Happy 450th Birthday Big Guy! (William Shakespeare 4.23.14)

pictures-william-shakespeare-5

A quick post to wish William Shakespeare a Happy 450th birthday.

Raise a glass to the Bard tonight and, perhaps read a sonnet in his honor.

 

William Shakespeare was born on this day in Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1564. Today is the 450th anniversary of his birth

Although no official records of birth exist, the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon has his baptism date listed as April 26, 1564, and the 23rd is generally agreed to be his birth date.  He was the third of eight children born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare.

William learned Latin, Greek and the Classics in grammar school, but never attended university.

At 18 he married Anne Hathaway (she was 8 years his senior and pregnant with their daughter Susanna). Two years later the couple had twins, Hamnet and Judith.

By 1592 he was in London acting and…

 

By 1594, he was not only acting and writing for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (called the King’s Men after the ascension of James I in 1603), but was a managing partner in the operation as well. With Will Kempe, a master comedian, and Richard Burbage, a leading tragic actor of the day, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men became a favorite London troupe, patronized by royalty and made popular by the theatre-going public. … He had plays published and sold in octavo editions, or “penny-copies” to the more literate of his audiences. Never before had a playwright enjoyed sufficient acclaim to see his works published and sold as popular literature in the midst of his career. [Shakespeare Resource Center]

 

He retired back to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1610 and lived the largest house in town. He died at home on his 52nd birthday (although the day of his death is also not officially known.) He was buried on April 25, 1616.

william_shakespeare2

 

Here are Shakespeare’s Plays: [Courtesy Shakespeare On-Line]

Tragedies

 Antony and Cleopatra (1607-1608)
The story of Mark Antony, Roman military leader and triumvir, who is madly in love with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Coriolanus (1607-1608)
The last of Shakespeare’s great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius Marcius Coriolanus.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Hamlet (1600-1601)
Since its first recorded production, Hamlet has engrossed playgoers, thrilled readers, and challenged actors more so than any other play in the Western canon. No other single work of fiction has produced more commonly used expressions.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1603).

 Julius Caesar (1599-1600)
Although there were earlier Elizabethan plays on the subject of Julius Caesar and his turbulent rule, Shakespeare’s penetrating study of political life in ancient Rome is the only version to recount the demise of Brutus and the other conspirators.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 King Lear (1605-1606)
The story of King Lear, an aging monarch who decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, according to which one recites the best declaration of love.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1608).

 Macbeth (1605-1606)
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most stimulating and popular dramas. Renaissance records of Shakespeare’s plays in performance are scarce, but a detailed account of an original production of Macbeth has survived, thanks to Dr. Simon Forman.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Othello (1604-1605)
Othello, a valiant Moorish general in the service of Venice, falls prey to the devious schemes of his false friend, Iago.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1622).

 Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595)
Celebrated for the radiance of its lyric poetry, Romeo and Juliet was tremendously popular from its first performance. The sweet whispers shared by young Tudor lovers throughout the realm were often referred to as “naught but pure Romeo and Juliet.”
Earliest known text: Quarto (1597).

 Timon of Athens (1607-1608)
Written late in Shakespeare’s career, Timon of Athens is criticized as an underdeveloped tragedy, likely co-written by George Wilkins or Cyril Tourneur. Read the play and see if you agree.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Titus Andronicus (1593-1594)
A sordid tale of revenge and political turmoil, overflowing with bloodshed and unthinkable brutality. The play was not printed with Shakespeare credited as author during his lifetime, and critics are divided between whether it is the product of another dramatist or simply Shakespeare’s first attempt at the genre.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1594).

william-shakespeare

Histories

 Henry IV, Part I (1597-1598)
One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, featuring the opportunistic miscreant, Sir John Falstaff.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1598).

 Henry IV, Part II (1597-1598)
This is the third play in the second tetralogy of history plays, along with Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, and Henry V.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1600).

 Henry V (1598-1599)
Henry V is the last in the second tetralogy sequence. King Henry is considered Shakespeare’s ideal monarch.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1600).

 Henry VI, Part I (1591-1592)
The first in Shakespeare’s trilogy about the War of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Henry VI, Part II (1590-1591)
Part two of Shakespeare’s chronicle play. Based on Hall’s work, the play contains some historical inaccuracies.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1594).

 Henry VI, Part III (1590-1591)
Part three begins in medias res, with the duke of Suffolk dead and the duke of York being named Henry VI’s heir.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1595).

 Henry VIII (1612-1613)
Many believe Henry VIII to be Shakespeare’s last play, but others firmly believe that he had little, if anything, to do with its creation.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 King John (1596-1597)
In the shadow of Shakespeare’s second tetralogy of history plays lies the neglected masterpiece, King John. Although seldom read or performed today, King John was once one of Shakespeare’s most popular histories, praised for its poetic brilliance.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Richard II (1595-1596)
More so than Shakespeare’s earlier history plays, Richard II is notable for its well-rounded characters.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1597).

 Richard III (1592-1593)  The devious machinations of the deformed villain, Richard, duke of Gloucester, made this play an Elizabethan favorite.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1597).

shakespeare

Comedies

 All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-1603)
In 1767, a scholar named Richard Farmer concluded that this play is really the revision of Shakespeare’s missing Love’s Labour’s Won, which was likely written around 1592. It is considered a problem play, due primarily to the character Helena and her ambiguous nature. Is she a virtuous lady or a crafty temptress?
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 As You Like It (1599-1600)
As You Like It is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, and the heroine, Rosalind, is praised as one of his most inspiring characters.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 The Comedy of Errors (1592-1593)
This is Shakespeare’s shortest play, which he based on Menaechmi by Plautus.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Cymbeline (1609-1610)
This play, modeled after Boccaccio’s Decameron, is often classified as a romance. It features the beautiful Imogen, considered by many to be Shakespeare’s most admirable female character.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594-1595)
Love’s Labour’s Lost is a play of witty banter and little plot, written during the early part of Shakespeare’s literary career, when his focus was on fancy conceits and the playful nature of love.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1598).

 Measure for Measure (1604-1605)
Considered a “dark” comedy, Measure for Measure was inspired by Cinthio’s Epitia and Whetstone’s Promos and Cassandra.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597)
The character of Shylock has raised a debate over whether the play should be condemned as anti-Semitic, and this controversy has overshadowed many other aspects of the play.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1600).

 The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600-1601)
The Merry Wives is unique amongst Shakespeare’s plays because it is set in Shakespeare’s England. It features the Bard’s beloved character, Falstaff.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1602).

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595-1596)
A magical exploration of the mysteries of love, and one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1600).

 Much Ado About Nothing (1598-1599)
The story of two very different sets of lovers, Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero. The witty banter between Beatrice and Benedick is the highlight of the play.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1600).

 Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1608-1609)
Portions of Pericles are ripe with imagery and symbolism but the first three acts and scenes v and vi (the notorious brothel scenes) of Act IV are considered inadequate and likely the work of two other dramatists. The play was not included in the First Folio of 1623. In Shakespeare’s sources, Pericles is named Apollonius.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1609).

 The Taming of the Shrew (1593-1594)
The Taming of the Shrew revolves around the troubled relationship between Katharina and her suitor, Petruchio, who is determined to mold Katharina into a suitable wife.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 The Tempest (1611-1612)
Hailed as a stunning climax to the career of England’s favorite dramatist, The Tempest is a play praising the glories of reconciliation and forgiveness. Some believe that Prospero’s final speeches signify Shakespeare’s personal adieu from the stage.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Troilus and Cressida (1601-1602)
Troilus and Cressida is difficult to categorize because it lacks elements vital to both comedies and tragedies. But, for now, it is classified as a comedy.
Earliest known text: Quarto (1609).

 Twelfth Night (1599-1600)
Shakespeare loved to use the device of mistaken identity, and nowhere does he use this convention more skillfully than in Twelfth Night.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594-1595)
The tale of two friends who travel to Milan and learn about the chaotic world of courting.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

 The Winter’s Tale (1610-1611)
The Winter’s Tale is considered a romantic comedy, but tragic elements are woven throughout the play. We have a first-hand account of a production of the play at the Globe in 1611. It is one of Shakespeare’s final plays.
Earliest known text: First Folio (1623).

ShakespeareCircle

For previous ritaLOVEStoWRITE.com Shakespeare posts click

Here for Insults

More Insults

Or just go to the search field on the right and type in Shakespeare (I’ve got a lot of Shakespeare on here.)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Muffin “Monday” Chia Pomegranate Almond (Vegan)

The beauty of chai in and out.

The beauty of Chia in and out.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce
  • 2/3 cup Pomegranates
  • 2/3 cup Slivered Almonds
I picked up my package of Chia seeds at the Red MIll display of my local grocery store. The fresh pomegranates were in the produce aisle at Trader Joe's.

I picked up my package of Chia seeds at the Red MIll display of my local grocery store. The fresh pomegranates were in the produce aisle at Trader Joe’s.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep 12 muffin cups with baking spray.

2. Put Almond Milk into the measuring cup and add the Apple Cider Vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl mix together the Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cornstarch, Salt, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Chia Seeds, and Sugar.

4. Add Applesauce to the Almond Milk and stir.

5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until incorporated.

6. Fold in the Pomegranates and Almonds.

7. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until muffins pass the tooth pick test. Let stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

The muffins ready to go in the oven.

The muffins ready to go in the oven.

 

These muffins a super flavorful and yummy. I loved the pop of the Pomegranate and the crunch of the Chia Seeds and Almond. The spices definitely give these muffins the taste of a warm mug of Chia Tea on a cold winter morning. Taster Kathy thought they were delicious. She gave them thumbs up for being unusual and added that she loved them. (Me too!)

 

Golden perfection, the muffins fresh from the oven.

I <3 the golden perfection of Chia Pomegranate Almond muffins fresh from the oven.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sean Bean 4.17.14

[Image courtesy jccastses.com]

[Image courtesy jccasses.com]

“Listen to people and treat people as you find them. There’s an inherent goodness in most people. Don’t pre-judge people – that was me Mam’s advice anyway.” — Sean Bean

“Winter is Coming”

Shaun Mark Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, England in 1959. He is 55 years old.

His father owned a welding firm. After high school Bean learned the trade at  Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and worked at the firm while taking occasional courses at college. He came across and art course that ignited his interest.  Then he took a drama course and was hooked.

In 1981 He started at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on scholarship. He graduated from the seven-term course in 1983 and began to work in the theatre. By 1986 he was in the Royal Shakespeare Company and had appeared in his first film, Caravaggio. Over the next decade he built his CV with roles on stage, on film and on British TV. (It was about at this time that he changed his first name to the Irish spelling “Sean”.)

Then came Richard Sharpe, Bernard Cornwall’s rogue who brought Bean to world-wide attention. He played the character in 16 episodes as the riffle man crossed Europe and Asia in his iconic (and sometimes tattered) red coat and boots.

Bean is equally comfortable in the role of hero or villain and he usually plays something in between. Alas he often ends up dead at the end of a movie.  (Besides Sharpe I’m not sure that I can think of a Bean role that DIDN’T end in a death scene). There’s even a YouTube video devoted to Sean Bean’s Death  Scenes. He can also slip easily from classical or modern roles. Like wise fantasy or realistic. Give him an oversized shield or sword and he’s in a sci-fi epic, give him a flannel shirt and he disappears into the role of Kyle, a loving, supportive husband in North Country.  (Oh! he doesn’t die in North  Country! Yeah for him!)

Besides Sharpe,  you’ll know him as Boromir from Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy and more recently as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones.  (And of course you’ll remember that I featured him last year in my first month-long Secondary Character Saturday series for his roles as Boromir, Stark, Odysseus, &  Ian Howe.)

I think the Sean Bean role I’m most looking forward to is his take on Macbeth in the upcoming Enemy of Man (which is in post production.)

[Image courtesy www.poptower.com]

[Image courtesy www.poptower.com]


Richard III is at it again!

Baltimore Shakespeare Factory Richard III promotional coaster. *

Baltimore Shakespeare Factory Richard III promotional coaster features the King’s crest and a White Boar, his symbol. *

Everybody’s favorite Shakespearian villain is haunting the streets of Baltimore again. This time at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s indoor performance space, The Great Hall Theatre at St. Mary’s on Roland Ave.

The Factory presents the Bard’s works as they were originally presented:

  • Universal lighting
  • Minimal sets
  • Music period to the time
  • Cross gender casting
  • And actors taking on multiple roles.

Given The Great Hall’s thrust stage and the the fact that they keep the lights up it is no wonder that as an audience you feel very engaged in the play. The players can see YOU as much as you can see them, and when Richard cracks some scheme or Elizabeth pleads to the heavens for mercy… they are talking to you.

This production snaps along at about 2 hours and 45 minutes (plus intermission) and stars Chris Cotterman as Richard. Cotterman is ruthless and –somehow– heartbreaking in the role. I (very unexpectedly) found myself (kind of) routing for the guy. Ian Blackwell Rogers– who won me over as Macbeth and Hamlet in past Factory productions — is delightfully oily as the power hunger Buckingham. And Lily Kerrigan, Kelly Dowling and Barbara Madison Hauck do justice to the trio of women (Lady Anne, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Margaret) who have their lives torn apart by Richard’s ambitions. The show is directed by Tom Delise.

You’ve got one more weekend to catch it as the show runs through April April 19.

Poster for Richard. *

Poster for Richard. *

 

 

*I was lucky enough to design the promotional materials for the Factory’s production.


Muffin Monday: Almond Currant (Vegan?)

Almond Currant muffins cooling

Almond Currant muffins cooling

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 cups Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 cups Almond Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Slivered Almonds

3/4 cup Currants

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep 12 muffin cups with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt.

3. In a large measuring cup combine Vegetable Oil, Milk and Vanilla Extract.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until well incorporated.

5. Add the Almonds and Currants.

6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.

The Almond Currant muffins before they went into the oven.

The Almond Currant muffins before they went into the oven.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins pass the tooth pick test.

8. Cool on a wire rack.

Yum. The final product.

Yum. The final product.

 

I have a friend who is trying to follow a Vegan diet, so I wanted to do a few more Vegan friendly recipes. I think this one works. I hope my Vegan readers will let me know if I missed anything!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in these muffins, but I had the currants left over from some Irish Soda Bread and I thought… why not? They are really nice with the almond (which is another left over ingredient.)  Hope you like them!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Muffin “Monday” — Zucchini Fig Almond

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Peal
  • 1 cup shredded Zucchini (fresh or frozen/thawed)
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 1/3 cup Fig
  • 1/4 cup  Almond Slivers
  • Water to smooth the tops of the muffins
A note on the Zucchini — So Sunday was a  lovely day here in Northern Maryland and I finally got out into the garden to do some rehab and bit of planting. Being an optimistic kind of human, I planted Zucchini — yes, I’m one of those people who thinks you “can NEVER have too much Zucchini.” So I started a packet of seeds, knowing full well that I’ll get Zuke in my weekly box from the farmer co-op come summer. With this in mind I went to the freezer to free it of some of last year’s crop. I let a bag thaw over night than (after cracking the ziplock seal) gave it an assist in the microwave for a minute. Then (over the sink) I pierced the bottom of the bag in several sections and squeezed the water out. I got 1 cup of compacted Zucchini.
Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag that has been drained of excess water.

Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag  drained of excess water.

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and Prep muffin cups with cooking spray. (I used 12 medium-sized muffin cups).

2. In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Cardamom, Sugar and Lemon Peal,

3. In a medium bowl, combine the Zucchini, Lemon Zest, Canola Oil, Egg and Milk and stir well.

4. Add the wet to dry and mix until combined.

5. Chop up the Fig into small segments. Cut off the tops of the figs. Cut fig in quarters length wise, then dice.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

6. Add the Fig and Almonds to the batter

7. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. With a wet spoon smooth out the muffins.

IMG_7502

8. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins pass the toothpick test.

These babies would pass any test.

These babies would pass any test. Bring it on tooth pick.

9. Cool on a wire rack.

These came out perfectly. Dense, but not gummy. Crunchy at the top. Just sweet enough, but not overly so.  I think they’ll keep and travel well because they weren’t moist. But they weren’t so dry that you’d need to add butter or apple sauce to enjoy them. Yum.

While last week’s Strawberry Peach Minis were a bit on the dessert-y side,  these darlings fit nicely into the breakfast category. Taster Kathy agrees. She thought the muffins were healthy and hearty and really liked the fig and almond addition to the zucchini. She added that they were “Just delicious.”

 

 

Beauty shot.

Beauty shot.

 

 

MORE MUFFIN FUN:

Muffin Monday: S’mores & Mandarin Orange Choc. Chip

Special Snow Day: Nutella Zucchini

Muffin Monday Top Blog Honor

Enhanced by Zemanta

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 420 other followers

%d bloggers like this: