Last minute ideas for celebrating Shakespeare Day

 

shakespeare-daytime405Today marks the 400 anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, but instead of mourning his passing, we are celebrating his life. If you are lucky enough to live in England then you have many Shakespeare events to choose from. There are festivals, parades, live products of his plays etc. Some of us however, live in cultural voids and have to host our own festivities. And because, today is the day, last minute planning may be in order!

Have no fear, I’ve got a list of ways you can salvage the day so that you too can celebrate Shakespeare Day

Pick up a play or a book. As I said earlier in the week, it’s okay to read Shakespeare. Unplug from world and settle in for a day of reading. We all need to step back once in awhile and disconnect; why not step way back into the 17th century and spend the day with Shakespeare? Pick up that one play you’ve always promised yourself you ‘d read, or reread you favorite, and look for things you’ve may have missed the first time around.

A play’s not the thing for you? May I suggest then a book about Shakespeare? James Shapiro’s Contested Will is a great read that looks beyond the man and explores the reasons behind some of the more famous authorship questions. Now is the time to cast aside any doubt as to the man behind the plays. Stephen Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory is another wise choice. It’s one of those rare books that have you wishing you could read it again for the first time.

Explore your movie options. If you’d rather see Shakespeare’s work in action, you’re in luck. Amazon Prime has you covered. Their library is full of may promising productions to choose from. Some of my favorites include the BBC produced plays (though not Timons of Athens, that was a mess and almost as boring as watching paint dry). If you missed the PBS Shakespeare Uncovered series, Amazon offers it for a small fee. I also noticed the movie Bill is out today and is available to rent. But, before you spend any money, it would be wise to see if your local library loans Shakespeare movies. This is a good way to support your library and encourage them to add more plays to their collection. As part of my own celebration I plan on finally watching Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Hamlet. Oh yes, I will have words, words, words on an upcoming post.

If you want to connect with others but find yourself alone, Folger is hosting The Wonder of Will a Shakespeare live event; probably as you are reading this (sorry, this is last minute after all). If you live in the U.S., stop reading and turn on C-SPAN2 Book TV. Here you will find Shakespeare experts and actors talking about his work and what he means to the world.

falstaff

Host a Shakespeare themed party. Quick, call up some friends and invite them over for a last minute gathering. Shakespeare, Not Stirred is a collection of drink recipes inspired by Shakespeare. Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.

If you are like me, and have as part of your Shakespeare library, renaissance cookbooks, now’s the day to pull one out. Shakespeare’s Kitchen may inspire your inner Elizabethan cook. Now’s the time to finally try that Apple and Steak pie or Rose Cake recipe. Why not have friends over for dinner and a movie? Enjoy your inner Falstaff and sing a bawdy song and make your friends merry.

If you find that you just can’t screw up your courage to move beyond the computer just yet, well, have I got a treat for you. Here is collection of Youtube videos to watch, all inspired by Shakespeare!

I am that merry wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon and make him smile

When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,

Neighing in likeness of a filly foal.

And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl

In very likeness of a roasted crab,

And when she drinks, against her lips I bob

And on her withered dewlap pour the ale.

The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale

Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me.

Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,

And “Tailor!” cries, and falls into a cough,

And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,

And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear

A merrier hour was never wasted there.

Works Cited
William Shakespere: Henry IV, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Othello

Celebrating 5 who make every week, Shakespeare Week

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As we get closer to the end of our celebration of Shakespeare Week, I thought now would be a good time to give a shout out to those who celebrate him everyday. I am bound to miss some good folks who dedicate their days to all things Shakespeare, but I wanted to make a list of people and institutions that quickly spring to mind when I think Shakespeare. I applaud them all and want to show some appreciation to their work.

Shakespeare Magazine The online magazine launched on April 23, 2014 and has quickly become a leading source for all things related to Shakespeare; whether you want to just keep up with the latest theater news or read a variety of Bard related topics they have you covered!

One of my favorite articles is an interview with Paul Edmondson titled “Man and Myth” in which he talks about his journey into the world of Shakespeare. If scholarly interviews are not your thing, don’t worry, Shakespeare Magazine loves to devote pages to Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. Do check it out. It’s a free online magazine, but if you find yourself eagerly anticipating the next issue, please support them with a donation.

Shakespeare Geek I follow a lot of blog and love them all, but I have to admit, this one is up there as one of my favorites.

Duane has been blogging about Shakespeare since 2005 and is the author of Hear My Soul Speak : Wedding Quotations from Shakespeare. I own and copy so I can attest to its originality and carefully chosen quotes. But this isn’t the reason to read Shakespeare Geek. Duane is always original and refreshing. You just never know what will spring forth from his mind. What I love most about this blog is how seamlessly Duane relates everyday occurrence to Shakespeare. You can also count on him to come up with silly posts and brilliant ideas on how to center every holiday on a Shakespeare theme. This past April Fool’s remains one of my favorites. We had a great time in Facebook coming up with ways to annoy our co-workers.

Hollow Crown Fans Ever Shakespeare fan with a Twitter handle should follow @HollowCrownFans. This is collaboration between friends that started as a mini fan club for Tom Hiddleston and the Hollow Crown series. They started the hash-tag game #ShakespeareSunday as part of their fan love, yet it quickly grew in popularity. It is now a regular Sunday ritual that most of us who follow HCF don’t dare miss. This above all other social media gatherings has introduced me to some wonderful people I now call friend.

Good Brain Tickle Damn, this is good! What started out as a fun outlet for Mya’s love of Shakespeare has turned her into a Shakespeare superstar! Though these be little comic strips they are fiercely funny and educational. Mya has proven herself to be a true Shakespeare scholar. Twice weekly Mya gives us a small slice of Shakespeare yet the lessons on his work are huge. I swear, this girl is a genius; how many people can use humor to show a deep understanding of Shakespeare? Not many; this is why Mya stands out and is becoming a real shinning star on the Shakespeare stage. One of my favorite strips was her Star Wars Midsummer’s Night Dream series. I dare you not to laugh. Hats of the Mya for being invited to participate in the Folger’s Library 400 Year Shakespeare Anniversary event.

Folger’s Podcast Speaking of Folger, one of my favorite podcast series is hosted by the library titled, Shakespeare Unlimited. The reason it’s titled unlimited is because there is no limit to what they will talk about. The podcast’s them is Shakespeare’s influence on the world as a whole. This podcast shows us that the all the world’s a stage, and Shakespeare a global phenomenon. Whether you are looking for a history lesson on Elizabethan street fighting or how Shakespeare influenced the punk rock scene, Shakespeare Unlimited is the place to be. And because it’s a downloadable podcast, you always get a good seat. And, let’s not forget everything the library does in celebration of Shakespeare.

And now, because it’s Friday, I give you one more list. This time a funny list of my favorite Shakespeare memes. Enjoy!

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I once put this on the cover of a paper I did on Hamlet. My professor said he'd would have given my an A just or making him laugh
I once put this on the cover of a paper I did on Hamlet. My professor said he’d would have given my an A just or making him laugh

Shakesbear

I was once in a class in which a student said, "oh I love Romeo and Juliet. It's such a great poem". I think of her every time I see this.
I was once in a class in which a student said, “oh I love Romeo and Juliet. It’s such a great poem”. I think of her every time I see this.

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I want this on a T-shirt
I want this on a T-shirt

No money went into my purse in the making of this post.