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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Some Semi-Interesting Shakespeare Stuff


I was recently watching Simon Schama' s Shakespeare which contained the following interesting nugget: James I's mother, Mary Queen of Scots, married the man who was suspected of killing his father.

This means that when the play scene in Hamlet was being performed at court there was a King, whose mother had married the man who had murdered his father, watching a play about a King who had married the widow of a man he had murdered watching a play about King that married the widow of the man he had murdered. Very meta as the kids seem to be saying these days.

Quasi-interesting is that James I married the princess Anne of Denmark and honeymooned in Castle Elsinore where he also met Tycho Brahe's moustache.

James I sponsored the English translation of the bible which bears his name: the King James' Bible. The bible was released in 1611. Shakespeare was born in 1564 which means that he may have been 46 when the bible was released. The 46th word in psalm 46 is shake and the 46th word from the end of psalm 46 is spear.

Shakespeare's birth is celebrated on April 23rd even though the actual date is not known. This is also the day he died and St. George's Day.

Until recently I thought that the quote about the base Indian who threw away a pearl richer than all his tribe was referring to Kino in John Steinbeck's 'The Pearl'. It is actually from a magnificent soliloquy by Othello:


Soft you, a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know ’t.
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely, but too well.
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe. Of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum. Set you down this,

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