This does not surprise me, really. It just makes me sad
But he is for a lifetime, of course. Every time you read him he shows you something new.
Lately I have been revisiting old friends-- easy plays that I thought I knew. We are so lucky to have Youtube. We can watch really good actors performing plays that they themselves love, and letting us in on the fun.
Tonight I am watching the Midsummer Nights Dream, from 1999. It has Kevin Klein, Dominic West, Michelle Phieffer, and Roger Rees. Lots of others too- it is set in a rustic Edwardian Italy, with bloomers and bikes.
I have watched the first 20 minutes or so now, the plot and subplot have been set up, and it is so lovely and exciting that I had to stop and hop around the room. I had plain forgotten how funny it is. The men arguing about their parts in the play-- the boy who was to be Thisbe saying 'No look, I have a beard, see?' and everyone generally being human, and obviously irritating.
There is a whole thing here about wanting what someone else has. (That was wasted on me when I was 15, and, of course, wanted what-- or who-- someone else had.) And it is echoed in the lovers, of course, all jumbled up. Michelle P is scrunching her pretty face up and saying 'Oh hell, oh spite! and stomping away in her bike bloomers. The fairies will sort them out, I get to sit back and watch.
She is just going out for a walk and window shopping with a friend-- when did she get so old? She was 8 when we mOved here.
Everyone is like 'Oh, snap...'
I am reading: 'Shakespeare's Restless World-- A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects' I like it very much already.
I am only on chapter one, which is about maps and globes. It compares the England of the 1580's and 1590s to the US during the 1960s. Interesting. It says that we can imagine the explorers like Drake by thinking of the space race. There was that sense of competitive boosterism. And that the theaters needed a new kind of writers. We can imagine that by thinking of the early TV writers and ad men. That the new maps, showing the new territories were put up where the public could see them, and that it led to a sort of national chest beating and a sense of expansionism.
It says that a lot of the fresh topical stuff in his plays goes by us now. (Like the part in the Comedy of Errors where the unfortunate maid-servant is compared to a globe, with lots of xenophobic giggles...) That would have been 'ripped from the headlines' of the time.
So, I am going to have a lot of fun with this book, I can tell already. And anything I learn about WS, has application for Marlowe.
Funny how research works, isn't it? It is like making chicken stock. You have the onions and the carrots, and the celery, and and all the chicken parts, and it looks like so much until you put it in the pot, and then so much boils away, and you end up with just a little bot of something, but if you are lucky it is chicken stock-- or a story.
My hope is that by doing a huge amount of research, I will be able to make the world of the story feel real and right. Actually, you know, maybe it is more like making kale soup than it is chicken broth. You take the awkward, bitter, uncooperative kale and you shove it in the largest pot you have...
Now I am hungry.
Title Well Spent
Rating R (for smutty stuff)
Word Count 1686
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The gleam from the harbor was gold and blue, splintering light from the water, and pitching into the air where it went to heat and rainbows. The sun was warm, but the air was damp enough to lay the dust of the road, nothing impeded the sunlight. It was bright enough to make a young man blink.