History WMG / WilliamShakespeare

12th Jun '16 8:55:45 PM PaulA
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*** Plus Marlowe wrote plays which had the same basic plots and themes of some of Shakespeare's plays, unnecessary duplication if he was also Shakespeare, and also dramatically different ideas about people in the world. Take Marlowe's "The Jew of Malta", his version of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". Marlowe's Jew, Barabas (a clear reference to the Bible's "Barrabas" who was released in place of Jesus) is a mustache-twirling one-dimensional melodrama villain who delights in violating his own religion, and at one point poisons an entire convent of nuns '''which includes his own daughter'''. Shakespeare's Shylock gets one of the more famous sympathy-gathering monologues of all time--"If you prick us, do we not bleed?"--as well as being a devout Jew right up to the point where he is forced to convert or be executed.

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*** Plus Marlowe wrote plays which had the same basic plots and themes of some of Shakespeare's plays, unnecessary duplication if he was also Shakespeare, and also dramatically different ideas about people in the world. Take Marlowe's "The Jew of Malta", "Theatre/TheJewOfMalta", his version of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". Marlowe's Jew, Barabas (a clear reference to the Bible's "Barrabas" who was released in place of Jesus) is a mustache-twirling one-dimensional melodrama villain who delights in violating his own religion, and at one point poisons an entire convent of nuns '''which includes his own daughter'''. Shakespeare's Shylock gets one of the more famous sympathy-gathering monologues of all time--"If you prick us, do we not bleed?"--as well as being a devout Jew right up to the point where he is forced to convert or be executed.
21st Jan '16 9:12:24 AM Jhonny
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* I mean, think about it. Back in those days, England while not yet at the center of a vast multicontinental empire ''did'' engage in trade with most of the then known world. We have no reason to doubt that the Romans already brought black people to England (be it slave or free) and we certainly know that at no point where black people unknown in medieval or early modern Europe. And if you read Sonnet 130, you can indeed get an idea that the woman may in fact be black. "If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head" - that does not sound like "white people" hair to me. So why has this not been mentioned in most analysis? Well PoliticalCorrectHistory of course.

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* I mean, think about it. Back in those days, England while not yet at the center of a vast multicontinental empire ''did'' engage in trade with most of the then known world. We have no reason to doubt that the Romans already brought black people to England (be it slave or free) and we certainly know that at no point where black people unknown in medieval or early modern Europe. And if you read Sonnet 130, you can indeed get an idea that the woman may in fact be black. "If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head" - that does not sound like "white people" hair to me. So why has this not been mentioned in most analysis? Well PoliticalCorrectHistory PoliticallyCorrectHistory of course.
21st Jan '16 9:11:26 AM Jhonny
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[[WMG: The "Dark Lady" is actually (based on) a real woman of recent African descent]]
*I mean, think about it. Back in those days, England while not yet at the center of a vast multicontinental empire ''did'' engage in trade with most of the then known world. We have no reason to doubt that the Romans already brought black people to England (be it slave or free) and we certainly know that at no point where black people unknown in medieval or early modern Europe. And if you read Sonnet 130, you can indeed get an idea that the woman may in fact be black. "If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head" - that does not sound like "white people" hair to me. So why has this not been mentioned in most analysis? Well PoliticalCorrectHistory of course.
21st Jan '16 9:02:22 AM Jhonny
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Also, and yes this introduces yet more WildMassGuessing, there are the "lost years" for which we have exactly zilch evidence as to where Shakespeare was and what he was doing. He may well have traveled Europe, sailed the sea or sat at home and diddled his fingers during that time. And of course any things that appear in his works that cannot be explained by what we ''know'' about Shakespeare (which is preciously little) may be explained by what we ''don't know'' about him

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Also, *Also, and yes this introduces yet more WildMassGuessing, there are the "lost years" for which we have exactly zilch evidence as to where Shakespeare was and what he was doing. He may well have traveled Europe, sailed the sea or sat at home and diddled his fingers during that time. And of course any things that appear in his works that cannot be explained by what we ''know'' about Shakespeare (which is preciously little) may be explained by what we ''don't know'' about him
21st Jan '16 8:40:22 AM Jhonny
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First of all, Shakespeare's works don't indicate a ''very'' educated gentleman, he does get a lot of stuff horribly wrong ("seacoast of Bohemia" anybody?) and some of the stuff he does get right might well have been AccidentallyAccurate. He also throws in a lot of lowbrow humor, which is in full consistency with the lowbrow entertainment theater was at that time considered to be. On the other hand, his vocabulary is extraordinarily large and he does show passing knowledge of at least some of the classics, so it is likely that whoever wrote Shakespeare had at least some education. However, some scholars (I forgot who) have mentioned a book that was basically "the classics for dummies" that was rather popular in Shakespeare's time and noted that Shakespeare never or hardly ever shows knowledge that could not be gotten from this book.
Than there is the question of "why"? Why would someone assume the identity of a merchant's son from Stratford upon Avon to write theater?

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First *First of all, Shakespeare's works don't indicate a ''very'' educated gentleman, he does get a lot of stuff horribly wrong ("seacoast of Bohemia" anybody?) and some of the stuff he does get right might well have been AccidentallyAccurate. He also throws in a lot of lowbrow humor, which is in full consistency with the lowbrow entertainment theater was at that time considered to be. On the other hand, his vocabulary is extraordinarily large and he does show passing knowledge of at least some of the classics, so it is likely that whoever wrote Shakespeare had at least some education. However, some scholars (I forgot who) have mentioned a book that was basically "the classics for dummies" that was rather popular in Shakespeare's time and noted that Shakespeare never or hardly ever shows knowledge that could not be gotten from this book.
Than *Than there is the question of "why"? Why would someone assume the identity of a merchant's son from Stratford upon Avon to write theater?



And finally, the argument of him not being well attested in contemporary sources... Well none of his contemporaries of similar birth and means is. Shakespeare was not considered the greatest playwright of even ''his'' time by contemporaries...

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And *And finally, the argument of him not being well attested in contemporary sources... Well none of his contemporaries of similar birth and means is. Shakespeare was not considered the greatest playwright of even ''his'' time by contemporaries...
21st Jan '16 8:38:44 AM Jhonny
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to:

*Actually to address some of the points raised here...
First of all, Shakespeare's works don't indicate a ''very'' educated gentleman, he does get a lot of stuff horribly wrong ("seacoast of Bohemia" anybody?) and some of the stuff he does get right might well have been AccidentallyAccurate. He also throws in a lot of lowbrow humor, which is in full consistency with the lowbrow entertainment theater was at that time considered to be. On the other hand, his vocabulary is extraordinarily large and he does show passing knowledge of at least some of the classics, so it is likely that whoever wrote Shakespeare had at least some education. However, some scholars (I forgot who) have mentioned a book that was basically "the classics for dummies" that was rather popular in Shakespeare's time and noted that Shakespeare never or hardly ever shows knowledge that could not be gotten from this book.
Than there is the question of "why"? Why would someone assume the identity of a merchant's son from Stratford upon Avon to write theater?
Also, and yes this introduces yet more WildMassGuessing, there are the "lost years" for which we have exactly zilch evidence as to where Shakespeare was and what he was doing. He may well have traveled Europe, sailed the sea or sat at home and diddled his fingers during that time. And of course any things that appear in his works that cannot be explained by what we ''know'' about Shakespeare (which is preciously little) may be explained by what we ''don't know'' about him
And finally, the argument of him not being well attested in contemporary sources... Well none of his contemporaries of similar birth and means is. Shakespeare was not considered the greatest playwright of even ''his'' time by contemporaries...
20th Nov '15 12:36:15 AM SeptimusHeap
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19th Nov '15 7:50:21 PM PaulA
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[[index]]
%%* WMG/AllsWellThatEndsWell
%%* WMG/AntonyAndCleopatra
* WMG/AsYouLikeIt
%%* WMG/TheComedyOfErrors
%%* WMG/{{Coriolanus}}
* WMG/{{Cymbeline}}
* WMG/{{Hamlet}}
%%* WMG/HenryIVPart1
%%* WMG/HenryIVPart2
%%* WMG/HenryV
%%* WMG/HenryVIPart1
%%* WMG/HenryVIPart2
%%* WMG/HenryVIPart3
%%* WMG/HenryVIII
* WMG/JuliusCaesar
%%* WMG/KingJohn
%%* WMG/KingLear
* WMG/LovesLaboursLost
* WMG/{{Macbeth}}
* WMG/MeasureForMeasure
* WMG/TheMerchantOfVenice
%%* WMG/TheMerryWivesOfWindsor
%%* WMG/AMidsummerNightsDream
* WMG/MuchAdoAboutNothing
* WMG/{{Othello}}
%%* WMG/PericlesPrinceOfTyre
%%* WMG/RichardII
* WMG/RichardIII
* WMG/RomeoAndJuliet
* WMG/TheTamingOfTheShrew
%%* WMG/TheTempest
%%* WMG/TimonOfAthens
%%* WMG/TitusAndronicus
%%* WMG/TroilusAndCressida
%%* WMG/TwelfthNight
%%* WMG/TwoGentlemenOfVerona
%%* WMG/TheTwoNobleKinsmen
%%* WMG/TheWintersTale
[[/index]]
----



[[WMG: Mercutio is in love with Romeo.]]
He seems to be jealous of Romeo and Juliet's relationship, and he is 'extremely' close to Romeo.
* There's one hole in your theory, which is that Mercutio never had a clue Romeo and Juliet were even dating. Romeo and ''Rosalind,'' Mercutio openly and constantly laughs at.

[[WMG: Hamlet's insanity is real and is the result of a sublimated Oedipal complex.]]
[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040416/ Oops, it looks like this theory's not so wild after all.]]



[[WMG: Horatio killed everybody.]]
We see the events of ''Hamlet'' from Horatio's perspective. He is in every important scene and has off-stage events reported to him. He promises to tell Fortinbras the story of how Claudius, Gertrude, Hamlet, Laertes, Ophelia, Polonius, [[RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]] wound up dead. So he makes up an odd story involving ghosts, dueling with poisoned swords, mistaken identity and insanity to cover up that he's an AxCrazy maniac. For all we know, Horatio even murdered Yorick when he was a boy.
* I can see where this comes from, but Shakespeare isn't one for ambiguous endings; if something that dramatic was true in-play, he would have told us that somehow. Or maybe it's in a lost epilogue somewhere...

[[WMG: Horatio murdered everyone because he was Fortinbras's BrainwashedAndCrazy puppet.]]
Notice how he came in right when King Claudius was trying to appeal peace with Norway.

[[WMG: Hamlet knew Yorick in a biblical sense.]]
Alas, poor Yorick! I ''knew'' him, Horatio!
* He hath borne me on his back a thousand times.
* Which is a bit [[{{Squick}} squicky]], considering the age difference.
* It's doubtful that Hamlet would be so eager to tell Horatio he was having sex with Yorick.
** Which opens up the debate on whether Hamlet and ''Horatio'' are having a torrid affair...
*** Yes.
** Horatio was a pagan, so he would have been cool. (Interesting, in light of Ophelia.)
** It would've been old news by then, anyway.
* On a more serious note, the joke might be that "knew" also meant "recognized." Much of the scene revolves around the idea that all skulls are equal and indistinguishable in death.

[[WMG: Hamlet knew everyone in the cemetery in a biblical sense.]]
Except Ophelia.

[[WMG: Ophelia is Pregnant]]
[[http://www.craftyscreenwriting.com/ophelia.html Seen here]], but also just type in 'Ophelia Pregnant' in a search engine and multiple results (20 300 from Ask.com) will show up.

[[WMG:Iago does not exist]]
He's the incarnation of '''that''' voice within every person's mind, which is why it's so easy for him to trick everyone into believing what he says. He's not saying it -- they're thinking it. Emilia is just a klepto with self-esteem issues; Othello is suffering from paranoia (or, if you hold that his seizures are real, he's also having epileptic hallucinations); Roderigo is generally unstable; Cassio has a serious drinking problem... the list goes on. Iago is just an excuse for their own bad behaviour. [[spoiler:Killing Desdemona]] effectively snaps our hero out of this funk, leading him to [[spoiler:kill Iago]] and thus free himself from the toxic influence of his own self-hatred. Of course, [[spoiler:all he manages to do is convert it into soul-crushing angst (Emilia in her death scene) that makes him take his own life to 'follow' his lover]], but still.
** FridgeBrilliance!

[[WMG: Othello suffers from MPD, and Iago is the other personality.]]
Since the story is told mostly from Iago's point of view, the whole thing is a severe case of UnreliableNarrator.

[[WMG: Everyone in ''Othello'' is in the psych ward.]]
Iago started out as a delusion of one of the patients; the rest ran with it, editing him into their own personal safety net. "As long as it's Iago's fault, it's not mine." When each of the characters 'die' in the story, they've been released -- either cured or on their way to recovery. Othello is released when he [[spoiler:kills 'his' Iago]].
* Uhhhh, guys. Iago [[spoiler: never died. He was captured, and it's strongly suggested he'll be tortured]].

[[WMG: Iago [[spoiler:did die.]]]]
This is made explicit in the Laurence Fishburne version of ''Othello'' (in which Kenneth Branagh plays Iago.)
* Except not really; [[spoiler: he doesn't die onscreen, and it's never clearly shown whose bodies are dumped into the ocean. It could just as easily be Desdemona and Othello being tossed overboard.]]

[[WMG: Claudius is Hamlet's biological father]]
Doesn't it seem odd that Gertrude willingly leaped right into bed with her husband's brother Claudius once Hamlet Senior kicked the bucket? Indeed, the Gravedigger scene informs us that Hamlet was born the same day that Hamlet, Sr. killed Fortinbras, Sr. Old Hamlet was out on military campaigns all the time. It's hardly a stretch to think that Gertrude fooled around with Claudius behind her husband's back. Claudius himself knows that Hamlet is his son, which is why he initially tries to be friends with him and insists that he remain at Elsinore rather than return to France for school. Indeed, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation all but makes this assertion. Branagh bears a much greater resemblance to Derek Jacobi than {{BRIAN BLESSED}}, and the scene where Claudius orders Hamlet's murder makes Claudius seem genuinely reluctant to do so.
* Extra context for those scenes where he basically calls his mother a whore.

[[WMG: Claudius is Laertes's biological father]]
Suggested in the Mel Gibson ''Hamlet.''

[[WMG: Benvolio killed Tybalt's father.]]
In ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', Tybalt Capulet is introduced as a volatile, violent person who loathes the Montagues even more than his kinsmen do. This suggests that he has a personal motive for hating Montagues; even Boss Capulet himself has to restrain him from murdering Romeo at the party. This motive is personal enough.

This interpretation is good because it gives Tybalt a deeper motive and makes his character more understandable.

* But if Benvolio was the one who killed Tybalt's father, why does Tybalt completely ignore Benvolio both at the party and later in Act III? Tybalt seems far more interested in going after the higher ranking members of the Montague family, such as Romeo, and attacks Benvolio only when he doesn't have a better target available.
* Tybalt cares more about killing Romeo than Benvolio. He does claim to hate Benvolio--"As I hate hell, all Montagues and thee"--but that seems like a pretty impersonal hatred. He hates Benvolio simply because he hates all the Montagues, and he hates Romeo still more. I think it's far more likely that one of the other Montagues killed Tybalt's father, and now Tybalt hates the whole lot of them. (Perhaps the death of Tybalt's father started the feud?)
** Besides, Benvolio is young (he seems to be about Romeo's age), and he's also a peace-loving and gentle guy. I doubt that he's the type who would have killed Tybalt's father--or even have been able to--and if he had, I'm sure Escalus wouldn't have allowed him to simply go on living in Verona.

[[WMG: The play "Romeo and Juliet" is a {{fanfiction}} written by Shakespeare.]]
Mercutio is the main character of another work of fiction, possibly a high school dramedy. He is paired with Juliet in canon. Romeo is his sidekick and is canonically paired with Rosaline. Shakespeare ships Romeo/Juliet, and the play is his Medieval AU fanfic.

This would explain why Rosaline is instantly put on a bus while Romeo and Juliet fall in "true love" instantly. It also explains why the plot seems so rushed and why Romeo and Juliet are "so in love" that they get married within two days of meeting each other. Shakespeare is a rabid shipper and an awful writer.

This would also explain why they're only fourteen (well, Juliet is). Shakespeare probably set the fic in Renaissance Italy so that he could get away with having highschool-aged characters getting married.

Alas, the work this is a fanfic ''of'' was lost. Manuscript preservation was not as high a priority back then as it is now.
* You know, that explains the Queen Mab sequence really well. It smacks of fanfic: PurpleProse, excessive length, deep emotional significance, and no point whatsoever to the actual story.

[[WMG: ''Macbeth'' was a carefully orchestrated plot by Banquo...]]
...Created to put his family in the seat of power without dirtying his hands. What he didn't gamble on was Macbeth going as far as to kill him; but he found that this strengthened his plans rather than ruining them.
* Apparently, this isn't too far off from what happened in real life. Banquo was an accomplice in Macbeth's plot but Shakespeare made him a good guy because he was an ancestor of King James.
** Well, in the chronicles Shakespeare was using, yes. Not so much real life, since Banquo probably didn't exist - "Fleance" is based on Flaald of Dol, who was actually a Breton who migrated to Scotland. Flaald's real father almost certainly never met Macbeth.

[[WMG: ''Macbeth'' was a carefully orchestrated plot by Malcolm...]]
...Created to put Malcolm into power. Not only does it get his father out of the way more quickly, but it puts him into power in the most heroic way possible. He bribes three scary-looking old ladies to give a cryptic message to Macbeth and has an agent on the battlefield tell them that the Thane of Cawdor has died.

Also, his speech to Macduff about how evil he is? It's actually a SarcasticConfession, not a SecretTestOfCharacter.

[[WMG: ''Macbeth'' was a carefully orchestrated plot by Lady Macbeth...]]
...who's also one of the 3 witches. Along with her 2 cohorts, Lady Macbeth implanted the thought of becoming king in Macbeth's head, involving him in a plan that was originally her own to steal the crown and vindicate her master, Hecate (or maybe just whatever witch religion-thing she and her other witches are a part of). Why else would she include both of Duncan's guards as the ones to take the blame, when only 1 is necessary? Obviously, that was added so Macbeth would think it's all about him, but the plan was originally independent of Macbeth.

Not to mention, at one point, she invokes "spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts" to fill her "from the crown to the toe topful/ Of direst cruelty!" before Duncan arrives. Now, who do we know who invokes dark spirits?!

Actually, she may be calling for another type of spirits. I.E., whiskey.

[[WMG: ''Macbeth'' was a carefully orchestrated plot by Macduff...]]
...to prevent Macbeth from becoming King of Scotland. Essentially, he kills Macbeth so that Malcolm can be King.
* Isn't this canon?

[[WMG: ''Macbeth'' was a carefully orchestrated plot by Macbeth himself...]]
...to become king and get overthrown. He kills Duncan, thus becoming king, but he is overthrown by Macduff because Malcolm is the true heir to the throne.

[[WMG: Cymbeline was written by Ben Jonson as a Shakespeare parody.]]
''Cymbeline'' is full of [[ShoutOut allusions]] to Shakespeare's other, more legendary plays. The play is all right, but not Shakespeare good -- it's a little too educated, like Jonson himself. Jonson was pals with Shakespeare (and defended him often), but considered himself a genius and Shakespeare a hack (he often heckled Shakespeare's plays). Cymbeline comes off as a StealthParody.
* Alternately, Shakespeare could have written ''Cymbeline'' as a [[SelfDeprecation parody of his own work]], perhaps to placate Ben.

[[WMG: Somebody lost the ending to ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew''.]]
Originally, it cleared up [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse what happened to Sly]].
* That is actually what happened. Shakespeare snipped out the original ending, in which Sly, confident that he knows 'How to Tame a Shrew', goes to practice Petruchio's method on his wife and gets sorely beaten for it. This was probably cut because Shakespeare's creditors doubted there was a market for a women-sympathetic ending.

[[WMG: The part of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' where Hecate appears was added later by another playwright.]]
That scene sucks compared to the rest of the play. Note that many Shakespeare scholars argue this theory.
* The scene's quality is all a matter of opinion. Hecate's importance as classical goddess of Witches would have been better known to the students in Shakespeare's contemporary audience, who found witch scenes very important - and besides, King James, who the play would likely have been written to please, would enjoy the idea of witchcraft having a very visible structure of authority - imagine an author during Bush's Presidency fitting Deimos (Greek God whose name means 'Terror') into a comic book as the leader of a gang of terrorists.
* The scene is usually cut by most modern Shakespeare directors to avoid having to cut other, slightly more important parts of "Macbeth." This has resulted in an unjustified impression that the scene itself is not very good.
** Plus, the scene coupled with Lennox's dialogue afterwards allows a small breather between Macbeth announcing he'll see the Witches and his visiting the Witches, allowing Shakespeare to build up the tension before the meeting.
* The songs mentioned in the scenes are confirmed to have been written by another playwright, for use in the plays he wrote about Hecate. These plays were highly popular, so it's safe to say that, once he got his hands on Macbeth, he inserted Hecate because she was an audience favorite and threw in a few witch songs he'd already written.
** Of course, due to the near absence of copyrights, coupled with Shakespeare borrowing so much from other authors, it is a difficult claim to make that Shakespeare didn't just add in some other author's songs into his original play.

[[WMG: ExecutiveMeddling forced Shakespeare to put Hecate in Theatre/{{Macbeth}}]]
He used StylisticSuck in the hopes it would be taken out.
* Again, the scene is usually cut by most modern Shakespeare directors to avoid having to cut other, slightly more important parts of "Macbeth." This has resulted in an unjustified impression that the scene itself is not very good.

[[WMG: Hamlet is Hamnet]]
Hamlet is close enough to his father to hate his mother when he dies. Shakespeare's supposed to have been recovering from the loss of his similarly named son when he wrote his adaption of the Amleth legend and probably hated his wife, what with his whole moving-to-London thing. What if at least part of Hamlet's character is what Shakespeare wished had happened if he'd died first (you know, aside from the poisoned daggers, &c.)?
* There's no record of Shakespeare going home for his son's funeral, and we know for a fact that his daughters were illiterate. Not exactly the picture of a loving father who'd write a play in his grief to honor his dead son.

[[WMG: ''Romeo and Juliet'' was a [[BlackComedy Dark Parody.]]]]
First of all, ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' was written before R&J and has as a major theme that young love is foolish. This is also pointed out by several characters in ''Romeo and Juliet''; they tell Romeo that he's being stupid thinking that he is truly in love with a girl he only met a few days before. Mercutio made fun of him for being in love with Rosaline, whom Romeo has never really talked to, right when Romeo decides, "Oh no, I don't love Rosaline anymore. I love Juliet!"

Also, there is the famous line from ''Julius Caesar'' (another play that predates ''Romeo and Juliet'') - "The fault... is not in our stars, But in ourselves..." But Romeo blames ''all'' his screw-ups on the stars. He kills both Tybalt and Paris, and then whines about how '''his killing them''' is the stars' fault.

** ''Julius Caesar'' was written several years after ''Romeo and Juliet'', soon before ''Hamlet''. Also, the story of "Romeo and Juliet" predates Shakespeare.

** Also, it is very easy (when you do the RESEARCH) to find that "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was NOT written before "Romeo and Juliet" - the dialogue of "Pyramus and Thisbe" and the action of it are Shakespeare's own self-parody. Even direct lines are connected - Juliet's "O happy dagger" turned to Thisbe/Flute's "Come, trusty sword".

[[WMG: Shakespeare set ''Measure For Measure'' in Vienna because he thought it was in Italy.]]
To begin with, no other Shakespearean play is set in a Teutonic country (except perhaps ''A Winter's Tale'', of which more.) Bohemia, where the Holy Roman Emperor (i.e., the German emperor) did hold court, ''is'' the setting of ''A Winter's Tale'', but it was actually a Slavic country (the modern Czech Republic), not a German one. However, MANY of S.'s plays are set in Italy, particularly the comedies: ''The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, A Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, etc.''
* Second, S. made a number of elementary geographical mistakes in his plays -- one of the most famous (it was mocked by Ben Jonson) being that he had characters in ''The Winter's Tale'' shipwrecked on the coast of Bohemia. That's right -- shipwrecked on the coast of a landlocked country. Furthermore, in ''Two Gentlemen'' Valentine travels from Verona to Milan ''via'' ship. Yup -- both landlocked again.[[note]] It was apparently possible to sail from one to the other via canal, but Shakespeare's language suggests he was thinking about actual sailing ships, not canal boats.[[/note]] In the early play ''King John'' a Duke of Austria does appear -- called "Lymoges" by the playwright, who was apparently not aware that UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionheart's enemies Ademar V, Viscount of Limoges (in west-central France) and Leopold V, Duke of Austria, ruled territors some 950 miles apart.
* Third, the nomenclature of ''Measure For Measure'' consists of common English names, like Froth, Elbow, and Mistress Overdone; classical names like Escalus and Pompey; and ''Italian'' names like Vincentio (the Duke), Isabella, Claudio, Juliet, Angelo, Mariana, and Lucio -- and not one single German name!
* Finally, Shakespeare makes none of the two usual Jacobean jokes about the Germans -- the bagginess of their pants (a joke which he ''does'' make about "Austria" in ''King John'') nor even the ancient, universal, and certainly highly appropriate for ''Measure For Measure'' one about their drunkenness (a joke which he ''does'' make about the Duke of Saxony's nephew in ''Merchant of Venice''). Obviously, ol' Will couldn't tell the difference between Vienna and Verona, and proceeded accordingly.
* This makes a ton of sense.
* Of course, Shakespeare's Genius is evident in the fact that most of the people saying he knew nothing about geography apparently know very little about Shakespearean '''''contemporary''''' geography.
*** For starters, the coastline of Bohemia. The extent of a country's borders, at that time and even now, is not solely determined by pure geography. Today we talk of, for example, "U.S. Soil" in terms of U.S. embassies, even though the ground they stand on is clearly a part of some other country, because of legal fictions used today and in Shakespeare's time. The same is true of the coastline of Bohemia: the Bohemian Empire once extended to the ocean (under King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor Rudolf II]], from 15751608, '''the period of Shakespeare'''), even though Bohemia itself has no coastline. Thus a Shakespearean contemporary would know of a "Bohemian" coastline that existed from 1575 to 1608, in spite of the fact that Bohemia itself had no coastline.
*** Next, getting from Milan to the ocean via boat. Some have made the error of assuming that Italy's canals were small enough that large boats could not make their way up its canal system. [[http://www.gwu.edu/~ieresgwu/assets/docs/CanalsofMilan.pdf The Grand Canal]], still in existence today, shows that quite large ships could make their way deep "inland" into Italy. Shakespeare's extensive sailing knowledge and sailing language does not preclude the use of large canal boats used to get to the ocean sailing ships, that then wreck on distant shores.

[[WMG: Hamlet knows he's in a play.]]
At least by Act 5 he does. Hamlet is constantly making metatheatrical references-- to the practices common in Elizabethan theatre in general and to the Globe specifically. When he gets picked up by the pirates, he realizes what an obvious plot device it is (and it is-- Shakespeare uses it in ''Pericles'' as well)-- and he's GenreSavvy enough already for that to clue him in that he's a character in a play. This explains why he's so calm about facing the duel in Act 5-- he knows how it's going to end already.



See above. They're obvious plot devices in both plays, and in both plays random characters know them. Clearly they travel around a lot, as their express purpose is to transport characters to the next location in the plot.

to:

See above. They're obvious plot devices in both plays, and in both plays random characters know them. Clearly they travel around a lot, as their express purpose is to transport characters to the next location in the plot.



[[WMG: ''Hamlet'' is a flashback.]]
Horatio is the narrator. He's in the first and last scenes, and in between he's in a lot of scenes but does almost nothing but observe. Hamlet tells him everything, and he's unobtrusive enough to have observed other scenes without being noticed, so that accounts for the scenes that he's not in. In his last speech to Fortinbras, he says: "Give order that these bodies high on a stage be placed to the view, and let me speak to the yet unknowing world how these things came about." That's another metatheatrical reference-- the bodies ''are'' on a stage. Horatio has just finished narrating the entire tale to Fortinbras and this speech is where the flashback comes full circle.
* Addendum to this theory: That speech is a prologue, and as soon as they get offstage the entire play starts again. ''This'' is why Hamlet isn't bothered by death after realizing that he's in a play-- see two entries up-- because he knows everything will reset next time the play starts.
* Which, if this were actually staged, would give Horatio the first and last lines of the play. It would open with him surrounded by bodies saying, "Why does the drum come hither?" and end with his previous line of, "GoodnightSweetPrince..."

[[WMG: Lady Anne isn't beautiful.]]
That's why Richard's flattery is so effective. She falls for his seduction because she's completely thrown off guard by it. (This also explains why she appears initally skeptical of her "beauty's" power over him.)



[[WMG: [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Lady Macbeth]] was possessed by the witches and not in control of her actions.]]
Notice how she seems to swing widly from fear to control. She also has a "spot" which in those days was believed to be a symbol of evil possession by the devil. Near the beginning of the play she asks evil spirts to give her strenth. The witches used her to make sure Macbeth would kill Duncan and become evil. Her SanitySlippage was her after she was released from being possessed and realizing what she had done.

[[WMG: The "pound of flesh" bargain in ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' is the result of Shylock and Antonio's dueling {{plan}}s]]
Shylock wants to either kill Antonio or run him out of Venice so that he can conduct business without Antonio's interference; he loses nothing by having the debt repaid. Antonio is already in debt (other creditors are mentioned in 3.1), and therefore will not be able to pay the debt even if his ships succeed. He's depressed and thinks that the best solution is to take the deal and hopefully die in Bassanio's arms. Then Jessica elopes, Bassanio gets married and everything goes pear-shaped; Shylock winds up motivated by revenge, not economics, and Portia feels compelled to come to the rescue.



[[WMG: Portia was trying to help Bassanio cheat.]]
Listen to the song that she arranges to have play to "help him think" while he's trying to pick a casket:
--> Tell me where is fancy ''bred''
--> Or in the heart, or in the ''head''
--> How begat, how nourish-''ed''
Totally wouldn't put it past her.
* There's actually been a ''lot'' of scholarly debate on this one.



[[WMG: Old Gobbo had an affair with Shylock's wife, Leah, and therefore may be the father of Jessica.]]
Launcelot ''does'' hint that his father was a cheater, and Jessica is described as not looking or acting anything like Shylock. Years ago, Old Gobbo (then Young Gobbo) worked for young Shylock and his young, pretty wife. The reason Launcelot has a job with Shylock is that Shylock ''had'' to hire him because of past history--his former servant came knocking on his door and begged him to take in his son.

Launcelot either knows Jessica to be his half-sister or merely suspects. Either way, his jokes about Shylock not really being her father have a level of truth, and are meant to open her eyes to the possibility.

Shylock also suspects this, but he's in denial. This explains a lot of his actions--his furious insistence that "my daughter is my flesh and my blood", and his pain at the loss of the ring. (He'd be upset either way, of course, but think of it like this...he suspected all along that his wife, who he loved, never really loved him, and [[TearJerker now it turns out that his daughter, who might not even be his daughter, doesn't love him either.)]]
* There are similarities between "Merchant of Venice" and Marlowe's play "The Jew Of Malta". One such similarity takes the concept of "daughter by another man" speculation a bit further, by having Barabas (the titular "Jew of Malta") poisoning an entire convent, in which his daughter now resides. Of course, this would imply that Barabas was revenging himself and not merely evil, which goes against Marlowe's concept of Barabas as a mustache-twirling one-dimensional melodrama villain.



[[WMG: Hamlet didn't know Yorick at all.]]
In his angst and near-lunacy, Hamlet gives an eloquent speech about the happiness of his youth...personified as a man he never even met. This represents the fact that Hamlet's youth probably wasn't as good as he thinks it was (after all, his mother seems to have loved his uncle all along, not to mention all that royal stress). With his father gone, Hamlet mentally rewrites his past: he had the best father ever born, the most loving mother, and, of course, the funniest and most loyal court jester.

[[WMG: Launcelot only worked for Shylock on the Jewish Sabbath.]]
In sixteenth century Venice, Jews were forbidden by law from having Christian servants. The legal exception was the Sabbath Day, when the Jews couldn't work themselves (day of rest, and all that) and had no choice but to hire Christians to do their work for them, even down to little things like lighting the fires.

This helps to explain why Shylock is so eager to get rid of Launcelot. All [[AllJewsAreCheapskates stereotypes]] aside, who would want to feed, clothe and shelter someone who only worked one day a week?



[[WMG: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were innocent.]]
They didn't know the contents of the letter they were delivering. They were roped into Claudius' schemes because they genuinely wanted to help their poor mad friend.
* [[GallowsHumor Heh heh, "roped" ...]]
** While they didn't know the contents of the letter, they were hired by Claudius to spy on Hamlet, a detail they hide so unskillfully that Hamlet picks up on it himself. So "innocent" is not the word I would use to describe them.

[[WMG: Romeo and Juliet died because Mercutio [[DyingCurse cursed their families]].]]
Up to that point, if Romeo had just left well enough alone, Tybalt would have been the only one in trouble. The ''second'' that Mercutio finishes his "plague a' both your houses" rant and gets dragged offstage to die, Romeo begins to muse that he shouldn't have been such a pacifist, and by the time Tybalt returns ''(very'' conveniently, one might say) he's ready to run him through--which he ''instantly'' regrets doing.

Because of this sudden and somewhat out-of-character piece of violence (isn't Tybalt supposed to be an expert swordfighter? Couldn't he have dealt with Romeo, who ''never'' involves himself in the fighting?), Romeo is banished, setting fire to a chain of events that end with the parents discovering Romeo and Juliet lying dead. If killing off the respective only children of the FeudingFamilies--and killing them with ''love'', the thing Mercutio despises most--wasn't the worst punishment a vengeful spirit could have devised, I don't know what was. (Plus, Tybalt, Mercutio's murderer and related by marriage to the Capulets, gets killed first--and didn't Mercutio say "your houses!" ''[[RuleOfThree three]]'' times?)

Those who believe that Mercutio has a connection to the supernatural ("Queen Mab", anyone?) should find this theory especially attractive.



[[WMG: Lord Capulet's fiancé started the feud by marrying his friend Lord Montague instead.]]
[[http://themasterofverona.typepad.com/the_master_of_verona/the-origin-of-the-capuletmontague-feud.html This]] explains it all.

[[WMG: Mercutio is in love with Juliet.]]
People tend to assume that it's Romeo he's in love with, but he appears to be straight. The Arthur Brook poem "Romeus and Juliet", which Shakespeare copied almost detail for detail, doesn't feature Mercutio the way the play does. He appears in only ''one'' scene--right before Romeo and Juliet meet at the party, he's apparently trying to woo Juliet, but Romeo comes in and steals her.

In Shakespeare, Mercutio comes in somewhat randomly--we hear nothing about him until he suddenly shows up with the others to go to the party. It could be that he just wants to have a good time and pick up some chicks--but it ''also'' could be that he's been [[StalkerWithACrush watching Juliet from afar for some time]]. They don't talk about it because it's being kept low-key; Mercutio's embarrassed about being in love, and mocks Romeo about Rosaline to keep up his "I'm too cool for deeper feelings" image. As a relative of the prince, Mercutio would be in good standing to gain Juliet as a wife--her parents are eager enough to get her married to Paris, the prince's other relative.

Now imagine Mercutio's thought process as Romeo waltzes in and steals Juliet--why shouldn't he feel betrayed and angry, especially since Romeo was [[SerialRomeo obsessing over Rosalind mere moments ago?]]

He plays dumb about it, pretending not to notice or care, in accordance with his SadClown nature, joking around with Romeo (who he still really cares about--they've been friends for a long time) and attempting to make him reject love (so he can have Juliet). The hurt and betrayal he feels don't come out until his death (which Romeo pretty much caused), at which point he curses the Montagues and the Capulets--"They have made worm's meat of me."

Also, why is he so eager to attack Tybalt? Because Tybalt is Juliet's cousin, and Mercutio is HotBlooded enough to take out his angst on someone marginally involved that he's not particularly attached to.

[[WMG: Tybalt is in love with Juliet.]]
Used in the French musical, but it's not terribly unlikely. It's possible Tybalt knows about Romeo's relationship with Juliet and wants to get rid of him out of family pride, big brother instinct...or thwarted love.

Cousins married cousins all the time back then, and when you consider how clannish Tybalt is...



[[WMG: Banquo's ghost wasn't really a ghost]]
Okay, hear me out here. Banquo was murdered by a band of three murderers, right? But what about the mysterious third murderer who just appears out of nowhere? In one of the film adaptations, he kills the other two after Banquo dies. But it wasn't really Banquo, it was a body double that Banquo had hired. He knew that Macbeth was going to try and kill him. Fleance escaped because the third murderer (Banquo) went after him to instruct him to spread word of "Banquo's" demise. Banquo's ghost at the banquet was actually Banquo pretending to be his ghost. The reason for this was that if he could drive [=MacBeth=] insane with guilt, he would retire the throne. However, the rest of the people there (even Lady Macbeth) were in on this. You've noticed how Lady [=MacBeth=] seemed like she didn't want anymore killing, that's evidence that she doesn't approve of [=MacBeth=] anymore and wants him out of power. The reason Banquo's "ghost" only appears once is because there was a large group of people there (it's useless to go "insane" if there's no witnesses), ripe to spread rumors about their insane ruler.


[[WMG:Costard is related to the person who murdered Henry III, the Princess' father.]]

* The assassin of the king claimed he had a letter for the king, but stabbed him instead. Costard had to deliver letters in the play, but mixed them up.

[[WMG:Sleep No More is actually a sequel to Macbeth, and their Macbeth is an indirect descendant of the original Macbeth.]]
Macbeth had an unseen stepson from his marriage to Lady Macbeth. What nobody knew after Macbeth's beheading was that the witches had put a curse on his bloodline during his dealings with them. The curse would eventually cause one of his descendants to relive his ancestor's horrific crimes in some way at random points over the centuries, and the three seemingly eternal witches would always be present to bear witness when the time finally came. This eventually led to Sleep No More and the events at the McKittrick Hotel with Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth. Sleep No More is the cycle of Macbeth's curse repeating itself, and it is destined to repeat itself again in the future...

19th Apr '15 7:56:28 PM dlausactor6373
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to:

[[WMG:Sleep No More is actually a sequel to Macbeth, and their Macbeth is an indirect descendant of the original Macbeth.]]
Macbeth had an unseen stepson from his marriage to Lady Macbeth. What nobody knew after Macbeth's beheading was that the witches had put a curse on his bloodline during his dealings with them. The curse would eventually cause one of his descendants to relive his ancestor's horrific crimes in some way at random points over the centuries, and the three seemingly eternal witches would always be present to bear witness when the time finally came. This eventually led to Sleep No More and the events at the McKittrick Hotel with Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth. Sleep No More is the cycle of Macbeth's curse repeating itself, and it is destined to repeat itself again in the future...

9th Dec '14 5:06:29 PM mlsmithca
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* He hath [[IfYouKnowWhatIMean borne me on his back]] a thousand times.
* Which is a bit [[Main/{{Squick}} squicky]], considering the age difference.

to:

* He hath [[IfYouKnowWhatIMean borne me on his back]] back a thousand times.
* Which is a bit [[Main/{{Squick}} [[{{Squick}} squicky]], considering the age difference.



In ''Main/RomeoAndJuliet'', Tybalt Capulet is introduced as a volatile, violent person who loathes the Montagues even more than his kinsmen do. This suggests that he has a personal motive for hating Montagues; even Boss Capulet himself has to restrain him from murdering Romeo at the party. This motive is personal enough.

to:

In ''Main/RomeoAndJuliet'', ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', Tybalt Capulet is introduced as a volatile, violent person who loathes the Montagues even more than his kinsmen do. This suggests that he has a personal motive for hating Montagues; even Boss Capulet himself has to restrain him from murdering Romeo at the party. This motive is personal enough.



[[WMG: Main/ExecutiveMeddling forced Shakespeare to put Hecate in Theatre/{{Macbeth}}]]
He used Main/StylisticSuck in the hopes it would be taken out.

to:

[[WMG: Main/ExecutiveMeddling ExecutiveMeddling forced Shakespeare to put Hecate in Theatre/{{Macbeth}}]]
He used Main/StylisticSuck StylisticSuck in the hopes it would be taken out.
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