, based on people he knew. If we … Continue reading
It is a refrain familiar to parents who read bedtime stories to their children. A familiar story can never be heard often enough and must be told as nearly as … Continue reading
The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. … Continue reading
Fairies appear only twice in Shakespeare’s plays, first in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an early play, his first masterpiece, then in The Tempest, his last. The plays have a lot … Continue reading