Friday, December 12, 2008

Speaking of Shakespeare...

Here's yet another book on the Bard (shout out to Anonymous!) by Marjorie Garber whose goal it is to prove, in true academic fashion, that “Shakespeare makes modern culture, and modern culture makes Shakespeare.” What ties this in to past discussion, however, is that Ms. Garber points out that "the layman’s temptation to invoke Shakespeare is irresistible: 'The commentator sounds profound and witty; the reader, listener or audience feels gratified and flattered to "get" the reference, and Shakespeare is reconfirmed as the most trenchant and trusted observer of contemporary events since Walter Cronkite.'"

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the book, none of which I wrote:

Macbare, Macbuff and Out Damn Spot are the Macbeth-inspired names of makeup products.

In popular films that have slight debts to “The Tempest,” Ariel has variously been played by Robby the Robot (“Forbidden Planet”) and Wilson the Volleyball (“Cast Away”).

It’s easier to sing, “just like Romeo and Juliet,” as the Detroit doo-wop group the Reflections did in 1964, than “just like Troilus and Cressida.”

Motivational speakers who provide Shakespeare-inspired lessons to captains of industry have described the Welsh forests of “Henry V” as the Silicon Valley of their day. And “while Henry doesn’t have the luxury of a policy-planning staff and off-site strategizing meetings,” a firm called Movers & Shakespeares instructs, “he proves himself a great leader in identifying and then pursuing a clear vision.”

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