Thursday Morning Riddle

July 21st, 2016

I’m the coral pink tissue your teeth poke out through;
I’m a rubber adhesive: a postage stamp glue;
I’m to clog up the works; a detective’s wet shoe;
And by golly, by gee; I’m a stick that you chew.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

June 30th, 2016

I can process a product, or generate power;
I blend in the crowd, but I’m paid by the hour;
I’m placing fake evidence, crops, or a flower;
And Led Zeppelin’s frontman, his fans would devour.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

Shakespeare Anagram: Cymbeline

June 25th, 2016

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. What might Shakespeare say?

From Cymbeline:

Our Britain seems as of it, but not in ’t

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

It’s best not to ruin from anti-EU bias.

The End

Shakespeare Anagram: Richard III

May 28th, 2016

From Richard III:

Woe to that land that’s govern’d by a child!

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

HC: Donald got a tenth bad TV reality show.

The End

Thursday Morning Riddle

May 12th, 2016

I’m some notes played in jazz; I’m a taste of a sweet;
I’m the crackle of flames; I’m to savagely beat;
An ephemeral stream; to completely defeat;
And a small block of salt that your cattle might eat.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Asher. See comments for answer.

The End

From Amsterdam to New York

May 10th, 2016

The final stop on the cruise was Amsterdam, and we decided to spend an extra night in the city.

The Van Gogh Museum was crowded and the Anne Frank House was booked, but I did get to spend some quality time at the Rijksmuseum which was amazing. I also spent a lot of time walking around. The city is beautiful, steeped in history, packed in architecture, and very welcoming. It is also filled with restaurants, bakeries, and store windows advertising things that are not legal in the United States.

I came home on Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning, I was back at work.

It turns out that when you come back from Europe, jet lag actually works in your favor, as “early to bed and early to rise” becomes an inevitability. I think I’m finally back on a reasonable schedule now. But the real adjustment has been transitioning back to regular life from fantasy world.

When you study something like Shakespeare in school, you never expect that one day there will be some SHAKESPEARE EMERGENCY that you have to fly out and be on call, but that’s what happened, and it was the experience of a lifetime. This was a 400th anniversary celebration, so I have no reason to think Celebrity will do this again, but it was great while it lasted and I have wonderful memories of the trip.

And maybe I picked up an extra reader or two for the website. Sounds like that’s my cue to start writing again.

The End

Welcome Celebrities!

May 1st, 2016

If you are one of the passengers from the Celebrity Shakespeare & Scandinavia Cruise, welcome! As promised, I am posting digital copies of the handouts from my talks, so if you missed one or didn’t get a handout, you can find everything here.

My first talk was on Hamlet. You can download the handout here. You can also read more of my posts about Hamlet at the category link here.

My second talk was on Shakespeare’s Use of Language. You can download the handout here. You can also read more of my posts about poetry at the category link here.

My third talk was on Shakespeare’s History. During the talk, I referred to a series of eight family trees that I compiled to go along with Shakespeare’s history plays. I used the first and the eighth of these as a handout for the talk. You can find all eight family trees here.

My talk today will be on Shakespeare’s Science. You can download the handout here. You can also read more of my posts following up on references from Shakespeare’s plays at the category link for the Shakespeare Follow-Up here.

Enjoy!

The End

Day 7: Copenhagen

April 30th, 2016

The activities on and off the ship have been keeping me pleasantly busy, but I did want to check in about our shore excursion yesterday. I’ve been traveling with my friend Richard (known to Shakespeare Teacher readers as Bronx Richie). Yesterday, our ship docked in Copenhagen, and we took the day to visit the city.

First, we went to the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. Brahe is a big deal here, and we enjoyed the science museum that bears his name. We also hit the National Museum of Denmark, which boasts a wide range of impressive artifacts from time periods across history, whether it was coins from the Bronze Age, medieval weapons, gold-plated clocks owned by kings, propaganda posters from the occupation, or memorabilia from when the Beatles visited in 1964. It was a lot of fun, and one of the highlights of the trip.

We also took in some of the sites that Copenhagen has to offer from Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park, to Nyhavn, a harbor-front row of coffee shops and restaurants where you can dine among the boats, musicians, and fellow tourists.

It’s hard to believe the trip will be ending soon. I’ve had months to look forward to it, and now it will be over in a few days. It’s a good reminder to make the most of what’s left. I’ll check back in when time allows.

Farvel for now!

The End

Elsinore!

April 28th, 2016

Today I went to Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, the real-life inspiration for Shakespeare’s Elsinore.

Now, the castle itself, in all honesty, has very little to do with Shakespeare. First of all, Hamlet is fictional, so there’s no sense of this is where this happened or anything of the like. Also, Shakespeare never visited Denmark, so you can’t even say that this is the room where Shakespeare envisioned a certain scene or other. What’s more, the castle itself was based on a stronghold built in the 1420’s, and renovated into a Renaissance castle in the late 16th century. So, it wouldn’t even have existed during Hamlet’s time.

None of this matters, of course, when you visit the castle. Hamlet is real and this is where the events took place. You can see the bedchambers, the banquet tables, and the giant tapestries hanging in the hallways. This most excellent canopy hangs in my lady’s chamber, and you can breathe in the history, even if it never actually happened.

Shakespeare is celebrated in the castle quite a bit. There are performances of Hamlet given regularly at the castle, and there is even an exhibition of all of the various actors who have played Hamlet over the years. There is also an excellent gift shop where you can get the standard Shakespeare merchandise, but with an extra note of authenticity. Yes, it’s a mock-quill pen, but it’s from Elsinore. I say this without irony; I picked up an excellent coffee mug.

No doubt, when I look back on this trip, it will be the castle that stands out as the centerpiece of the experience. Next, we shall be welcomed back to Denmark as we visit Copenhagen.

The End

Sea Change

April 27th, 2016

The cruise is now nearing the half-way mark. Because we spent our first full day at sea, I’ve already given three of my four talks on Shakespeare. I’ll post more details about those in a later thread.

I’m having a lot of fun. Everyone has been so nice to me and very appreciative of the talks. Fellow passengers will come over to me and start conversations about Shakespeare, which has been the best part. There has also been other Shakespeare-related entertainment. The cruise had asked me to select four appropriately-themed movies, and their screenings have been additional opportunities to engage with the Shakespeare fans on the ship. For those interested, I chose the following movies:

    Richard III (1995) with Ian McKellen and Annette Bening
    Much Ado about Nothing (1993) with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson
    Macbeth (2015) with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
    Shakespeare in Love (1998) with Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow

There is also a group of three talented actors who are performing scenes from Shakespeare throughout the ship. These scenes are popular among the passengers, and they make the theme of the cruise more ubiquitous.

And, oh yeah, in addition to all of the Shakespeare stuff, I’m also on a cruise. The lifestyle keeps you quite busy and very well fed. The staff is almost as big as the passenger manifest, and they are highly professional and courteous. This is my first cruise, so the experience is somewhat of a sea change for me.

I also had a chance to visit Oslo, where we stopped for two days. I went to go see the Nobel Peace Museum, which had a thought-provoking exhibit about the targets that are used in the military of different countries around the world. They also have an exhibit showing the various people who have won Nobel Peace Prizes though the years.

Our next stop is Helsingor, the real-life setting of Hamlet, though Shakespeare referred to it by the Anglicized version of the name: Elsinore. I’ll be escorting a shore excursion to provide some Hamlet perspective on the trip. But I’ve never been there myself, so it should be a great trip for me as well. I’ll keep you posted.

The End