William Shakespeare

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Shakespeare Is Why You Hate Zits

His plays are really into bad skin: researchers

(Newser) - The makers of Neutrogena may have Shakespeare to thank for their success: The influence of his work has left us grossed out by pimples and other skin conditions. So say dermatologists in a new study that notes how much his plays focus on bad skin, the Christian Science Monitor reports.... More »

Shakespeare Play So Gory Audience Members Faint

Others say they felt sick during Globe Theatre production of 'Titus Andronicus'

(Newser) - Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is a gore-fest, and the Globe Theatre isn't pulling any punches in its revival of the play: Audience members have been fainting, as others have reported feeling sick while watching the production or not being able to sleep afterward, the Telegraph reports. The play features... More »

Guy's Revenge: Texting Complete Works of Shakespeare

Alleged fraudster will receive more than 29K texts

(Newser) - A man paid $133 for a PlayStation 3 on UK classifieds site Gumtree, but never received it—so he decided to get revenge on the fraudulent seller by texting him the complete works of Shakespeare. Edd Joseph, 24, discovered that it's easy for him to simply copy the text... More »

'Bad Handwriting' May Settle Shakespeare Mystery

Professor says it proves 'Spanish Tragedy' lines are by the Bard

(Newser) - It's been a nearly 200-year-long debate: Did William Shakespeare add 325 lines to Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy nearly a decade after Kyd's death? None other than Samuel Taylor Coleridge raised the question in 1833, and a 2012 computer analysis seemed to lend credence to the theory.... More »

Much to Love About Whedon's Much Ado

Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof star in Shakespeare comedy

(Newser) - Between filming and post-production for The Avengers, Joss Whedon took a brief break—to film another movie. The result is the tiny-budgeted Much Ado About Nothing, shot at Whedon's own house with a digital camera over 12 days. Despite, or perhaps because of, the project's simplicity, critics are... More »

Shakespeare a 'Ruthless' Food Hoarder

New study paints a picture of the Bard's darker side

(Newser) - William Shakespeare was, of course, an acclaimed playwright—but according to researchers, he was also a grain hoarder, tax evader, and all-around "ruthless" businessman. "Shakespeare the grain-hoarder has been redacted from history so that Shakespeare the creative genius could be born," say the academics in a paper... More »

Utah School in Tizzy Over Play's Risque Elvis Lyrics

'I'm all shook up' a little too controversial for one parent

(Newser) - A Utah parent almost got the local high school's performance of the Elvis Presley-themed musical All Shook Up canceled ... but the school got around the problem by changing such wildly controversial lyrics as, "Her lips are like a volcano that's hot." The initial decision to cancel... More »

Theater That Staged Shakespeare's 1st Plays Found

Curtain Theatre believed to have seen debut of 'Henry V'

(Newser) - Archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of an Elizabethan theater where some of William Shakespeare's plays were first performed. Experts from the Museum of London have uncovered a yard and gallery walls from the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch, just east of London's business district. The Curtain opened... More »

Shakespeare Had Co-Author

Thomas Middleton's literary fingerprint found on 'All's Well '

(Newser) - All's well that ... blends well? William Shakespeare worked with a co-author on All's Well That Ends Well, according to researchers who have analyzed the play line by line. The Oxford University experts say the most likely candidate for co-bard is celebrated playwright Thomas Middleton, judging from his distinctive... More »

Maybe It's Time to Get Over Shakespeare

Alexandra Petri wonders if the Bard should be, or not be, our literary touchstone

(Newser) - Is Shakespeare still relevant today? Before you answer, consider how many of his plays would be ruined by the addition of cellphones, writes Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post . "Soon, if we do a modern staging, we'll have to stipulate that, 'In fair Verona, where we lay... More »

Virtual Monkeys Nearly Done Pecking Out Shakespeare

Bard's works being randomly reproduced, 9 characters at a time

(Newser) - A computer programmer testing the old theory that monkeys randomly mashing keyboards will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare says his virtual monkeys are nearly done with the Bard. Jesse Anderson—who keeps a running total on his blog —calculates that, in the "largest work ever randomly"... More »

Did Shakespeare Smoke Pot?

Pot gave bard a creative boost, says scientist who wants to open grave

(Newser) - An academic is willing to risk falling afoul of a 400-year-old curse to find out whether William Shakespeare was a pothead. South African anthropologist Francis Thackeray, who discovered marijuana and cocaine residue in pipe fragments found in the bard's garden, believed pot gave Shakespeare a creative boost. He is... More »

Actor's Face Slashed During Hamlet

Outrageous stroke of ill fortune halts Irish production

(Newser) - An Irish production of Hamlet was cut short in the second half when the star was slashed under the eye and collapsed during the play's famous sword-fighting scene. Director Alan Stanford took to the stage to tell the audience that the blood was real and the show couldn't go on.... More »

Shakespeare Needed Paywalls —and We Do, Too

Piracy could've stopped great writers' careers before they began

(Newser) - The recent discovery of earthenware knobs in England—a distinctive feature of the moneyboxes used to collect admission for theaters in Shakespeare's time—prompts a reflection from author Scott Turow and Authors Guild chief Paul Aiken on the link between commerce and creative culture for the New York Times . Think... More »

Jury Deadlocked Over Guilt of Hamlet

Justice Anthony Kennedy presides over mock trial

(Newser) - A modern-day attempt to resolve a criminal case from way back did not succeed—despite the involvement of a Supreme Court justice. Anthony Kennedy presided over a mock trial of Hamlet at the University of Southern California, reports AP . It was a sort of legal master class—noted Los Angeles... More »

Literary Critic Frank Kermode Dead at 90

Shakespeare expert was Britain's most celebrated critic

(Newser) - Britain's most acclaimed literary critic has died aged 90. Sir Frank Kermode—described as "the finest English critic of his generation" by author David Lodge—analyzed everything from Shakespeare to Kurt Vonnegut to the Bible in a writing career that spanned 70 years, the New York Times reports. Kermode... More »

Palin Compares Herself to Shakespeare

...while asking Muslims to 'refudiate' Ground Zero Mosque on Twitter

(Newser) - "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate," Sarah Palin tweeted yesterday afternoon. Apparently realizing the word refudiate doesn't exist, Palin then pulled down the message and took a second stab, this time misusing... More »

Scammer Mutilated Precious Shakespeare Folio

Stolen $6M book ripped up to disguise it

(Newser) - One of the most valuable English-language books in existence is in tatters because of an unemployed book dealer's obsession with a Cuban waitress, prosecutors told a British court yesterday. Raymond Scott stole a 400-year-old first edition of Shakespeare's works from a university exhibition and then ripped out pages and destroyed... More »

Where4 Art Thou @Romeo?

Royal Shakespeare Company performs tragedy on Twitter

(Newser) - Four hundred-plus years after the first production of Romeo and Juliet, the star-cross'd lovers are playing out their tragic tale in a new medium: Twitter. The Royal Shakespeare Compan's production of Such Tweet Sorrow will play out in real time over the next 5 weeks, with six actors improvising as... More »

Book, Movie Spur Shakespeare Debate

Why the 'battle of the bard' keeps going

(Newser) - An upcoming film by action picture director Roland Emmerich claims the Earl of Oxford secretly wrote Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, meanwhile, has written a book defending the bard. He tells the Wall Street Journal why the debate is hotter than ever:
  • "It may have something to do
... More »

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