She's Lindsay; he's Aidan. Together, we are the Bicks, a husband and wife duo with a penchant for bickering. Join us as we deep dive into our literary passions and explore the intersection of literature, history, politics, and pop culture with easy-going banter and good humour (and hopefully a bit of research!) Now Bickering: The Collected Works of William Shakespeare.
Episode 37 - Selling Shakespeare
Why is it so easy to buy trinkets and knick-knacks with the face of an English poet who's been dead for 400 years? More importantly, why are we so willing to buy them? Those questions are the crux of what we're getting to in this week's podcast: the Shakespeare economy.
We take a dive through the fundamental questions around selling art in the modern capitalist world: How do value art? Who benefits from selling it? From buying it? We also discuss the particularities of those questions around the long-dead Shakespeare.
Naturally we bring up Marvel & Disney, art vs. entertainment, and all sorts of other things as we wheel into this particular wheelhouse. Join us for a long but compelling conversation all about selling Shakespeare.
Instead of a debate, this time we searched for three categories of items: the tackiest souvenir, the most expensive Shakespeare item, and the coolest ones.
Lindsay selected these particular items:
Tackiest: Shakespeare Rubber Ducky OR Shakespeare Soap
Most Expensive: A second folio edition
Coolest: Any authentic pieces of the mulberry tree cut down in Shakespeare's backyard (couldn't actually find any)
Aidan went with:
Tackiest: Shakespeare Punching Puppet OR Shakespeare Microbes
Most Expensive: A 1709 Shakespeare Collected Works
Coolest: Any of the tacky but otherwise cool masks for our day and time, such as those available on Etsy
The (very accurate) defense of Shakespeare in Love Lindsay mentions
Aidan collected a great deal of material for this episode from Shakespeare's Cultural Capital, available as a PDF from Palgrave Macmillan
You can read about the Globe and its reconstruction on both the Globe website itself, as well as Wikipedia
Lindsay's questioning of airline pricing is based on a pretty solid breakdown of how COVID has wrecked the airline industry pricing practices
Episode 36 - The Merry Wives of Windsor
Merry wives, jealous husbands, faeries and a wedding! This play - rumored to be written at the behest of Queen Elizabeth herself - is a comedy unlike any of the others in Shakespeare's repertoire. An almost proto-restoration play about class, fidelity, and trust, it's a forward looking play that retains the very serious ability to make us laugh.
This week we talk about the themes, comedy, and characters present in the play, especially around gender and jealousy. Join us for an exploration of this rarely produced, but very gratifying play.
Thankfully (and unbeknownst to Lindsay at the time of recording), the Folger Shakespeare library has put their "A Modern Perspective" set of essays online, and we encourage you to check out the one dedicated to this play.
Lindsay also located this wonderful mini-essay online (also from Folger) that dives into what makes this comedy so different from Shakespeare's others.
Our question was a simple one: who are the more untrustworthy characters of the play? The men or the women?
Episode 35 - Shakespeare on Screen
If you're like us, you probably think that the intersection of Shakespeare and the big and small screen might not be a very important one. But you, like us, would be wrong: the two are more intimately entwined than you would believe! From the early days of capturing live action on film, people have been absolutely obsessed with playing in Shakespeare's sand box.
In today's episode, we are looking at how film innovations helped to translate Shakespeare to this new medium in the last year of the 19th century, how it helped define filmed drama in the middle 20th century, and how filmed Shakespeare pushed the boundaries of both film and television into the first decades of the 21st century.
Ancient Bickerings:Where will Shakespeare on screen go in the next century?
Shakespeare on Film by Maurice Hindle"Viewing Shakespeare on Film" timeline from Encyclopedia Britannica
Clips:- 1899 scene from King John- Vitagraph's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)- Asta Nielsen's star vehicle, Hamlet (1920)- The Taming of the Shrew starring (1929)- Trailer for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)- Trailer for Chimes at Midnight (1966)- Trailer for Romeo & Juliet (1968)- Trailer for Macbeth (1971)- Trailer for Antony & Cleopatra (1972)- Quasi-trailer for the BBC TV version of Hamlet (1980)- 1989 Henry V - St. Crispin's Day speech- Trailer for Romeo + Juliet (1996)- Trailer for Titus (1999)- Trailer for Hamlet (2000)- Trailer for The Merchant of Venice (2004)- Teaser trailer for Macbeth (2015)- To Be or Not to Be video game
Episode 34 - Much Ado About Nothing
One of Shakespeare's most beloved and often-produced plays, Much Ado About Nothing is a very Elizabethan story about men and women, and the lies they're told about each other. Featuring the beloved template for your hosts, Benedick and Beatrice are two of the most accessible characters to modern viewers, and their relationship has become the template for many other relationships of the more liberal ages that followed Shakespeare's world.
Join us for a conversation about those two characters, the preoccupations with fidelity and chastity evident in the play, and the limitations of Shakespeare in representing the reality of relationships between men and women.
This week's ancient bickerings is a very simple one: Are Beatrice and Benedick truly in love or is it simply a ruse? Or to put it another way, does the deception used to bring them together reveal their existing love for one another or create it wholecloth?
Episode 33 - The Hollow Crown Season 1
One of the best parts of approaching the Shakespearean plays as we have - that is, in a roughly chronological manner - is that we’ve seen the growth of Shakespeare as a writer. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the recent BBC adaptations of Shakespeare's historical tetralogies in their acclaimed series The Hollow Crown. We talked about the first tetralogy - 1 Henry VI, 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI, and Richard III - but today we're diving into the second tetralogy, the famed Henriad, comprising Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, and Henry V which were the subject of the first cycle of The Hollow Crown back in 2012.
Featuring an all-star cast and a massive budget, The Hollow Crown is a masterful retelling of Shakespeare's famous Henriad. That they aired it in the same year as the London Olympics and at the same time as Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations were underway says something about the way Shakespeare is still regarded by his cultural descendants. It also leaves us wondering about the role of public broadcasters in telling a nation's story.
Here to dive into the nitty gritty details of these four plays and their film adaptations is James Kelly, host of Shakespeare Onscreen and Ranking Thrones (a Game of Thrones podcast) and fellow Shakespeare aficionado!Notes:
- You can follow James on Twitter (@ssvegerot4evr)- Catch Shakespeare Onscreen/Ranking Thrones online wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts!
- Also check out James' foray into Shakespearean comic books with his adaptation of Richard III for Olympian Comics
Episode 32 - Henry IV Part 2
So you've read Part 1 of Henry IV and it left you wanting more huh? You wanted more Falstaff? You got it! You wanted more Hal? You got a bit of that too! More of the same engaging, utterly entertaining set of tight character interactions and seamless plot integration? Not so much.
This episode we talk about the complete inversion of Part 1 that is Part 2, with the youthful enthusiasm of Hotspur and Hal replaced with the eminent demise of Hal's two father figures. Lying, rumor-mongering, and hardly any meaningful human interaction await as we dive into this play and near the end of Shakespeare's love of English history.
The actor who played Falstaff in the BBC Production was none other than Oscar nominee Antony Quayle, of Laurence of Arabia fame.
This time we discussed whether or not Hal believed his father had truly died when he found him asleep at the end of Act 4 - which has all sorts of implications for his relationship with his father, the crown, and even Falstaff.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Best “Twin Peaks” podcast in town!!!
The hosts of this podcast are husband and wife, so they aren’t obligated by etiquette to hide their disagreements. They’re also well-versed in the various fan theories surrounding “Twin Peaks”, and they do a good job of mixing up speculation, analysis, and reportage. Their episode recaps are the best I’ve heard - even hardcore fans will appreciate them. Only downside (if you can call it that) is that they don’t do guest interviews like other “Twin Peaks” podcasts.
It fell apart...
So after consuming all of the really good Twin Peaks podcasts, I knew, and was ok with the fact that this one was not going to have the same level of research and insight as the best Twin Peaks podcasts out there. A couple of things killed it for me. 1. Aiden keeps trying to finish her sentences by repeating the last word, sentence, or thought she had... And they try to link the movie and the book/s with the show with their own theories, which normally would be fine except for they either don't know or are just ignoring the fact that Mark Frost and David Lynch had a falling out and did their own things with the property. Therefore, none of it is supposed to line up... So listening to them trying to link everything up is the auditory equivalent of watching someone trying to put a square peg in a round hole...
I am slowly finishing all your podcasts. I really like the approach. It even evokes disagreement in me sometimes, so that I wish I could be sitting there with you to discuss it! I did want to mention that in your discussion of Part 12 of The Return, "Let's Rock" you didn't cite the writing on Chet Desmond's car windshield that Cooper and Albert find in the old trailer park. Same phrase.