Thursday, April 5, 2018

Hamlet's Lament

Consider Hamlet.  His existential angst has become is a crossword puzzle question and answer in the world of Google.  Pages of crossword puzzle hits come up for the search for Hamlet. 

Hamlet's lament


Ophelia fares no better.  She comes up as a song by the Lumineers. It's on top of the list as it as gotten 221 million streams on Spotify.

Compared to this King Lear is "King Lear" and Othello is "Othello".  They are characters in Shakespeare plays - no more than that.

What about Romeo?  He lives on, having become synonymous with the 'lover'. The urban dictionary defines romeo as an attractive, passionate male seducer or lover.  I found a context we wouldn't think of:  in the world of espionage, the romeo is a male who is carefully placed within a high level of government agency to seduce lonely females placed high in the government.  Females used in this capacity during the cold war were called romiettes.

Is the Alfa Romeo named after Romeo?  No it isn't.  Instead, it is the combination of the original name of the company and the last name of entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who took control of the company in 1915:  "A.L.F.A." ("Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobile") Romeo.

Our diverse exploration of Shakespearean character names can only be done now with our tools like google.

There's the much longer-lived academic investigation of Shakespeare as the authentic playwright of his works.  Here is a recent update:  a most interesting article from the New York Times, February 7, 2018.

"Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare's Plays"

The findings were made by Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter, who describe them in a book to be published next week by the academic press D. S. Brewer and the British Library. The authors are not suggesting that Shakespeare plagiarized but rather that he read and was inspired by a manuscript titled “A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels,” written in the late 1500s by George North, a minor figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth, who served as an ambassador to Sweden.

The article is HERE

Our picture shows the greenhouse at the beginning of May 2017.  Only a few weeks away and this will be our landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment