18 episodes

Breaking Bard aims to break down the mythic image that has been constructed around Shakespeare by having honest conversations about Shakespeare and his plays. Feel free to contact me at ripegoodscholar@gmail.com

Breaking Bard: A Ripe Good Scholar Podcast ripegoodscholar

    • Education
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

Breaking Bard aims to break down the mythic image that has been constructed around Shakespeare by having honest conversations about Shakespeare and his plays. Feel free to contact me at ripegoodscholar@gmail.com

    Shakespeare and Plague

    Shakespeare and Plague

    “I could draw forth a catalogue of many poore wretches, that in fields, in ditches, in common Cages, and under stalls (being either thrust by cruell maisters out of doores, or wanting all worldly succor but the common benefit of earth and aire) have most miserably perished.” -Thomas Dekker “The Wonderful Year” The bubonic plague was a regular part of Shakespeare’s life. He lived through several large outbreaks, and even when there wasn’t an outbreak, the threat always loomed. With each wave significant portions of the population died. Death was everywhere and the ringing of the church bells served as a grim reminder. Shakespeare, as a man of the theater, was particularly susceptible to the effects of plague because an outbreak meant the theaters closed, which meant he received no pay.  So, what did Shakespeare do with his time? Well, he most likely wrote. In his early years, it was poetry to be published. In his later years, he probably wrote plays. Today we will be exploring how the bubonic plague affected Shakespeare and his writing. Strap on your plague masks and join me and Eli as we discuss plague shutdowns in Shakespeare’s England. Sources:The GuardianThe Folger Shakespeare Library Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 26 min
    The Truth About Prince Hal

    The Truth About Prince Hal

    “From his father’s usurpation of Richard II’s throne in 1399, when Henry was but twelve, he was active in the government of England. [...] Henry V came to the throne extensively experienced in politics, administration, and warfare: few kings have been so well trained for their job.”  - Peter Saccio in Shakespeare’s English KingsHenry IV Parts 1 and 2 are some of the least historically accurate of all of Shakespeare’s history, and that is saying something. This is largely due to the fact that he focused so much of the play on Prince Hal, the future Henry V. Shakespeare was working with what the Tudor chroniclers provided him, which was an inaccurate portrayal of the young prince. They painted Prince Hal as a lecherous youth that drank too much, was friends with the wrong sorts of people, and even committed a few crimes.This picture, according to contemporary records of the time, is almost certainly wrong. From a very young age, Hal was participating in battles and leading armies. For years before his father’s death, he dominated the council and essentially ruled for a period of time. That is not to say that everything about Shakespeare was wrong. There was a certain amount of tension between father and son over Henry IV’s fear of being usurped by his own son. In the end, we have a complicated picture of a complicated prince, so what exactly is wrong and right about Shakespeare’s portrayal? That is what Eli and I will be exploring today, so grab your sack and let’s spend some time with Prince Hal. Sources:Shakespeare’s English Kings by Peter SaccioAsimov’s Guide to Shakespeare by Isaac AsimovFoundations: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors by Peter AckroydThis Realm of England Vol. 2 1399 to 1688 by Lacey Baldwin Smithrddddd Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 34 min
    Hamlet and Grief

    Hamlet and Grief

    Hello, and welcome to another episode of Breaking Bard, I’m your host Sara. You may have noticed a distinct lack of a cold open. That is because this episode is very long and my fluff was deemed unnecessary...by me. On today’s episode I am joined by Dr. Lisa Grogan, a clinical psychologist and close friend. I am also joined by Sara Clark with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She was casted to play Hamlet in a production that was cancelled as of our recording. However, since recording, they have announced that Hamlet will kick off their 2020-2021 season in August. I for one, am pumped. Please enjoy as I discuss Hamlet and grief with these two intelligent women. Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Troilus & Cressida Sources

    Troilus & Cressida Sources

    “For now will I go straight to my matter,In which you may the double sorrows hearOf Troilus in loving of Criseyde,And how that she forsook him ere she died.”Troilus and Creseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer Troilus and Cressida is one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, and I kind of understand why. The ending is not the most satisfying. However, Shakespeare did not come up with this story. Chaucer did. Or at least, Chaucer wrote it down. Of course, Shakespeare adapted the story for the stage, but the core elements are there.The key difference between Shakespeare’s version and Chaucer’s is that Chaucer was making a clear statement about courtly love. The idea that loving someone brought you closer to the divine. Shakespeare’s play does not have such a clear message. In fact, by shortening the timeline and making the characters more blunt, Shakespeare seems to have an almost nihilistic view of the situation. All the mushy love stuff is stripped away and we are left with harsh reality. Shakespeare adapting source material is nothing new, however, this example is notable because of what changed. Today, Eli and I will be discussing Troilus and Cressida, so strap on your armor, we’re heading to Troy. Sources:Bradbook, M.C. “What Shakespeare Did to Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 9, no. 3, 1958, pp. 311-319., doi:10.2307/2867331. Accessed April  2020.Davis-Brown, Kris. “Shakespeare’s Use of Chaucer in ‘Troilus and Cressida’: ‘That the Will is Infinite and he Execution Confined.’” South Central Review, vol. 5, no. 2, 1988, pp. 15-34., doi:10.2307/3189567. Accessed April 2020. Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 41 min
    The Essex Rebellion and Shakespeare

    The Essex Rebellion and Shakespeare

    “The swooning lover crashed into Elizabeth’s chamber in his filthy travelling clothes ‘so full of dirt and mire that his very face was full of it’ to confront his fair mistress, barely out of bed, her wrinkles brutally exposed in the morning light and her wig off." - Lisa Hilton, The Renaissance PrinceThe swooning lover here is Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and that wrinkled old woman is Queen Elizabeth I. Unsurprisingly, this incident marked the start of Essex’s downfall. Prior to this time, he was the Queen’s favorite. He benefited greatly from her favor and seemed to know how to keep it. She gave him money and power. He was a tireless flirt.Success did not become him, however. He became arrogant and just generally unpleasant to be around. Elizabeth was fond of him though, so the other courtiers had to stay silent and wait. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have to wait long because he quickly wasted an opportunity. He should have kept in mind that Elizabeth regularly banished favorites from court for getting married without her permission. He didn’t though and his fall was spectacular. Spoiler alert, he gets executed.Today, we’ll be discussing the Essex Rebellion and the role Shakespeare played. Sources:Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa HiltonElizabeth’s Bedfellow by Anna Whitelock Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 40 min
    Romeo & Juliet: Love or Lust

    Romeo & Juliet: Love or Lust

    “Two households both alike in dignity,In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.From forth the fatal loins of these two foesA pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;Whose misadventured piteous overthrowsDo with their death bury their parents’ strife.”-Prologue, Romeo and JulietNearly everyone is familiar with the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, two teens in love separated by their warring families. These two teens are often put up on a pedestal as the perfect representation of love. There’s even a whole movie about it, Shakespeare in Love. But, are they?They are young teens, who meet, fall in love, get married, and commit suicide in less than a week. On the surface, not exactly what one would aspire to emulate. And yet, here we are. It begs the question, is it possible that they were in love that quickly? The play is without a doubt full of beautiful, poetic language and packed full of emotion, but does it accurately represent love?These are the questions Eli and I will be grappling with today as we discuss Romeo and Juliet. Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4467-teller-of-the-talesLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4056-minstrel-guildLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 37 min

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