Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Bard Bits: March


One month to go until we celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday or reflect upon his death. Tough call since Shakespeare was born/died on the same day–supposedly April 23. Which way to acknowledge that auspicious day? Rejoice in his birth? Remorse of his death?

“Shakespeare. When will there come another?”
Thank Antony for the paraphrase

Shakespeare shares this notable event known as the “birthday effect” with other famous folk such as the painter Raphael (April 6), Ingrid Bergman (August 29), Grant Wood (February 13), known for the painting, American Gothic, and Corrie Ten Boom (April 15).

Image result for Shakespeare's Birthplace
Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon
Don’t mess with the Bard’s bones

Born/died in 1616, the year marks of 2020 marks the 404 for William. It is appropriate that April is designated National Poetry Month, since Shakespeare perfected the sonnet, churning out some 154 of the iambic pentameter driven contributions to poetry and reflective muse.

While most Shakespeare aficionados and fans are content with being titled as Bardolators, I have chosen Bardinator since the difference is being a bit more determined to keep returning to understand his work–yeah, it is similar to a certain movie icon who keeps up with that line of “I’ll be back.” I teach Shakespeare, I relish his genius with words, yet I don’t like all his works (especially those with pies). I do want to keep returning to understand his wit and expertise with turning a phrase. After ten plus years of teaching Hamlet to high school students I am still discovering aspects of the play that just absolutely make me jump up and down with excitement. And yes, my students do wonder how I get so involved with Shakespeare. Even the Muppets appreciate Shakespeare.

Stay tuned for more Bard Bits as his birthday approaches…

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12 thoughts on “Bard Bits: March

  1. Do you have a favorite film adaptation?

    • It would depend on the play. I’m leaning towards the Mel Gibson version of Hamlet (minus the awkward “closet” scene with his Mum). How about you—any faves?

  2. Do you have time for a story? I certainly have the time to tell one. When I was a young lad, of maybe six or seven, my family and I took an overnight trip to Palm Strongs. Sitting in the hotel room, whilst everybody was getting ready for breakfast, I began flipping through the TV stations. I landed on a black & white movie, which turned out to be Citizen Kane. I instantly became mesmerized by the long, silent opening of the film. My dad walked in and said, “All right, let’s go.” I pointed to the screen and said, “What’s this?” My dad looked at the screen for a moment, and then said, “That’s the greatest movie ever made.” Then he flipped off the TV. Cut to my college days and my first VCR. Naturally, after all the years of reading about the classics, I now had the opportunity to watch every one of them, with a special attention to Chaplin and —- Welles. That said, my favorite was my first, Chimes of Midnight (Based on the Henry IV plays). I also enjoyed Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet and Kurosawa’s take on Macbeth, Throne of Blood.

  3. (Chimes AT Midnight)

  4. I knew about Shakespeare’s synchronized birth and death dates but didn’t know about the others. How awful is it to possibly be aware of one’s approaching death while also anticipating one more birthday? Looking forward to more installments of Bard Bits!

  5. Hamlet is one I haven’t read yet, I feel ashamed now!

    • Surprised and admittedly shocked. Watch a really good version, then read the play, or read the play as you watch (because are meant to be watched, not read). Then Veggie Tales will make more sense.

      • I will get to it one day, I quite like the idea as saving it for a treat but then I fear my mortality and all the good books I have yet to read…

      • I was looking forward to all the reading time this new lockdown brings, but knowing I can read anytime now is not the same as those savored random moments from our previous life…

      • That is true…now Amelia is here, I find myself grabbing a couple of pages a day which is not ideal for a blog that mainly does book reviews but reading Márquez I am finding the savouring even more fun as his words are so wonderful.

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