Archive for the 'Genealogy' Category

Shakespeare Anagram: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Inspired by recent discoveries

From Love’s Labour’s Lost:

The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Somerset Y-chromosome not even King Richard Three’s.

Cue the funk.



Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

In which I defend the honor of the Queen…

The DNA reports are in, and the skeleton they found in that Leicester parking lot is now confirmed to be that of King Richard III. Analysis also shows he had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Somewhat overshadowing the exciting news is a discovery that came from the research team’s comparing the old king’s DNA to that of his present-day relatives. It turns out that there is a break somewhere in the male-line continuity of the Y-chromosome, the collection of genes that are only passed from father to son, suggesting a false paternity event somewhere in the timeline.

The news media, with its trademark restraint, has jumped all over this, trumpeting that the already much-maligned Richard has infidelity in his family tree, with some even suggesting that this means that the Queen may not even be the legitimate heir to the throne anymore.

Okay, let’s all take a breath now. Her Majesty’s reign is in no danger here.

I spent a lot of time this past summer with my nose buried in the Plantagenet family tree, and may be able to add a modicum of perspective.

You can read the science team’s original report here, but a brief summary should suffice. Richard III and his distant cousin Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort are both direct male-line descendants of King Edward III. The Duke has five male-line descendants alive today who agreed to participate in the study, and four of them share the same Y-chromosome, presumably inherited from Beaufort. The one who doesn’t suggests a false paternity event (or “cuckolding” in the parlance) at some point along the way, but that’s not the infidelity that made the headlines. Richard III’s Y-chromosome also doesn’t match the Duke’s, which means that at least one of them is not actually a male-line descendant of Edward III.

Okay, so that’s pretty saucy news in itself. But it’s an overreach to drag Queen Elizabeth II into this story for several reasons.

First of all, what is the probability that the break in paternity is even in Elizabeth’s line? Here is the family tree for the relevant players (scroll down to the “Geneology of the Y chromosome lineage” graphic). It shows fifteen paternal links between Edward III and Beaufort, and only four between Edward III and Richard III. Assuming only one false paternity (which is all that’s been established here) and that all paternity events are equally likely to be false, the odds are 15:4 in favor of Beaufort being the non-heir rather than Richard. Also, if Richard III’s own parentage is the false one, it doesn’t affect Elizabeth, as she is descended from Richard’s older brother King Edward IV. So the odds of the break even being in Elizabeth’s lineage is 16:3 against or just under 16%.

Still, a 16% chance the Queen is illegitimate would indeed be headline-worthy, but let’s examine this claim more closely. Here it may be helpful to refer to the family tree I put together for Shakespeare’s King Richard III. In the column all the way to the right, close to the center of the column, you can find Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. This is the future King Henry VII. Five slots down, you can find Elizabeth of York.

Henry and Elizabeth will wed, and their offspring will include King Henry VIII and his sister Margaret Tudor. If you look one column to the left, all the way at the bottom, you will see Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester. This is the future King Richard III. From here on, I will use “Richard Plantagenet” to refer to his father, the Duke of York, who is also on the chart.

Queen Elizabeth II is descended from Margaret Tudor, which means that she is a descendant of Richard III’s brother Edward IV. Edward became king as a result of the Wars of the Roses, which were fought between the houses of York and Lancaster. His claim comes from his father, Richard Plantagenet.

Richard Plantagenet does indeed inherit his surname from his paternal lineage through the York line, being the grandson of Edmund of Langley, the First Duke of York. However, Richard Plantagenet stakes his claim to the throne from his mother’s side, as Anne Mortimer is descended from Edmund of Langley’s older brother, Lionel, Duke of Clarence. What’s more, Richard Plantagenet’s wife, Cecily Neville, who is mother to Edward IV and Richard III, is the granddaughter of John of Gaunt, who is also an older brother to Edmund of Langley (though younger than Lionel, Duke of Clarence). Henry VII is also descended from John of Gaunt.

What all of this means is that even if the Y-chromosomal break is in the 16% that would make Richard Plantagenet illegitimate, it would not affect Edward IV’s claim to the throne. It would therefore not affect Margaret Tudor’s legitimacy, nor would it affect the current monarch.

More to the point, it’s been almost one thousand years since William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxons in the Battle of Hastings, beginning the dynasty of which Queen Elizabeth II is the current representative. What else don’t we know? It seems very unlikely that, were a complete set of the genetic data magically available to us, Elizabeth would emerge as the clear genealogical winner. Not only do we have a millennium of regal shenanigans to wrangle with, but there is also the human element to consider. A lot of the lineage disputes from the past have been settled by people’s decisions and actions: who had political power, who was a bastard, who won a war, who was the right or wrong religion, etc. The question of whether women could inherit the crown changed the equation at several crucial junctures, so applying a single standard throughout English history would certainly change the outcome.

The bottom line is that we basically don’t know anything about anything, and we certainly don’t know much more today than we did yesterday. Queen Elizabeth shouldn’t start packing her bags based on this new revelation.

UPDATE: In the post, I claim the odds of the false paternity event being in the Queen’s lineage is 16:3 against. However, she is also descended from two other candidates: John of Gaunt and his son John Beaufort, the Earl of Somerset. So the odds of the break being in her ancestry would actually be 14:5 against. But she doesn’t derive her claim to the throne through this line either, so the rest of the argument still stands. See the comments for a clearer explanation.

Family Trees for Shakespeare’s Histories

Friday, September 19th, 2014

My monthly Shakespeare reading group is gearing up to do the history plays. For the next eight months, starting this Sunday, we’re going to be working our way through the two tetralogies.

Shakespeare, working in the late sixteenth century, was writing about his own country’s history spanning most of the fifteenth century. He could assume his audience was familiar with the stories and the characters to some degree. Our perspective, over four hundred years later and in another country, does not provide the same level of context.

Imagine we were watching a play about the American Civil War and characters made various passing references to “the president,” “Lincoln,” and “Honest Abe.” We would understand these are all the same person, no explanation needed. But someone unfamiliar with our history might get confused. In Shakespeare’s histories, characters refer to each other by last name, nickname, and title interchangeably, and their iconic status in English memory requires very little exposition. When we do actually get a first name, it’s usually one of the same six or seven names recycled endlessly throughout the generations, relying again on context for specificity.

Thus, in order to facilitate the readings, I have created a family tree for the Plantagenets that spans all eight plays. For each play, I have put together a version of the tree that shows the current state of the family as the action begins. It shows who’s living, who’s dead, who’s related to whom, who is actually in the play, and what names might be used to reference them. What’s more, it all fits on one page, so it makes a convenient handout for a reading.

It was quite a project, but now that I’m finished, it’s my pleasure to share the results with the Shakespeare Teacher community:

Whether these charts end up providing more clarity or only more confusion will remain to be seen. I’ll be field testing them with my group and may find a need to do a rewrite in eight months time. If anyone out there sees anything seriously wrong or just has a helpful suggestion, please leave a note in the comments so I can address it in the next round of revisions.

A few notes may be helpful. A shaded box means that the character is dead before the play begins. A bold-faced box means that the character appears in the current play. Each space represents the same character across all eight plays, but there are two characters (Anne Mortimer and Isabella Neville) that are duplicated on the chart because they married across family lines. These are represented by circled numbers.

For the most part, Shakespeare sticks with history as far as the genealogy and chronology are concerned, but where he breaks with history, I generally went with Shakespeare’s version. I did this because the purpose of the chart was to make the readings easier. So if Shakespeare, for example, refers to a character by a title he technically didn’t have yet, I used that title on my chart.

One major exception to this is the case of Edmund Mortimer. Historically, there were two different men named Edmund Mortimer in this story: Sir Edmund Mortimer, and his nephew Edmund, Earl of March. An Edmund Mortimer appears in Henry IV, Part One and an Edmund Mortimer appears in Henry VI, Part One. It appears that Shakespeare has conflated the two men into a single character, as he ascribes to the character biographical details from both men in both plays. I went with the more historically appropriate choice to put Sir Edmund in 1H4 and the Earl of March in 1H6, but you should know that when using these charts with those plays.

A lot of the information in these charts were taken from the plays themselves. But the charts also include a lot of historical information, and for that, I used other sources. I took advantage of the excellent genealogical tables in The Riverside Shakespeare (G. Blakemore Evans, ed.) as well as the Arden editions of Henry V (T.W. Craik, ed.) and Henry VI, Part Three (John D. Cox and Eric Rasmussen, eds.). I found The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s History Plays (Michael Hattaway, ed.) very helpful. I also consulted the official website of the British Monarchy, as well as other online sources as needed.


Googleplex – 1/24/10

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

It’s time once again to check in on what searches people have done to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought people to this site in the past week.

do the tudors trace their ancestry to antony and cleopatra

Probably not. Antony and Cleopatra did have three children, two boys and a girl. Cleopatra also had a child, Caesarion, from Julius Caesar. (“He plough’d her, and she cropp’d.” See how classy you sound when you quote Shakespeare?) Antony also had children from four of his wives.

After Octavius Caesar conquered Egypt (the events depicted in Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra) he executed Caesarion, and gave the three children of Antony and Cleopatra to his sister Octavia. Remember (from the play) that Octavia was Antony’s last wife, so she’s now raising the children of her husband and his mistress. Little is known of the two boys, and if they had lived to adulthood, they would probably have been mentioned in sources of the time because of their parentage. It is possible they may have secretly been killed to avoid a later challenge to Octavius. But it’s also possible that they lived on and had children of their own. There’s no way to know.

The daughter of Antony and Cleopatra, named Cleopatra Selene, was married to an African king, and they had – at least – great grandchildren. Zenobia, a third century Syrian queen, claimed to be descended from this line. So it’s certainly possible that the descendants of Antony and Cleopatra are among us today. And if so, the opportunities to multiply between the 1st century and the 15th century would be massive. Therefore, we cannot rule out definitively that the Tudors are descended from Antony and Cleopatra. But could they know this for sure, let alone trace it? No. Those 1400 years weren’t exactly known for their record keeping, and there is too much motivation for people to invent a famous lineage along the way.

king henry the eighth sister margaret

Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII’s older sister. She married James IV of Scotland in 1503, and a hundred years later, her great-grandson would become King of England (after Henry VIII’s line died out).

However, if you are asking about the character played by Gabrielle Anwar in The Tudors, you’re really looking for younger sister Mary Tudor. Another Mary would have probably been too confusing, so they conflated the two women into one character. Mary Tudor was the one who married an aging king only to be widowed three months later. Mary was the one who married Charles Brandon. I’ve only seen the first season of the show, so I don’t know what the character would later become, but in the first season, Margaret’s story is that of Mary Tudor.

good shakespearean pranks

Shakespeare had a lot of plots that centered around practical jokes. Often, they would blur the line between harmless prank and vicious revenge, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, am I right? Without any further ado, then, is my Top Ten list of Shakespearean pranks. Drum roll, please!

10. The Merry Wives of Windsor – I’m not a fan of this play, and I’m loathe to include it on the list of Top Ten anything. But a list of Shakespearean pranks would be incomplete without it, so here it is at #10. Suffice it to say, there are a number of pranks in this play. I’d list them, but I can’t be bothered.

9. Henry IV, Part Two – Hal and Poins disguise themselves as drawers and listen in on Falstaff’s bragging. They reveal themselves, but not before Falstaff has a chance to badmouth the Prince behind his back. The fun comes when Falstaff tries to talk his way out of it.

8. Measure for Measure – The “bed trick” and the “head trick” are serious deceptions and can hardly be considered a prank. But what about what I like to call the “fled trick”? The Duke pretends to leave Vienna, but instead stays back disguised as a friar. I guess the joke’s on Angelo. Busted!

7. Twelfth Night – Malvolio, imprisoned in darkness, recieves a visit from Sir Topas the curate. Actually, it’s Feste the jester disguising his voice. Playing both parts, Feste drives the supposed madman one step closer to real madness.

6. Much Ado about Nothing – Beatrice and Benedick’s merry war takes a surprising turn when their friends allow them to overhear conversations to make each believe the other is in love. The prank becomes self-fulfilling. “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.”

5. Henry IV, Part One – Hal and Poins pretend to go along with Falstaff’s plan to rob some travellers. But they enter in disguise after the fact and rob the robbers! They reveal their prank after Falstaff has been boasting about his encounter with the unknown thieves.

4. The Tempest – Prospero uses his magic to get revenge on those who have wronged him. But the havoc only lasts the afternoon and there’s no real damage done. The whole play is one big prank.

3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Puck changes Bottom into an ass. And Titania, having been spiked with a love potion by Oberon, falls in love with the creature. Hilarity ensues.

2. Twelfth Night – Maria forges a letter from Olivia to Malvolio, hinting that she is in love with him. Toby, Andrew, and Fabian spy on Malvolio as he reads the letter, which tells him to come to her in an outlandish manner… and he does.

1. Othello – Iago tricks Othello into believing that his wife has been unfaithful, so he kills her. Not really a prank, you say? Check out this video.

famous monologues from king lear

There are a lot of good monologues for men from King Lear. To start with, you can find monologues from Lear here, from Edmund here, and Edgar here. The female characters in the play have some great speeches, but nothing I would particularly pull out as a monologue.

shakespeare animation

You may be looking for Shakespeare: The Animated Tales, a series of half-hour condensed animated versions of Shakespeare plays. But I’ve also done a lot of work with students creating animated versions of Macbeth, As You Like It, and The Tempest. And since this is Shakespeare Teacher, I’ll offer some information about how to do it.

When I did these animation projects, the students did the artwork in HyperStudio, they recorded the sound in SoundEffects, and they aligned the two in iMovie. It was frame-by-frame, which is time consuming, but HyperStudio had a card-and-stack interface that made it go much more quickly. That was quite a few years ago, though, and I do mostly video projects now. I don’t know if HyperStudio is even still around, and people use Audacity for sound recordings today. iMovie is still the best game in town if you want to coordinate frame animation.

I know a lot of people who like to use the website Scratch for student animations. The one problem with Scratch is that you can only view the animations from the Scratch website. You cannot download the movie file and post it to YouTube.

I’ve heard, particularly from Shakespeare teachers, a lot of enthusiasm surrounding Kar2ouche. I looked at it once, a long time ago, and I dismissed it because there are a lot of pre-made templates, and I wanted my students to visually interpret the characters themselves. But time being a factor, I would probably recommend it, and I’ve seen some Shakespeare projects that look really sharp. Every so often, someone asks me if I’ve heard of Kar2ouche.

Of course, if your kids are into Second Life, there has been some animated Shakespeare coming from that quarter as well. There is also stop motion photography, which can be done with a digital camera, iMovie, and a lot of patience.

was queen elizabeth illegitimate child shakespeare

I can interpret this in four ways:

1. Was Queen Elizabeth the illegitimate child of Shakespeare?
2. Was Queen Elizabeth’s illegitimate child Shakespeare?
3. Did Queen Elizabeth’s illegitimate child actually write the plays of Shakespeare?
4. Was Queen Elizabeth an illegitimate child according to Shakespeare?

Elizabeth was older than Shakespeare, so #1 is a clear No. I don’t know of any illegitimate children of Elizabeth. This seems to me to be something easier for a king to pull off than a queen. If she had gone through a pregnancy, I doubt she’d have kept the nickname “the Virgin Queen” for very long. So we can answer a No for #2 and #3 as well.

As for whether Elizabeth herself was illegitimate, that’s a fair question. It all depends on how legitimate you consider the annulment of Henry VIII and his first wife. But Shakespeare certainly wouldn’t have painted her as illegitimate. When she was alive, he wrote plays that glorified her ancestors, and long after she died, his play Henry VIII treated her birth as a moment of great hope for the future of England.

So I’m not sure what you’re asking, but the answer is probably No.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

shakespeare reading list

headline tell us that macbeth saves Scotland

theme of religion in shakespeare’s “as you like it”

what inspired shakespeare to write king lear

how people were killed when shakespear was alive

madrid in april 2010 literature teachers

Googleplex – 5/29/09

Friday, May 29th, 2009

It’s time once again to check in on what searches people have done to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought people to this site in the past week.

similarities between shakespeare and the west wing

Just as Shakespeare’s history plays are often an examination of the inner lives of kings, The West Wing is an examination of what it’s like to be the President. Both deal with the psychological consequences of holding so much power. Was Bartlet’s sleeping disorder modeled after Henry IV’s?

Sorkin was certainly aware of the resonance, and a major story arc in Season 3 centered around President Bartlet attending a condensed version of Shakespeare’s history plays. In one scene, the President takes a moment to distract himself from some bad news about his re-election campaign to tell his aide about how excited he was about seeing the play. Then, he asks what’s really on his mind:

“If Shakespeare wrote a play about me, how many parts do you think it would be?”

shakespeare crosswqrd puzzles and answers

I never did post the answers to this Shakespeare crossword. I’ll give it another week in case anybody still wants to try it, and then I’ll post the answers.

king henry the 8th wives names

Catherine of Aragon
Anne Boleyn
Jane Seymour
Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard
Catherine Parr

are our royal family descendants of henry the eighth

This search came in from the UK.

Since 1066, when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings, the English crown has been held by one family (with a brief interregnum in the 1650’s). All subsequent monarchs have been direct descendants of William. So Queen Elizabeth II, for example, inherited the crown from her father King George VI, who (after his brother’s abdication) came to power through his father, King George V. His father was King Edward VII, whose mother was Queen Victoria. You could continue her line all the way back to William the Conqueror.

Henry VIII is also descended from William the Conqueror, but has no verified descendants. However, the Queen is descended from some of Henry’s suspected illegitimate children. So if they are, then she is.

why was shakespeare so successful? riddle

I keep getting this search term. I give up. Why?

gwyneth paltrow shakespeare descendant

No, she isn’t. It was just a movie.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

shakespeare and jewish religion in 16th and 17 century

macbeth character analysis malcolm’s objects and adjective

shakespeare’s histories and saddam

macbeth teaching fun

“othello act 4 scene 3” themes

william shakespeare’s teachers

Googleplex – 5/8/09

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I subscribe to a service called “SiteMeter” which allows me to see a limited amount of information about my visitors. One thing that I can see is if someone finds my site via a Google search, and what they were searching for.

It’s been a while, but every now and then I check in on what searches people have done to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond to those search terms in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought people to this site in the past week.

how many days does it take to read macbeth

Obviously, this depends on how much time you spend reading per day, how quickly you read Shakespeare, and how deeply you want to examine the text. But Macbeth is a play, and is one of Shakespeare’s shorter plays at that. You could probably stage an uncut production in about two and a half hours. A first-time reader should be able to make it through the text in two evenings. Reading it out loud in a group should not take more than four hours, including breaks between acts.

the promised end slings and arrows connection to king lear

“The Promised End” is the last episode of the Canadian television series Slings & Arrows. As with all Season 3 episodes, the title is taken from King Lear. In the last scene of the play, Lear enters carrying his dead daughter and, in a mixture of delusion and denial, believes it is possible she is still alive. Kent looks at the pathetic scene and laments “Is this the promised end?” After a lifetime of power and majesty, Lear has become an object of pity. And if a king can be reduced to this, what end can the rest of us be promised?

analysis of othello’s arrogance in act 2 scene 1

The word analysis makes me think this is a homework assignment, but no matter. Here’s the scene. Othello’s hardly in it, and doesn’t seem all that arrogant to me. Did you mean Iago’s arrogance?

direct descendants of the tudors

I still get a lot of hits for this. But we should clear up the difference between descendants of the Tudors, and descendants of King Henry VIII. Henry VIII has no known descendants, though the conversation continues. But the Tudor line was founded, not by Henry VIII, but his father, Henry VII. His line continued, not through son Henry, but through daughter Margaret. She was ancestor to all future English monarchs. So there are many, many people descended from the Tudors alive today.

instruction of king lear

This may be controversial, but I’m not a big fan of teaching King Lear in a K-12 setting. I know there are people who have done wonderful things with it, but I think there are better choices. The themes of the play are really more relevant to more mature audiences. I think kids relate better to young lovers, revenge killings, and battles for power than they do to the strained relationships between aging parents and their adult children. It’s one of the greatest works of literature ever written, but I think it takes some life experience to digest. I’ve only ever taught it once, in an advanced graduate course in Shakespeare, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had teaching Shakespeare.

I admit I could be wrong about this, but I hold this belief firmly. I look forward to one day being convinced otherwise.

shakespeare teacher name

This is probably not what you were looking for, but my name is Bill.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

shakespeare as you like it ppt

printable romeo juliet puzzle

william shakespeare’s teacher

shakespeare teacher units

math riddle: why was shakespeare so successful?

online shakespeare teachers

Googleplex – 12/19/08

Friday, December 19th, 2008

It’s time once again to check in on what searches people have done to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought people to this site in the past week.

descendants of king george iii

Now we’re getting a little closer to the present. King George III was king during the American Revolution; he was the King George we were revolting against. His reign was long – over 59 years! In fact, only his granddaughter Victoria reigned longer, though Elizabeth II is likely to pass him as well on May 12, 2011. But I digress.

George III is a direct ancestor of all subsequent monarchs of England. He was succeeded by two sons, a granddaughter, a great grandson, etc. So I’d imagine he’d be a direct ancestor of pretty much everyone who we consider to be of English royal birth today, though someone with a better grasp of how all of that works may correct me. I’d also imagine that he has many descendants who are not considered English royalty, their connection to the crown being too distant. Again, I am not beyond correction on this point.

what age group is tudors for?

The Tudors is for adults.

anagrams with the word teacher


what historically happened when shakespeare was living

Many important historical events occurred during the 52 years of Shakespeare’s life, both in the world and in England in particular. Shakespeare was born in 1564, just two months after Galileo, and died on his birthday in 1616 on the same day as Cervantes (actually ten days later).

That’s a lot of history to cover here, but I’ll give you a sampling of five of the more significant English, but non-Shakespearean, events that took place during Shakespeare’s lifetime and how they may have affected Shakespeare. I invite readers to quibble with my choices:

1588 – The English navy defeats the Spanish Armada. This sparked a new era of English patriotism which coincided with the beginning of Shakespeare’s writing career. It’s why a lot of his early plays are Histories, as that was a popular trend at the time.

1603 – Elizabeth I dies without an heir, and is eventually replaced by King James I. James became a patron of Shakespeare’s company, now “The King’s Men,” and Shakespeare will write Macbeth in honor of the new king.

1605 – Catholic conspirators attempt to murder James in the Gunpowder Plot. It is believed that there are references to the Gunpowder Plot in Macbeth.

1607 – Establishment of Jamestown colony in Virginia. The Tempest may have been inspired by the wreck of a ship that was headed for the colony.

1611 – Publication of the King James Bible. Rumors that Shakespeare worked on the project are mere speculation. Stories about Psalm 46 containing hidden messages should be taken with a grain of salt.

shakespeare julius caesar slings and arrows

The expression “slings and arrows” is from Hamlet, but I assume you’re talking about the Canadian television series. There were three seasons, each revolving around a different Shakespearean tragedy. Julius Caesar was not one of them. The plays were, in order, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear.

if henry the 8th was alive today what would he look like

He would look like a 517-year-old man holding a giant drumstick.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

at what point should you feel bad for iachimo

who were shakespeare’s teacher

shakespeare time machine professor

funny alternate endings for king lear

music for a powerpoint shakespeare music

shakespeare was not good at math


Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I’m always curious to see what search terms bring people to this site. Here is a list of some of the search terms that brought people here today:

    shakespeare and technology


    tudor riddles


    riddle for a waste paper basket


    plays genres


    josh lymon secret service codename


    descendants of king george vi


    shakespeare reading group


    what did the tudors find and bring back to England


    descriptive word that starts with the letter y


    knowledge in othello


    is smarter a word


    who is the more complex villain in king lear


    new book on shakespeare, author on the daily show


    mary queen of scots descendants in Virginia


    macbeth simplified language


    codependent relationship between macbeth and lady macbeth


    who influenced sir francis bacon


    venn diagram puzzles


    descendents of the tudors to present day


    fox 40 morning news riddle


    what did tudors do in there free space


    teaching shakespeare to four year olds


    henry viii riddles


    riddles in shakespeare


    lateral thinking games


    queen elizabeth “i am henry …”


    multiple choice test for king henry the 8th


    in merchant of venice two fathers in post strike rules on their daughters


    giant shakespeare crossword puzzle


    boleyn living relatives


    literacy in shakespeare’s time


    a list of twenty things that shakespeare wrote


    top 10 reasons to vote


    where can i find information on the descendants of bloody mary


    what is the coincidence that happened between shakespeare and cervantes

This is a partial list. I deleted several of the search terms, mostly looking for modern-day descendants of the Tudors.

I can tackle a few of these, and I’ll leave the rest to my readers. To the best of my knowledge, Josh Lyman’s Secret Service codename was never revealed on The West Wing. Yes, “smarter” is a word. And Bloody Mary did not have any children, and thus, no descendants.

I have taught Shakespeare to a wide variety of age groups, but never to four-year-olds. I defer to the Shakespeare Geek who is building an early appreciation for the playwright with his own daughters.

As for the Elizabeth quote “I am Henry”, I’m at a loss, though you may be thinking of the Queen’s reaction to a production of Richard II, which is about the deposing of a monarch. She was aware that the Earl of Essex commissioned the production in order to foment rebellion. Elizabeth I is said to have remarked “I am Richard II, know ye not that?”

Does anyone know which Shakespeare author was on The Daily Show? And would anyone like to address the questions about Merchant and King Lear?

Shakespeare Anagram: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

The blog was getting a lot of hits looking for living descendants of Henry VIII, so I posted an answer, and followed up with an anagram version of the answer.

Now, because those words appear on the blog, I’m getting a lot of hits looking for living descendants of Shakespeare.

You can check out the Shakespeare family tree yourself, or you can just read this week’s Shakespeare anagram.

From Love’s Labour’s Lost:

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register’d upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Our favorite ultra-premium poet has no living descendants.

Firstly, he begat three basic little prizes (smart trio!) with his gal Anne Hathaway.

Thereafter, son Hamnet fathered none because he kicked it young.

Furthermore, both daughters had children, but none of those unveiled any themselves.

Shakespeare Anagram: Henry VIII

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Earlier this week, I attempted to answer the question of whether Henry VIII has any living descendants, but I fear my answer may have been a bit too long winded. Perhaps I could deliver a more succinct answer if I made an anagram from the speech in Shakespeare where Henry talks about his daughter Elizabeth.

From Henry VIII:

O lord archbishop!
Thou hast made me now a man: never, before
This happy child, did I get any thing.
This oracle of comfort has so pleas’d me,
That when I am in heaven, I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Henry VIII has no descendants that live.

Hail papa! From each of the four mommies, the Eighth had a hip kid: Catholic Mary, bastard Henry, wise Bess, and little Edward.

These had no more. His chromosomal line was stopped. Gone.