Tag Archives: The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Plays We Overlook: The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Plays We Overlook: The Merry Wives of Windsor By James Cappio Overshadowed by the two parts of Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor starts off unpromisingly. Writers’ manuals always warn fledgling writers not to represent speakers’ accents phonetically. Merry Wives demonstrates that even Shakespeare should heed this advice. His Welsh character, Parson Evans, […]

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Back to School with Shakespeare

                  While attending the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elementary Educators Conference this summer, I had the supreme pleasure of meeting two fantastic authors,  who have supplied those of us who dare to teach Shakespeare with two inspiring, new resources for the classroom.  Acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig recently published […]

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Shakespeare For Fear of Death 2

“England. Be it known that William Shakspere, Francis Langley, Dorothy Soer wife of John Soer, and Anne Lee, for fear of death…”. King’s Bench, Controlment Roll, Michaelmas Term 1596, K.B. 29/234: In the England of 1596 those fearful of “death or mutilations” could appeal to the judicial process to head off a potential attack. In […]

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Shakespeare For Fear of Death 1

In Shakespeare versus Shallow (1931), Leslie Hotson wrote that if you wanted to look for new facts about William Shakespeare’s life then you should not “turn to the standard biographies for nourishment” as these were not about research but were merely capitalizing on the results of earlier findings. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not sit well […]

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How did they (rehearse) for Merry Wives of Windsor

    We know relatively little about rehearsal practice in Shakespeare’s theatre. The drawing of The Swan Theatre made by De Witt which I have show above tantalisingly shows no audience so one is tempted to imagine we see a dress rehearsal which De Witt was watching. However unfortunately historically speaking it is just as […]

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Tanned by Chivalry

William Henry Schofield, an early 20th century scholar of comparative English literature, once said, “Shakepeare’s whole face was tanned by the sun of chivalry.” That may seem an odd statement – after all, we think of Shakespeare as a Renaissance playwright, not a medieval troubadour. There are no questing knights, Round Tables, or damsels locked […]

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Poetry for Summer

One of the hats I like wearing is that of the Director of The Stratford –upon-Avon Poetry Festival. It’s one I’ve worn for several years now and each year, as I come to organise the programme, I try to ring the changes a little. The Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival is our way of celebrating poetry in […]

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Year of Shakespeare: Falstaff

This post is part of Year of Shakespeare, a project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.   Falstaff, by Guiseppe Verdi, dir. Robert Carson, 23 May 2012, 7.30PM, at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. By Dave Paxton, Shakespeare Institute After an absence of about three years, I returned […]

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What Larks! Shakespeare and Dickens

Although I’ve devoted most of my life to Shakespeare, Dickens was my first literary love, and provides my earliest bookish memory. It must date back to around 1940, when I was ten years old, a primary school child in Yorkshire. I remember spending much of a weekend sitting behind a sofa reading The Pickwick Papers […]

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