Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Shakespeare in Love
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0375  Friday, 5 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 04 Mar 1999 09:25:50 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0366 Re: Sh. Love

[2]     From:   Martin Green <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 04 Mar 1999 10:31:42 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0366 Re: Sh. Love

[3]     From:   Richard A Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Fri, 05 Mar 1999 12:05:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare in Love documentary

[4]     From:   Hardy Cook <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 05 Mar 1999 15:09:58 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare in Love


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 04 Mar 1999 09:25:50 -0800
Subject: Re: Sh. Love
Comment:        SHK 10.0366 Re: Sh. Love

Douglas McQueen-Thomson, bothered by young Will taking the role of Romeo
in Shakespeare in Love, writes:

>I had a vague feeling that there was a historical problem with presenting Bill as
>playing a romantic lead role such as Romeo. Shakespeare is known to have
>played the Ghost in Hamlet (according to Nicholas Rowe, citing Thomas
>Betterton) and Adam in As You Like It (according to William Oldys). Samuel
>Schoenbaum notes an early source describing Shakespeare as playing "kingly
>parts". This evidence suggests that Shakespeare often played old men whose
>role was important though without speaking too many lines, and that a part such
>as Romeo was not entirely within Shakespeare's acting ambit.

My reading has given me the same impression.  I'll be interested to see
if another has evidence I have not yet seen.  (I haven't read Jonson's
play, so I don't know what kind of role Shakespeare had there.)

In evaluating the film, I noted the problem, but explained it this way:
The cast lost their Romeo at the last minute.  A substitute was needed
who knew the part.  Enter Will.  This was not spelled out in the movie,
but I think it was implicit.

I don't fault the movie for this or any number of other historical
changes.  We know there was no Romeo and Ethel: The Pirate's Daughter
because we have read Shakespeare's source for the play.  I gave it the
benefit of the doubt because it is a cute joke and if Shakespeare had
invented his plot, it COULD have happened that way, just as Shakespeare
COULD have stood in for Romeo if the actress playing the part had been
discovered, barred from the theater, and forced to marry Colin Firth.  I
am more bothered by things that would NEVER have happened, such as Queen
Liz showing up at the theater to take in the show.  I seem to be the
only one bothered by this.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 04 Mar 1999 10:31:42 -0800
Subject: 10.0366 Re: Sh. Love
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0366 Re: Sh. Love

With respect to Douglas McQueen-Thompson's "vague feeling" that
something in "Shakespeare in Love" presented an historical problem: the
WHOLE movie presents an historical problem. That's why I didn't like it,
good as it is in many respects. True, it purports to be nothing more
than a fantasy on the life of Shakespeare, but since NOTHING about
Shakespeare in the movie has a basis in fact, and since most of the
people who see it will be unaware of that, they will form incorrect
impressions which will bedevil a generation of academicians. As
Shakespeare might say, "That movie will smack of little wit/ When
Professors of Shakespeare gnash their teeth over it."

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Fri, 05 Mar 1999 12:05:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Shakespeare in Love documentary

The NY Times has  another add for it giving channel 35 Time Warner cable
as the listing.  times of broadcast (EST) are:

Northern Tier
Sunday 6 a.m.
Southern Tier
Saturday 7 a.m.
Sunday 7 a.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Also, there's an ad for a Charlie Rose interview with Cate Blanchett
(Star of
Elizabeth) on Timer Warner' Sundance channel.  Broadcast times are

Sunday March 7 at 5 p.m.
Tuesday the 9th at 2 pm.
and Thursday, March 11 at 7:30

If anyone is able to tape either or both of these programs, I'd
appreciate very much a dub (will pay for video and postage).

Thanks.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy Cook <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 05 Mar 1999 15:09:58 -0500
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare in Love

I do not understand the concern about the historical accuracy of
Shakespeare in Love. It bears as much resemblance to the historical
facts of the life of William Shakespeare of Stratford as Yahoo Serious's
Young Einstein does to the historical facts of the life of Albert of the
same name. By the way, I love Yahoo's rendition of "Roll Over
Beethoven."
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.