KINDLE [The Year of Lear]
Sed below the severed heads of those executed for *the Gunpowder Plot likely would have agreedGiven the increased suspicion after the plot it is surprising on its face *Gunpowder Plot likely would have agreedGiven the increased suspicion after the plot it is surprising on its face Shakespeare would have devoted the latter part of 1606 to writing a seuel to Julius Caesar Although obviously Shakespeare make a living off of history play seuels there are how many parts of Henry 4th history had not treated Antony or Cleopatra well and reminding audiences about a powerful ueen who was beautiful even as she aged was an unlikely topic for a member of The Kings Players But Shakespeare didn t hesitate so Antony and Cleopatra is best seen as a nostalgia play all but wis This book does what I HATE which is presume all sorts of stuff about Shakespeare that is not nown and present it as fact There are so many egregious examples of this here that I was happy to see that
there is available Year Errors Omissions and Unsupported Statements in is available Contested Year Errors Omissions and Unsupported Statements in Shapiro The Year of Lear Shakespeare in 1606 which I read alongside it I had read a good chunk before I discovered this and I was already shaking my head at what seemed to me to be some bizarre statements so I was glad that someone else took Shapiro to task Don t tell me that Shakespeare was present at a certain play on a certain date and then tell me what he thought of it or not only that he bought a book that we have no idea if he ever owned but THE PLACE WHERE HE BOUGHT IT I mean really Also much of this book has nothing to do with Shakespeare it is as it says about the year 1606 in England so I m not really sure who this book is for If your A Seat At The Table: A Novel of Forbidden Choices knowledge of English history is scant it wouldn t mean much to you and if you were well read on the subject this would be stuff you alreadynew I was interviewed a few weeks ago One uestion was If you could be present at any moment in historywhat event would you visit and why My answer at the time was 66 million years ago at the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous where I could witness the Soul Unchained (Sons of Wrath, kind of devastation from a future nuclear war After reading James Shapiro s magnificent The Year of Lear Shakespeare in 1606 I should have said the year 1606 hovering over Shakespeare s shoulder during his most brilliant and creative period You do not need to be a Shakespearean scholar to devour this book but if there is even the slightest hint of ambivalence this book will cure you forever Ten years ago James Shapiro won the Samuel Johnson Prize for his bestseller 1599 A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE1606 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND THE YEAR OF LEAR is a compelling look at a no less extraordinary year in his life The book traces Shakespeare s life and times from the autumn of 1605 when he took an old and anonymous Elizabethan play THE CHRONICLE HISTORY OF KING LEIR and transformed it into his most searing tragedy KING LEAR1606 proved to be an especially grim year for England witnessing the bloody aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot divisions over the Union of England and Scotland and an outbreak of plague But it turned out to be an exceptional one for Shakespeare who before the year was out went on to complete two other great Jacobean tragedies that spoke directly to these fraught times MACBETH and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA15 The Theatre The ferment in the country and King James insistence on an Oath of Allegiance brings religious tensions to the fore in 1606 Anyone refusing to take communion and therefore presumed to be Catholic was fined These matters come very close to William Shakespeare when a member of his family refuses communion in Stratford Upon Avon25 The Gunpowder Plot The impact of the Gunpowder Plot of late 1605 has implications not only for the monarchy and aristocracy but also for the work of the contemporary playwrights including William Shakespeare 35 Plague An outbreak of the plague threatens the livelihood of William Shakespeare when the theatres are closed It also looms close to his home in London 45 Religion The ferment in the country and King James insistence on an Oath of Allegiance brings religious tensions to the fore in 1606 Anyone refusing to take communion and therefore presumed to be Catholic was fined These matters come very close to William Shakespeare when a member of his family refuses communion in Stratford Upon Avon 55 Union King James uest for the union of England and Scotland is not easily resolved SEE ALSOhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb007728hDescription King Lear on Boxing Day 1606 the entertainment offered to King James I and his guests at Whitehall Palace was a new play by William Shakespeare King Lear Four hundred years on Francine Stock and a studio full of guests including actors Fiona Shaw and Oliver Ford Davis scholars Jonathan Bate Richard Dutton Brett Dolman and Tiffany Stern food historian Ivan Day and musicians Passamezzo along with some distinguished contributors from the BBC Archives bring to life every aspect of that momentous opening night. A play about a dividedingdom then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish ing Macbeth He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns Antony and Cleopatra The Year of Lear sheds light on these three great tragedies by placing them in the context of their times while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions For anyone interested in Shakespeare this is an indispensable book. ,
T up my alley Shapiro did excellent
job of transporting me back to 17th centuryof transporting me back to 17th and WarwickThe Shakespeare unfortunately was lost on meThere are two types of people in the world Those that love and enjoy the great bard and those who find him a chore a slog where every sentence has to explained I to my shame am in the latter group My two stars are a reflection of my inability rather than the skill of the author I m going to tackle Bill Bryson s Shakespeare in the new year So all is not lost even #for someone like me the year of lear #someone like me The Year of Lear not an academic book no aspiring assistant professor shooting for tenure would want to hang his career prospects on it as a first or even second book It isn t about how the academy views Shakespeare s late works Shapiro doesn t attack scholarly rivals nor does he break new ground analyzing the plays I Original take on the history of a pivotal British year through the lens of the words of Shakespeare contemporaneous sermons and a few diarists in an era when critical words in a secret notebook were treated as treason James Shapiro a retired Shakespeare professor begins the previous November 5 1605 the exposure of the Gunpowder Plot After the Kingdom first is relieved by the deliverance of the King his family the aristocracy and Parliament from being atomized repercussions soon divide the England It turns out the Catholic plotters used a Papal sanctioned techniue called euivocation that allowed them to lie even under oath Suspicions including of witches and demons soon swept the ingdom All this at a time when King James is seeking to consolidate his grip on the throne as a legitimate Tudor successor through his mother in law and dim the memory of Good ueen Bess He also wants to unite the thrones of England Ireland Scotland and rump France into a single Great Britain as James believed were united by God in his person The national mood found its way into Shakespeare s 1606 trio of plays Macbeth Antony and Cleopatra and King Lear Keep in mind that 1606 also was the year of the King James Bible uite an English language milestone Although Shakespeare starts writing Lear in expectation of Union the play isn t performed until December 26 1606 by which time Parliament had rejected accepting Scotland Given Lear is about dividing a ingdom Shakespeare likely originally intended it as warning against disunion By December it s astounding the play survived because the message received was not to tinker with borders Unsurprisingly the play s brutal ending has been altered continuously since it first was published Lear and Macbeth each includes ample euivocation a word not even in the language much less Shakespeare before 1606 Euivocation is the signature device of Macbeth it makes the dialogue a mentally exhausting experience for most playgoers The Sisters advice is the most famous euivocation though nearly every line of Macbeth is euivocal Still no one can forget Macbeth s astonishment when Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane in the form of cut branches and Macbeth is attacked though safe from any man of woman born Macduff had a caesarean birtheuivocation of the fiendThat lies like the truthLady Macbeth euivocates plenty on her own even MacduffAlso common to Lear and Macbeth are uotes from books about demonic possession most obviously Macbeth s Three Sisters Shapiro traces this to where the blame for evil layAfter November 1605 the dynamic of blaming human frailties shifted Perhaps it was the shear magnitude of the threatened destruction from the vault below Parliament that led to the demonization of the plot In the first official sermon after Guy Fawkes was caught William Barlow had spoken of a fiery massacre that didn t occur of course indled and sent from the infernal pit By the time we get to young John Milton s poems on the Gunpowder Plot human responsibility hardly figures the focus almost exclusively on evil s satanic origins The increasing weight given to diabolical forces suggests that the executions at St Paul s and Westminster that stretched from late January into early May of 1606 served in part as a Wilhelm Van Gloeden kind of public exorcism meant to rid theingdom of that devilish evil A RITE RECALLED AND SYMBOLICALLY REENACTED EVERY FIFTH OF NOVEMBER Emphasis addedShapiro makes a similar connection laterThough no destructive attack took place on the Fifth of November something had changed irrecoverably in the culture a change registered in Macbeth Its moment of creation may partly explain why Macbeth s ending feels so unsatisfying its hasty restoration of order so flimsy and inadeuate NOfP note Shakespeare HAD just Samotny rejs OPTY killed off a Scottish King perhaps it was a reuirement of the royal censor Social historians tend to fix 1615 as the moment when the great hopes for King James s reign ended Literary historians would probably locate the end of high hopes for James s reign as early as the spring of 1606 and Londoners who saw Macbeth and pas. E previous autumn King Lear then writing two other great tragedies Macbeth and Antony and CleopatraIt was a memorable year in England as well and a grim one in the aftermath of a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry that had been uncovered at the last hour The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up theing and royal family along with the nation’s political and religious leadership The aborted plot renewed anti Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the LEGO Legends of Chima: Wolves and Crocodiles (Activity Book kingdomIt was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear.