Shakespeare Saturday: Henry VIII

A peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience. Henry VIII, a collaborative play between Shakespeare and John Fletcher, is famous for one thing above all else: during a performance on 29 June 1613 of a play called All is True a cannon fired on the stage ignited the thatched roof of the … More Shakespeare Saturday: Henry VIII

Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometimes so by chance. The Winter’s Tale is another work hovering somewhere between “late pastoral romance”, comedy and a problem play, having a somewhat problematic structure – the first three acts are a dark, somber tragedy, a portrayal of the madness of King Leontes that results in … More Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Shakespeare Saturday: Antony and Cleopatra

All strange and terrible events are welcome, but comforts we despise. Antony and Cleopatra is another Roman play, a hard-to-pin-down, almost true history of the later years of the doomed affair between the Roman general Mark Antony, and Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt. The historical events it is based on lead directly to the … More Shakespeare Saturday: Antony and Cleopatra

Shakespeare Saturday: Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens is a tragicomic story of a wealthy, gregarious Athenian, who is a terrible judge of character. He loses all his earthly possessions through misplaced generosity, and consequently becomes a misanthropic, histrionic recluse. It is considered another problem play, with a particularly unsatisfying denouement and slightly unfinished feel to it – it has … More Shakespeare Saturday: Timon of Athens

Shakespeare Saturday: All’s well that ends well

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together All’s well that ends well is another problem play, though it’s more comedic than Measure for Measure or Troilus and Cressida – a traditional comedy in appearances, but with a resolution that will leave something of an aftertaste. Like in many … More Shakespeare Saturday: All’s well that ends well