anonymous asked:

I just read a interpretation that rosencrantz and guildenstern had no idea what the letter they were supposed to deliver about executing Hamlet was about. Because if they did, delivering it in the end would have been pointless as he'd disappeared during a pirate attack and would have been assumed dead already. That's kind of mind blowing

The only indication we have that they may have known–besides their dealings with Claudius–is Hamlet’s explanation to Horatio: 

Why, man, they did make love to this employment!
They are not near my conscience; their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow.
‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.

Horatio accepts it but this it’s still pretty ambiguous. Did they know they were, theoretically, taking Hamlet to his death? Shakespeare doesn’t give us that certainty, one way or the other. If they did know theoretically they might have still delivered the letter on expectation that if Hamlet washed up in England he would have been put to death, but again, that’s pure speculation. Is it more likely that Hamlet sent his erstwhile friends to their deaths as an act of misguided revenge? Possibly. As heroes go, Hamlet is certainly not a spotless one. 

Want to have your mind blown further? 

Read the play-within-a-play scene again. Claudius sits through the dumbshow–which explicitly depicts the poisoning, in one of the most verbose stage directions Shakespeare ever wrote–without comment. It’s not until ‘Lucianus’ enters to poison Gonzago that he leaps up and shouts for lights. This doesn’t look like much until you realize one crucial difference: the murderer is not identified until after the dumbshow, by Hamlet himself, as “one Lucianus, nephew to the King.” And when the Gonzago’s nephew poisons him, that is when Claudius leaps up and calls for lights. So while most people–Hamlet included–see this as an admission of guilt, does it not also seem possible that he’s just reacted to a play about a nephew murdering his uncle put on by his own nephew? Maybe it’s not guilt. Maybe it’s fear. In the subsequent chapel scene at first glance it looks like Claudius is admitting to the murder of Hamlet I–and maybe he is–but if you really pick through the tortuous language, it’s also possible he hasn’t committed a murder at all, and that he is instead intending to commit one. The references to wronging a brother and spilling a brother’s blood could equally apply to the literal murder of his brother or to the incestuous act of marrying his brother’s wife (remember those were the grounds on which Henry VIII got his marriage to Katharine of Aragon annulled) and the murder of his brother’s son–which he is now contemplating, and which he obliquely directs Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to carry out. Andrew Zurcher can explain this theory better than I can, so check out his book Shakespeare and Law and the chapter on Hamlet but here’s the upshot:

You might be thinking ‘but what about the Ghost, who tells Hamlet that he was murdered by his brother?’ Fair enough, but even Hamlet and Horatio aren’t sure whether the ghost is a real reflection of Hamlet I or a conjuration of the devil. They question the Ghost’s veracity constantly (in Act I and elsewhere) and it’s Claudius’s starting up at the play that finally convinces Hamlet that he is, in fact guilty. But is he really? Or is he just afraid for his life, after watching a play wherein a jealous nephew murders his uncle? In a play like Hamlet, where the main character’s sanity is never certain, it’s hard to know. Just a nugget for those of you who like Shakespiraces.

Sonnet 134
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Read by Tom Mison

So, now I have confess’d that he is thine,
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I’ll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still:
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous and he is kind;
He learned but surety-like to write for me
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake;
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me:
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.

Day 7 of Much Ado - The parents are in!!!

Sorry this is late everyone but after last nights showing….I was pretty much dead to the world and for good reason…My parents were in the house as well as a couple of my friends. NO PRESSURE

Originally posted by only-particles-of-change

So the mood backstage was great, we knew we only had two more shows left to go, it was the weekend and we was going to have a curry after the show. One of the newbies requested everyone to pose for photos as they were putting together a scrap book of their first performance and said thank you for being welcomed in so warmly.

Originally posted by game-of-mind

Then my parents and my mates rocked up and all the calm had gone….your loved ones are your biggest critics, I dont care what anyone says…you F up in front of them and they will never let you live it down even if you are background acting.

Originally posted by coldplaysparachutes

So…with that all in mind, We begin the first act. The crowd were amazing last night, very responsive and enthused and there was ALOT of them, we even had some who blocked our entrances! My first scene went without a hitch but the second one not so much…..I got confused…I was walking one way in a haze of confusion before quickly snapping out of the haze and altering my path. Yeah I think my parents saw that….and my mind was filled with the thoughts of “Shit, shit, shit, shit shit shit!” This is what happens when people come to watch! You lose your mind a bit!

Originally posted by stardust955

That was the only hiccup though and thankfully I seemingly recovered from it well and once the interval had started….I was still being barkeep and stocking up the bottles and by the time I had got backstage, I had just enough time for a bathroom break before getting myself back into position. It’s hard work being a barkeep!

Originally posted by justkeepchill

Second half began. I had my scene, followed by a moment backstage to find Don jon messing about with an App on someone’s phone. He was taking selfies of himself wearing a crown and being a bit of a diva, although this time there was no card game….Damn. However…there was alot of cards to be signed and that’s where I spent most of my time….in the tent signing cards before dashing back onto stage again to do my next bit and tonight wife Antonia was not amused with me watching the interrogation (Don’t worry it’s all part of it)

Originally posted by 30ansinterminableadolescence

So after being marched off stage it was onto the next part, Card signing and watching Pokemon Stage hand wonder about looking for pokemon and cussing, I then had to quickly chase after him and tell him our Barrel scene was up and even though we got a few laughs, someone actually thought I was telling my team off and I was not adlibbing. I wanna say that’s awesome but at the same time…scary.

Originally posted by allcreepythings

So overall the performance last night was top drawer and well received….Even by my parents who didn’t really notice my cock up *Phew* And once we had changed and got packed up it was onto the curry! Where we all let our hair down and got a bit silly. It was quite amusing to watch the Pokemon hunter dodge the minefield that was spicy food as well as watch some of the cast get sillier with every pint while I received phone calls from the far end of the table requesting for food to be passed down.

I love this cast
I love this crew

Roll on the last night and after show!

@angelus80 @angryschnauzer @curator-at-large @dearmisterhiddles @d-m-jonas @elfpunk @gloriousassgardian @hiddlesbensmith  @jarrigoni @lokihiddles2981 @legion-567 @glowyflowybowie

@rainbow-cobra @lokiwholockfactory @marvelousmindloki @nerdygirl1233 @pedeka @srarebit @notthatjessiejames @twhyousexything @twhfrustration @zorped @marvelousmissfit @randomfandompenguin @purple-dinosuar17

@just-call-me-your-darling @a-beautifully-hiddled-disaster @angreav @daisymoder72 @ibrakefortomhiddleston @say-my-name-assbut @thefalconstrikesagain @october-green @geminiloveca @hiddles-and-a-cuppa-tea @hiddles-and-skittles @pll-fan123 @sinistretoile

@so-easy-to-love-me @chocolatespaghettihoops @eve1978 @clintashashipper @elegantmess100 @timelady123 @beaglebitch @lokiloveravengerobsesser @littlewomanly1 @wolfsmom1 @kristenh1013 @hiddlestonadmirer @calgal48 @feelmyroarrrr @erinolenko-deactivated20160722 @daughterofinkandletters @munchkin80 @awolfbeneath @thewaywardwriter97

@justahopeless-dreamer @f0r-the-l0ve-0f-marvel-men  @kurbik  @easchechter @lokislozza @siyoteodiara @swirly-tall-lady @mypreciousmind1 @musicalfanforever @dragonslikesmaug @loricameback @mrs-mojo-risin-blues @candissnicole @tinaferraldo @prplprincez @thorkisong

@quoting-shakespeare-to-ducks @the-haven-of-fiction @frenchfrostpudding @gutterfortunecookie @shakespearelove @smittentomkitten  @loops911 @daishahiddleston @musicfashionandscotch @miss-jemma-simmons   @nicolesnod @kimanne723 @tomkurbikston @thewhiskeypixie @dorito82 @isoldeblondie @the–blackdahlia


“Women Beware Women” by Thomas Middleton

Royal Shakespeare Company, 2006

Starring Penelope Wilton, Tim Pigott-Smith, Hayley Atwell, Emma Cunniffe, Rob Edwards, Elliot Cowan, Bruce Mackinnon, Paul Rider, Susan Engel

Happy Bard-a-Thon, Louisville!

Support the arts because we’re stupid and do stuff like marathoning 3 full length professional Shakespeare shows on the hottest, muggiest day of the summer!

I am proud to list among my top accomplishments in my career is to complete two out of three attempted Bard-a-Thons!  We freakin’ did it!


Published on Apr 20, 2016

Exhibition open until 6 September 2016

A landmark exhibition on the performances that made an icon, charting Shakespeare’s constant reinvention across the centuries.

Journey through 400 years of history – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.Imagine how audiences reacted to ground-breaking moments like the first stage appearance by a female actor in 1660 and the first British performance of Othello by a black actor in 1825.

Experience the glamour of Vivien Leigh’s Lady Macbeth costume, the surprising circus prop from Peter Brook’s radical 1970s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the stunning detail of the award-winning costumes from Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance, as performed at Shakespeare’s Globe. Shakespeare in Ten Acts showcases over 200 unique and rare items such as the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, the earliest printed edition of Hamlet from 1603 and Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Published on Jan 29, 2016

Explore the extraordinary life of one of Britain’s most celebrated actresses, Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), through items from her personal collection of letters, scrapbooks, photographs and treasures. Featuring exclusive interviews with Leigh’s co-stars from the golden age of Hollywood.

NOTE: If the Vivien Leigh video doesn’t play, the link can be found HERE.

I almost made it all the way through the Bard-a-thon, but about a third (? I’m not good with time measurement) of the way into the second half of R&J, I couldn’t handle being out in the heat anymore and had to call a Lyft. They were doing the scene when the Capulets find Juliet “dead” when I left.

Met up with a friend from Bumble BFF and her boyfriend. He liked Winter’s Tale best, I think she liked Two Gents best, and I like R&J best so it was kind of perfect (although they left before R&J so that one’s hard to judge). She is hopefully going to see R&J tomorrow and then in a few weeks, we’re going to go to the ballet thing at the park, so yay, not scaring off new friends as soon as they meet me in person!

And someone in the bench next to me was audibly furious during Two Gents when Proteus gave “Sebastian” Julia’s ring to give to Sylvia. It was delightful.