After Visit Stratford-upon-Avon notes Virginia Woolf in his diary that “everything which seemed to say that this was Shakespeare here he sat, here he has gone, but you will find me, not in flesh and blood. He is absent-present at the same time, hovering around you, in the flowers, in the old hall, impossible to pin. “
The characters are often so vivid that they seem to have a life of their own outside of the plays . Mainly might Lear, Hamlet and Shylock. However, you can not move them between pieces. Othello’s jealousy causes him to trust in Iago, but imagine Hamlet in Othello’s place. He would not have many lines to reveal Iago. And what Hamlet would say about Shylock? Would the passage of anti-Semitism also be Hamlet?
Two years then noticed Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Now, almost exactly the same date, is 400 years since he died April 23, 1616, 52 years old. He was long a famous man, but it is nothing compared to his obituary. The politically and socially troubled 1600s in England led to the theaters were shut down between 1642 and 1660.
When the two theater companies in London got the royal license to re-act, so had the literary taste has changed. Shakespeare was regarded as a natural genius, in defiance of the Elizabethan future overloaded languages. Neoclassicism required a different moral and linguistic originality, similes and metaphors would be kept a tight rein.
Shakespeare was played, but he edited. Too tragic ending will be happy. Romeo and Juliet could get an extra act of resurrection and weddings, Lear, Cordelia woke up and got married. They also wrote the music for the plays in increasing quantities. First, in the mid-1800s begin to search for Shakespeare’s original text you no starts. This does not prevent Shakespeare’s influence. He moves into all genres; visual arts, opera, music, novel, poetry, film, comic book. Shakespeare lives everywhere present, but absent.
The publisher Hogarth initiative to allow eight novelists do a rewrite of the respective piece is nothing new. The first two published this year and is already available in Swedish. Jeanette Winterson’s rewrite of A Winter’s Tale and Howard Jacobson variation of The Merchant of Venice . In June, the Ann Taylor novel after The Taming of the Shrew and the next few years novels of Margaret Atwood ( Storm ) Jo Nesbø ( Macbeth ), Edward St Aubyn ( King Lear ), Tracy Chevalier ( Othello ) and Gillian Flynn ( Hamlet ).
Shylock was played a long time as an anti-Semitic portrait, in modern times, however, he problematised and the Elizabethan future prejudices are laid in place of his adversary Antonio and Portia. Howard Jacobson has for many years researched and written about Shakespeare. His novel, My name Shylock allows the Jewish dominate the story, which can be seen as a kind of poetic justice. In Shakespeare’s Shylock occurs only in five of the play’s twenty scenes.
Simon Strulovitch, philanthropist and art collector, has troubles with her daughter Beatrice. Unimpressed by all Jewish, and with the aim of becoming a performance artist she makes her father in despair. Strulovitch meet in a cemetery no less than Shylock – resurrected, or maybe he has escaped from the play. Strulovitch invites him home in a vague hope to get advice. Significant portions of the novel consists of their conversation. A replica of Jacobson says, a Jew speech burdened by history. Shakespeare Shylock in turn Jacobson novel weight.
The structure of father-daughter is the same as in Shakespeare’s play, Antonio’s dealings with Shylock is of Jacobson transferred to the Strulovitch and D’Anton. In discussions between the two Jews to the (anti) Semitic problems deepened, Shylock gets spread, not least when he Strulovitch meets a Jew who urgently is a projection of anti-Semitic beliefs. It is an intricate discussion of Shylock, the Jewish and anti-Semitism, a novel high density that remains in the memory. Unfortunately, the translation is not exemplary; some misconceptions, words and sentence structures that are unnecessarily close to the original.
Jeanette Winterson’s “time gap” is an intelligent and witty version of history located in the present. One can speak of a kind of translation and alongside Shakespeare’s play, so shadowed Time Gap of her debut novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit . The sections on foundlings and youthful love is characterized, unsurprisingly, the extra high intensity. The novel is full of precise portraits, subtle metaphors and winks to both Shakespeare himself.
If you want to orient themselves on the circuits Shakespeare moved in, then Charles Nicholls Shakespeare and his contemporaries a good introduction. Contemporary playwrights, actors and other distinguished in short chapters that also reflects their portraits. The book is published by the National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition in 2006. If you want more meat on the bones, so there is in the The Shakespeare Circle . Some researchers describe what we know about his family, neighbors, colleagues and partners. The book immerses Shakespeare in his social environment; just to think of Shakespeare’s grandfather is a tad difficult. And his daughter, Judith , married with Thomas Quiney , who lived until 1662, why no one asked her about her father’s life? Shakespeare towards the end of his professional life worked with brothel owner, pimp, women abuser and poet George Wilkins Pericles , has outraged many scientists. He slob with ‘sweet, gentle’ Shakespeare?
James Shapiro , which among other things has written a book about Shakespeare and the Jewish, gave the other year the acclaimed 1599 – A year in the Life of William Shakespeare . His latest book is also a serious effort, but written with a very light hand: 1606 – William Shakespeare and The Year of Lear . With attention to detail to succeed Shapiro bring to life how contemporary events played the role of the plays Shakespeare wrote the subtitle time, Macbeth , Antony and Cleopatra and King Lear . Gunpowder Plot, The Gunpowder Plot Guy Fawkes in one of the roles, which in 1605, was close to blowing up the entire political elite in the air was too contemporary a natural sounding board for the power-hungry Macbeth among witches and conspiracies. One saw Catholic ghosts everywhere.
In Sweden anniversary to honor a handful of new translations published. Mainly Ulf Peter Hallberg two volumes of eight plays. With the exception of Richard II and possibly The Taming of the Shrew , so it is often played here hoping to replace Göran O Eriksson or Britt G Hall Qvists durable translations. Some of their translations, A Midsummer Night’s Dream , Hamlet and Macbeth , coinciding with the Hall’s choice. A quick comparison look no obvious advantages to his admittedly fine translated versions. What Hallberg however, is a series of notes to the texts, a selection from the Arden editions which he made use of.
The small volume of translations of Jan Ristarp contains other hand, Cymbeline , a rarely played piece in Sweden. The press has not been published since 1960, in Nils Molin translation. That in Sweden, either now or at Shakespeare anniversary played some of the less frequently performed plays only regret. In Sweden, he appears in precisely that respect be more absent than present.
Footnote: In connection with Shakespeare’s 450th birthday in 2014 wrote
Claes Wahlin an article on Shakespeare’s life and works