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Simon Callow on "Being Shakespeare"

Monday, April 09, 2012

Actor, author, and director Simon Callow discusses his role in the new play “Being Shakespeare.” Written and researched by preeminent Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, Shakespeare’s prose is layered with British history and culture, providing a comprehensive picture of how Shakespeare’s childhood, schooling, and life during the Elizabethan period would have inspired his characters. Callow is the author if 16 books and has starred in the films "Amadeus," "A Room with a View," "Shakespeare in Love," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," among others. “Being Shakespeare” is playing at BAM April 4-14.

Guests:

Simon Callow
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Comments [5]

Ed from Larchmont

And MacBeth would be a devastating portrait of Queen Elizabeth I (otherwise why 'MacBeth'?), but that devastating portrait ('Welcome to Hell's Gate') makes sense from the viewpoint of Catholics, who were arrested as traitors and killed.

Apr. 10 2012 05:59 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Another reason we associate Shakespearean English w/contemporary British accents might be that it's spelled much more like contemporary British!

(I don't know why this happened, but I pressed Post Comment 2 or 3 times before the segment ended, & the comment didn't go through.)

Apr. 09 2012 01:00 PM
Elle from Brooklyn

I saw Simon Callow in his one-man Dickens show about ten years ago - he was wonderful! I would love to get to see him in this new show.

Apr. 09 2012 12:48 PM
Hugh Sansom

From what he's saying, it seems pretty clear on where Simon Callow stands on the authorship question. (I was a little dismayed to find that Walt Whitman was among the doubters. I haven't seen anything with Derek Jacobi since learning he's one of the elitists -- though more by chance than intention.)

Apr. 09 2012 12:40 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Some recent scholarship has put some facts behind the suspicion that not only was Shakespeare's thinking in harmony with Catholic thinking but that he was a devout Catholic himself. (His parents were Catholic, his daughter was Catholic, he sold a house to Catholic recusants - see Joseph Pearce's recent books.)

Does the idea that Shakepspeare was a Catholic appear in this performance?

It could be that a central motive of his work was a response to the martrydom of Catholics that he probably witnessed (and probably met some) and that his books spoke of this, instead of him becoming a martyr (Sonnet 23, love's rite - the Mass, More -Thomas More, martyred 1535 ):

lines 5-12:
So I for fear of trust, forget to say,
The perfect ceremony of love's right,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
Ore-charged with burden of mine own love's might:
O let my books be then the eloquence,
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.

Apr. 09 2012 06:26 AM

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