The Unbelievable Hamlet Discovery

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.110  Monday, 4 April 2016

 

[1] From:        Nicholas Clary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 1, 2016 at 10:56:20 AM EDT

     Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery 

 

[2] From:        Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 2, 2016 at 5:38:11 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery 

 

[3] From:        David Crystal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 3, 2016 at 9:38:45 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery 

 

[4] From:        Keith Johnson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 3, 2016 at 10:16:00 AM EDT

     Subject:    Hamlet Discovery 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Nicholas Clary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 1, 2016 at 10:56:20 AM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery

 

April Fool! on the “unbelievable discovery!

 

Nick Clary

 

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 2, 2016 at 5:38:11 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery

 

David Crystal is to be congratulated on his remarkable discovery. I take it that the fact that the only non-h word I have identified is ‘for’ (p.76) is the consequence of its being the opening syllable of Fortinbras (the speaker of the stray word) and hence indicates Fortinbras’ wish to hint at the otherwise unknown F quarto which would focus on Fortinbras’ view of the whole narrative.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        David Crystal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 3, 2016 at 9:38:45 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Hamlet Discovery

 

Thank you, Peter. Yes, I have long puzzled over this curious anomaly. It does reinforce a view, which some scholars are suggesting, that the disease was more deep-rooted, affecting more than H alone. Loves Labours Lost provide further food for thought, as does The Merry (clearly a replacement of Wicked) Wives of Windsor

 

Oulipian greetings.

 

David

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Keith Johnson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 3, 2016 at 10:16:00 AM EDT

Subject:    Hamlet Discovery

 

David Crystal’s Unbelievable Hamlet Discovery (Shakespeare Conference, 1st April) hits on heavy and heretofore hidden hints about Hamlet’s history. Huge happenstance.

 

Crystal’s H Quarto has implications for various areas of Shakespeare scholarship, including the field of Original Pronunciation, in which Crystal himself has been the guiding spirit. He has pointed out that in Early Modern English, an initial ‘h’ was often unpronounced. The first few lines of his H Quarto might then have read:

 

BARNARDO ’ark!

FRANCISCO ’o! ’enchman?

BARNARDO ’e.

FRANCISCO ’ey, ’our ’eedfully ’eeded.

BARNARDO ’orological ’alfnight’s ’appened. ’op ’ome.

 

Taken as a whole, there seems no doubt that the H Quarto gives us the longest stretch of uninterrupted h-dropping in the entire canon of English literature, including in the works of Dickens, with all his various Cockney h-droppers. 

 

There is, however, more to the h-dropping than phonetic quirk. The following thoughts occurred to me a couple of days ago (it is today 3rd April). The hero’s name, and the play’s title, start with a dropped h, so would have been pronounced ’Amlet. There is, however, a little-known vowel change (known as the ‘Quite Small Vowel Shift’) that took place in just a few streets in Stratford-upon-Avon for a few months in the 1600 period. It is one of the few sound changes in English that took place retrospectively. In it, today’s vowel [æ] came to be pronounced as [ɒ]. It was not ’Amlet at all, but ’Omlet

 

The word omelet first appeared in the language at around this period, and there is a little-known Elizabethan Cookbook entitled Chippes Withal (a title which, as it happens, the twentieth-century English playwright Arnold Wesker took for one of his plays). On the topic of omelets the book (written in verse) has this to say: Who wolde an omelette make, Perforce must egges brake.  But this is just what the play previously known as Hamlet is about. In the process of becoming a fulfilled man, Hamlet creates mayhem. In culinary terms, eggs get broken.

 

When Crystal next feels like a walk, one can only urge him to return to New House, and give his full attention to other broken drains. There may be other H Quartos to discover: The Happy Housewives of Henley, perhaps, and Hiems’ Homily (pronounced ’Iems ’Omily: the play about Leontes and ’ermione). 

 

Keith Johnson

 

Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Language Education, 

Department of Linguistics and English Language,

University of Lancaster

 

 

 

Identity of the Clown in Othello

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.109  Friday, 1 April 2016

 

[1] From:        Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 11:14:26 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown 

 

[2] From:        Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 12:23:39 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown 

 

[3] From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 12:51:27 PM EDT

     Subject:    Othello's Clown: Iago (or Roderigo) in disguise? 

 

[4] From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 1:40:42 PM EDT

     Subject:    Shakespeare's plays to be viewed and/or read 

 

[5] From:        Harry Berger Jr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 2:12:39 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown 

 

[6] From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 31, 2016 at 7:03:01 PM EDT

     Subject:    Othello's Clown: Iago (or Roderigo) in disguise: a quick P.S. 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 11:14:26 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown

 

In support of Lynne Kinder’s contention, below: those who doubt the legitimacy of her claim that Shakespeare’s audiences did not study intertextuality the way we do today need only check the literacy rates among the general populace in 1649 (when Charles I purportedly published his posthumous Eikon Basilike). Most of its “readers”—nearly 50 years later—could not read—that, or anything else (but owning a copy of “the King’s Book” had talismanic and/or political properties that made it an attractive purchase, nonetheless). I say that because I know that there is evidence to support it; other than to assume even fewer people were literate in the decades before the execution of the son of James I&VI, though, I have no specific data on the literacy rates during the Elizabethan period.

 

Best to all,

Carol Barton

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 12:23:39 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown

 

re Iago/Othello's clown

 

I don’t find it very credible that Robert Armin was the first actor of Iago. The ‘evidence’ is pretty thin—90 years after Othello’s premier Charles Gildon said he heard from someone that the part was played by a comedian and that Shakespeare wrote him some extra comic material to please the crowd. Well, maybe; but even if (a big IF) this is reliable information, there were more experienced comic actors in Shakespeare’s company than just the official Clown—how do you think they staged Merry Wives or Much Ado?

 

I’ve long suspected that Henry Condell was the first Iago. I don’t want to subscribe to the inflexible typecasted ‘lines’ of T W Baldwin, but there was a tendency for some actors to take similar roles from play to play. Here are three parts we know Condell acted:

 

- 1606  Mosca in Volpone.  Volpone was played by Richard Burbage and the parasitic Mosca buzzes around him like a fly.  Burbage and Condell act out a poisonous symbiotic relationship.

 

- 1610  Surly in The Alchemist.  Surly is a cynical, ill-tempered soldier.

 

- 1614  The Cardinal in The Duchess of Malfi.  The murderous machiavellian Cardinal is the brother and sidekick of the psychotic Duke played by Richard Burbage.

 

To me these add up to Iago. Burbage and Condell were a team—although he lived until 1627 Condell seems to have retired from the stage around 1620, a year after Burbage died.

 

Armin did stray outside the narrow clown category occasionally—he probably played Abel Drugger the tobacconist who was one of the victims in The Alchemist. But if you were hired by 20th Century/Chamberlains to cast Othello would you choose Feste or Drugger to play Iago? or the hovering, cynical, machiavellian Condell? 

 

Bill Lloyd

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 12:51:27 PM EDT

Subject:    Othello's Clown: Iago (or Roderigo) in disguise?

 

Julia Griffin wrote: 

 

“If the Clown really has to be someone else, why not Roderigo?  He has nothing to do in Cyprus except hang about paying Iago and getting into fights for him - and he seems to have travelled from Venice in the Iago-Desdemona-Emilia ship, without raising anyone’s interest.  Indeed, if she ever noticed him, Emilia seems to have forgotten him by Act V (“Cassio, my lord, hath kill’d a young Venetian/ Call’d Roderigo”).  Perhaps he went in Clown guise, in an usurped beard? If he is Roderigo, the Clown’s unfunniness and general tiresomeness would make perfect sense ...”

 

Julia, I’m really glad you embraced the possibility I’ve suggested, of a Shakespearean character in disguise (undisclosed to the reader/audience), and gave it real consideration. And, as you say, it’s certainly the case not only that the Clown is unfunny and tiresome like Roderigo, but also that Iago gives Roderigo several tasks to perform during the course of his plotting—so why couldn’t Iago have given Roderigo one more task, that Shakespeare does not permit us to observe?  Plus, Roderigo dressed up as the Clown would feel disinhibited and licensed to safely, verbally vent his sexual frustration at the former object of his desires (Desdemona) and the man who wooed her on Othello’s behalf (Cassio). All of this does make Roderigo a plausible suspect.

 

However, I still think Iago is a far better choice, for the following reasons:

 

ONE: As I’ve already detailed at length in my original posts, several other Shakespeare scholars have observed that the Clown eerily echoes Iago in numerous ways, including but not limited to his obscene punning about beasts and music, and the suggestion that each of these two roles was played by Robert Armin. None of those points fits Roderigo, nor has any scholar I’ve read (and I believe I’ve now read pretty much everything ever written about Othello’s Clown) ever suggested that Roderigo resembles Iago.

 

TWO: As I also previously argued on my own account, the Clown’s apparently random interactions with Cassio and then Desdemona, upon examination, are not random at all. They perform the function of delaying Cassio’s and Desdemona’s movements at two crucial points, keeping them from speaking to each other and perhaps discovering Iago’s plot. That thereby enables Iago’s daring, improvised stage management to succeed. And it makes much more sense that Iago does this, rather than that he cons Roderigo into doing this, because things are moving REALLY fast at those two junctures, so there’s no time (or reason) for Iago to enlist Roderigo’s help. Iago has to turn on a dime and improvise, and he does.

 

THREE: When Roderigo and Iago have their final tete a tete in 4.3, not a word is said by either to indicate that Roderigo had just fulfilled Iago’s directions by acting as the Clown—not once, by the way, but twice. Iago would have stroked Roderigo’s ego, commending his acting ability, using that to further pump Roderigo up for his final task. But not a peep in that vein—that silence is deafening in this case.

 

FOUR: You raised a very interesting point about Emilia not seeming to be aware of Roderigo in Act 5. But there is a very good explanation, which actually fits with my claim. Here’s the passage when Emilia is told about Roderigo’s death:

 

EMILIA  'Las, what's the matter? what's the matter, husband?

IAGO

Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:
He's almost slain, and Roderigo dead.

EMILIA  Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio!

 

It is clear from the above that Emilia has had no prior contact with Roderigo, nor does she know of Iago’s relationship with Roderigo. He’s nobody to her, so his name means nothing to her. Indeed, that’s precisely why Iago employs Roderigo at various points in the narrative as his secret agent—although we in the audience know all about their relationship, no one else does. That’s why, I suggest, Shakespeare seems to go out of his way to subtly alert us of this, by having Emilia ignore Iago’s report of Roderigo’s death, and focus instead only on Cassio’s being seriously injured. 

 

FIVE: Above all, it simply fits perfectly with the Satanic Iago’s character to “assume an (un)pleasing shape” for him to assume a disguise. We get no sign that Roderigo could be Satanic in this way.

 

So, while you’ve raised a very fair question, worthy of serious consideration, and there were good reasons supporting your suggestion, I still think Iago is the far better choice to be the man disguised as the Clown.  What do you think, in light of all of the above? 

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 1:40:42 PM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare's plays to be viewed and/or read

 

Lynne Kinder wrote: 

 

“My point is that not many of Shakespeare’s contemporaries were actually readers of his plays. They went to the theatre, they watched the play then they went home. They did not study the playtexts looking for hidden meanings in the way that we do today.”

 

Lynne, that is true but, I think, not relevant to my claims. Why? Because (as I just suggested to you yesterday) while Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed on stage for the majority of his contemporaries, he also wrote them to be read both by an intellectually sophisticated minority of his contemporaries—as well as future readers, and I am one who believes Shakespeare knew his work would survive his death—who would study the playtexts for hidden meanings. 

 

Do you disagree? 

 

Larry Weiss wrote: 

 

“I don’t want to open a debate about Lucas Erne’s theory, but, so far as the question of Iago deliberately disguising himself as Clown is concerned, please consider this:  Othello was written c.1604, when Shakespeare was a name to be reckoned with.  By then, he could have gotten anything he wrote published, but Othello did not see print until the 1622 Quarto.”

 

Larry, your point seems to be that it is curious that Othello was not published prior to Shakespeare’s death, even though such publication would have enabled, or at least facilitated, Shakespeare’s sophisticated readers’ detection of the Clown as Iago in disguise. 

 

I believe there were many hidden meanings of a comparable nature (including, but not limited to, disguised characters, acrostics, and imaginary characters) in many, if not all, of Shakespeare’s plays. Many of these would have been difficult, if not impossible, to detect without reading his plays. I also understand that about half of his plays were not published before the First Folio, after Shakespeare’s death. 

 

I can’t tell you for sure why Shakespeare would have waited to grant public access to the hidden meanings in those 18 unpublished plays till after his death. However, my best guess is that those unpublished plays, which obviously were preserved in some print form (handwritten and/or typeset) during Shakespeare’s lifetime, would have been circulated by Shakespeare among a targeted sector of the cognoscenti all along, who kept their insights secret from the general.

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Harry Berger Jr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 2:12:39 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Othello's Clown

 

They did not study the playtexts looking for hidden meanings in the way that we do today.

 

Looking for hidden meanings? Is that what we do today?   I didn’t know that. I thought we were doing this:

 

The play text represents the character as trying to say one thing. At the same time his language “says” more than she/he is trying to say. When we read the play’s text we try to put these two together to see what it shows about the character. Does this = “looking for hidden meanings”?

 

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 31, 2016 at 7:03:01 PM EDT

Subject:    Othello's Clown: Iago (or Roderigo) in disguise: a quick P.S.

 

As a quick followup to my post earlier today under this Subject Line:

 

First, let me correct one typo of mine, which I hope did not confuse anyone. I wrote “nor has any scholar I’ve read…ever suggested that Roderigo resembles Iago.”  However, I meant to finish that sentence with “...ever suggested that Roderigo resembles the Clown.”

 

Second, after further reflection on Julia Griffin’s very interesting response, I realized that I missed the point of her partial quotation of Iago’s instructions to Roderigo prior to the voyage to Cyprus, which, in full, were:

 

“defeat thy favour with an usurped beard”

 

This somewhat cryptic line has generally been understood, by both scholars and directors alike, as Iago’s advice to Roderigo to literally wear a beard to disguise himself while in Cyprus. And that interpretation would (obviously) lend support to Julia’s suggestion that the Clown is Roderigo in disguise as well, presumably also acting at Iago’s direction.

 

However, I also revisited my reasons for seeing the Clown as Iago in disguise, and I’d like to add a few further comments in support of my interpretation:

 

If the Clown was Roderigo in disguise, then how to account for the fact that, tiresome and obnoxious as the Clown is, he is also very quick on his feet; and even if he doesn’t make us laugh, as we have come to expect from Shakespeare’s fools, he is clearly an intelligent, verbally facile person?  How do we reconcile that with the dullness of mind, in particular his gullibility, that we see in Roderigo in the rest of the play? We’d have to think of Roderigo as a very different character than generally understood, if he is suddenly improvising that sort of acid wit for two short scenes, but otherwise gives no sign of this wit. Whereas the Clown as Iago in disguise fits perfectly with the universal understanding of Iago’s Satanic character.

 

Second, as I briefly outlined earlier, take a close look at the following three words that the Clown uses, and then check to see who is the character in the play most closely associated with those words: 

honest, music, and lie. These are all words that Iago uses memorably, but Roderigo not at all.

 

For all of these reasons, I would like to present a modified version of my interpretation: 

 

I believe that Shakespeare meant for a close reader of the play (which would include, by the way, a director of the play deciding how the Clown should be played) to first wonder whether the Clown was Iago or Roderigo in disguise, and then to analyze the pros and cons of Roderigo and Iago as the Clown, before deciding, on balance, that it must be Iago. 

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

 

 

BSA Bulletin - April 2016

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.108  Friday, 1 April 2016

 

From:        BSA <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 1, 2016 at 7:21:45 AM EDT

Subject:    BSA Bulletin - April 2016

 

 

THE BSA BULLETIN – APRIL 2016

 

New Honorary Fellows

The British Shakespeare Association is delighted to announce that its 2016 Honorary Fellowship Awards are to be given to Emeritus Professor Ann Thompson and to Emeritus Director and Co-Founder of the RSC John Barton. The BSA will be formally honouring Ann and John at the 2016 conference in Hull in a special event, more details of which will be announced shortly. Our full notice can be found here

 

BSA exclusive competition: win a pair of tickets to the World Book Night 2016 Gala Evening at the British Library

 

Courtesy of the British Library, we’re offering BSA members the chance to win tickets to a gala evening on Saturday 23rd April, 7pm-8.30pm, marking #Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death. Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love, will introduce World Book Night authors past and present, including Matt Haig, Dreda Say Mitchell, S J Parris, Holly Bourne and Sathnam Sanghera. 

 

To enter, simply visit www . hotticketoffers . com/competition/bsaworldbooknight and enter the code BSA. The competition closes on Thu 14 April at 5pm and the winner will be notified shortly after.

 

 

Disability and Shakespearean Theatre Symposium

Registration is now open for ‘Disability and Shakespearean Theatre’, a conference supported by the BSA, taking place at the University of Glasgow on 20 April 2016. The symposium will be followed by the premier of Molly Ziegler’s new play Let Her Come In, a one-act rewriting of Hamlet focused on mental illness, gender and disability. Attendance is FREE to BSA members in good standing. For the full schedule and to register, please visit the conference website.

 

 

BSA Journal – new articles

New articles published online this month include Kavita Mudan Finn’s essay on transformative fanworks based on Shakespeare’s history plays and several new reviews of Shakespeare productions in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. Current members can subscribe to the journal – including the physical volume and full online access – at the heavily discounted price of £15. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details and missing volumes.

BSA Event Videos

 

Our website now hosts video recordings of BSA events. Members can currently watch the inauguration of Chris Grace and Dame Janet Suzman as honorary fellows of the association, complete with their reflections on their work with Shakespeare. A taster of the recording is available to all on the website, and members in good standing for the current year have been emailed a password for the full recording.

Teaching Shakespeare issue 9 now published Issue 9 of the BSA magazine Teaching Shakespeare was published last month. This issue includes a bumper noticeboard and royally ushers in the year with two articles on the Henry IV plays by Michael J. Collins and Howard Gold. Submissions for Issue 10 can be sent to the journal editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Issue 9 can be downloaded from the BSA website.

 

Teaching Shakespeare: Call for contributions on Vietnamese Shakespeare

 

Dr Sarah Olive, chair of the BSA Education Committee and editor of Teaching Shakespeare, is seeking contributions focusing on Shakespeare in Vietnamese education. Anyone with experience of learning or teaching Shakespeare in Vietnam can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be part of this British Academy-funded project. For more information, see the full call on our website.

 

 

Preparing for Hull 2016

The BSA’s 2016 conference, ‘Shakespearean Transformations: Death, Life, and Afterlives’, takes place 8-11 September 2016 at the University of Hull. The conference will include a full education strand as well as an exciting range of concerts, performances, presentations and paper sessions. Registration for the conference will open soon, and all participants must be members of the BSA in good standing. Please visit the conference website for full details.

 

 

Bardolph’s Box: An Introduction to Shakespeare

The BSA is pleased to be supporting Up the Road Theatre's Bardolph’s Box, a theatre production designed by BSA member Nicola Pollard for children aged 8-12 and their families. This 40-minute piece, featuring a number of lesser-known plays and characters, finishes its tour of Kent and the North West in April. For more information, please see the company website.

 

 

THE BSA MEMBERS’ BULLETIN

We are pleased to advertise news and activities by our members and other Shakespeare associations. If you would like to advertise a Shakespeare-related activity, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Items below are not affiliated with or endorsed by the BSA – please use individual contact details for more information.

 

Julius Caesar actor training and performance in Sri Lanka

DUENDE & Stages Theatre Company invite you to attend ‘The Evil That We Do’, a fifteen-day, residential ensemble physical training course culminating in a public performance based on Julius Caesar, taking place in Sri Lanka in May. Fees (£350 for international visitors) include all accommodation and food. Applications are open to emerging and working performers from around the world. For more details, please visit the company website.

 

Shakespeare:Birmingham

Shakespeare:Birmingham organises weekly gatherings / Shakespeare play readings at the Birmingham & Midland Institute in the centre of Birmingham (Tuesdays, 6.30-9.00pm) and monthly workshops aimed at increasing enjoyment of Shakespeare through any means possible! We are currently reading King Lear, all are welcome to attend. For details of meetings, please visit the website at http ://shakespearebirmingham . co . uk, which also lists all Shakespeare productions happening in the area.

 

Shakespeare’s Friends and Rivals, 9 April 2016, London Metropolitan Archives

Eva Griffith leads a day of theatre history and biography based around the Red Bull playhouse and the people who lived in the area. The day includes examinations of seventeenth-century documents, an actor-led exploration of new evidence surrounding the death of Shakespeare, a conversation with actor and director Sonia Ritter, and a walking tour around Clerkenwell. For more information and to book, please visit http ://www . evagriffith . com/ .

 

Metamorphosis at Senate House Library

Senate House Library is commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a season of activities running from 14 April to 17 December, including a free exhibition, a programme of events and a website with digital content and research resources. Based loosely on the ‘seven ages of man’ speech from As You Like It, the season will reflect the changes in Shakespearean text and scholarship over four centuries. For full details, please visit the website.’

 

Shakespeare’s Musical Brain, 16 April 2016, King’s College London

The Musical Brain is convening a special conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. ‘Shakespeare’s Musical Brain’ will include talks from academics, composers and neurologists, examining the relationship between words and music in aesthetic and scientific terms, and how it affects the relationship between actor and audience then as now. A limited number of student tickets are available at £35; full price £95. See the website for full details.

 

Call for Papers: Shakespeare in Latin America

The Institute of Literature at Universidad de los Andes (Santiago, Chile) is organising an international conference that will bring together scholars around the topic of the presence of his works within the Latin American canon, either in the existing tradition of translating his plays and poems by writers, poets, and academics, or in the re-writing and adaptation for performance. Abstracts are due 22 April 2016. For more information, please visit the conference website.

 

Bard by the Beach Shakespeare Festival in Morecambe

From 22-24 April, Morecambe will be hosting a major Shakespeare festival. Events include five adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, Shakespeare Comedy Dinner Theatre, a midnight screening of Theatre of Blood, workshops on acting and stage fighting, wine tastings, music from the Haffner Orchestra celebrating orchestral Shakespeare, a night of The Bard on Broadway, a puppet version of Forbidden Planet and even a historical and artisan market. For more details, please visit the website.

 

BBC Radio Lancashire celebrates Shakespeare

On Sunday 24th April, 7.30-9.30pm, Ted Robbins is your host as the Bard’s best bits, chosen by BBC Radio Lancashire’s presenters, are performed in a unique multimedia experience. The performance will take place in Hoghton Tower’s Great Barn, a suitable surrounding for the Bard’s works as we mark the 400th anniversary of his death. Tickets are £15 per person.

 

OCR GCSE English Conference 2016 

The GCSE English Conference 2016 will be held on 6 June at Shakespeare’s Globe. All teachers working with GCSE-level students are invited to attend a day of practical workshops, discussions and networking opportunities, including a keynote conversation with Kazuo Ishiguro. There is an early booking discount for payments received before 30 April. For more information, please visit the conference website.

 

The Merchant of Venice in Venice, 27-28 July

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is organising a fundraising event in Venice to support its re-presentation of New Place. You are invited to attend a production of The Merchant of Venice in the Jewish ghetto (500 years old this year). Tickets (priced at £450) also include talks from Shakespeare experts and theatre practitioners, a three-course lunch at Locanda Cipriani, coffee and a drinks reception. For more information, or to reserve a place, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Call for Papers:  'Shakespeare and his contemporaries' Conference in Brazil

The 'VI Jornada de Estudos Shakespeareanos: Shakespeare e seus contemporâneos' will be held at Universidade de São Paulo (USP, São Paulo, 10-11 November 2016). Abstracts in English, Spanish or Portuguese are due 30 June 2016. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or jornadashakespeare . blogspot . com.

 

A Walk Around Shakespeare’s London

A Walk Around Shakespeare’s London is a self-guided walk that covers places that William Shakespeare lived and worked in London. Sites visited include The Theatre, The Curtain Theatre, Silver Street, Blackfriars and The Globe theatre. The website contains a downloadable route plan, or it can be used with a mobile device. The route also takes in a few other non-Shakespearean places of interest. The complete walk will take around three hours.

 

Shakespeare Documented online exhibition launched

Shakespeare Documented is a multi-institutional collaboration convened by the Folger Shakespeare Library to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This free online exhibition constitutes the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616). It brings together images and descriptions of all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter.

 

BBC Shakespeare Archive now available to UK schools

The BBC has recently launched the BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource. This new online resource provides schools, colleges and universities across the UK with access to hundreds of BBC television and radio broadcasts of Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets and documentaries about Shakespeare. The material includes the first British televised adaptations of Othello and Henry V, classic interviews with key Shakespearean actors including John Gielgud, Judi Dench and Laurence Olivier, and more than 1000 photographs of Shakespeare productions.

 

 

The Unbelievable Hamlet Discovery

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.107  Friday, 1 April 2016

 

From:        Crystal David <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 14, 2016 at 2:23:49 PM EDT

Subject:    The Unbelievable Hamlet Discovery

 

Published and available as PoD or e-book via my website. I can no longer bear to keep this discovery to myself. It is for the world. 

 

All best

David

 

I was walking through the grounds of the house where Shakespeare lived, New House, in Stratford, in a part of the garden where tourists rarely go, when I tripped and fell full length on the grass. As I lay there, I realized I could see into a broken drain, and inside it was a tiny waterproof bag, containing a manuscript. The bag was lying near the surface, dragged there, I suspect, by rats - there is evidence of chewing on some pages, and some water has got in, for some pages are discoloured. It was a previously unknown quarto edition of Hamlet, in which every word - apart from the character names - began with the letter H.

 

The text is now known to scholarship as the 'H Quarto'. . . . 

 

 

Hamlet Discovery:   pdf Hamlet Discovery text (4.18 MB)

 

 

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