Tag Archives: Ben Jonson

Beyond Doubt For All Time

Paul Edmondson and I were interested to read Diana Price’s courteous response to my blog about her book Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography. Here are some comments. She writes that I do not ‘directly confront’ what she calls her ‘single strongest argument … the comparative analysis of documentary evidence supporting the biographies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.’ […]

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A Dramaturge in Your Ear (video)

How good is your own theatrical imagination as you read a play by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries? Have you ever wondered how to communicate the possibilities of live theatre to other people, perhaps a group of students? Have you ever wondered where to look for guidance before directing or acting in a play? […]

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When Words Fail, Shakespeare Speaks Up

The daunting task of memorizing lengthy passages of text is a legitimate challenge that all actors, particularly Shakespearean ones, must endure in preparation for a performance.  For some, this can be a mere inconvenience or something one reluctantly accepts as a part of suffering for their art.  To others it can be a complete deterrent […]

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Ben Jonson and Shakespeare

Ian Donaldson’s marvellously fresh and up to date biography of Ben Jonson sets a new standard for all future Jonson studies. He came to speak about the relationship between Jonson and Shakespeare at The Shakespeare Centre on Wednesday at our first Literary Lunchtime Talk of the year. The event was sponsored by Oxford University Press. […]

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Send Up for Shakespeare!

It’s not new. Individual lines and passages from Shakespeare’s plays were imitated and parodied even in his own time, as in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, where there is a send-up of Hotspur’s lines on honour from 1 Henry IV, and in Beaumont’s comedy The Woman Hater (or is it by Fletcher, or by […]

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Making Shakespeare

My recent reading has included two biographies, both of men who, like Shakespeare, did not go to university. Ben Jonson, son of a clergyman who died a month before the boy was born, and stepson of a bricklayer – a calling which Ben himself followed for some years – attended Westminster School, in London, but […]

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Shakespeare Walks!

It is said that “when he walks,” Coriolanus “moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks”. I have always loved that apt figure of speech, describing a man so warrior-like that, when he treads the ground trembles. It is a ‘perambulatory detail’ that otherwise easily could be lost in a play with countless figures detailing […]

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‘Anonymous’: ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is’.’

On Wednesday 28 September Professor Emeritus Alan H. Nelson of the University of California, Berkeley took part in a discussion with Roland Emmerich (the director of Anonymous), John Orloff (scriptwriter), and Charles Beauclerk the Earl of Burford and a self-proclaimed descendent of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. The evening was hosted by Sony […]

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Ben Jonson: a genius to rival Shakespeare?

Stanley Wells is busy writing a review of forthcoming biography of Ben Jonson. I asked Stanley what he thought… Ben Jonson SWW (mp3) Ben Jonson: A Life by Ian Donaldson is published by Oxford University Press on 20 October. You might like to purchase a copy from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Bookshop by sending them […]

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