Category: shakespeare (page 2 of 22)

Kronborg – Hamlet’s Castle

I recently had the opportunity to visit Copenhagen, Denmark and one day, I took a side trip up the North Zealand coast to the town of Helsingør. In that town lies Kronborg Castle, which is also known as Hamlet’s Castle after Shakespeare immortalised it in his tragic play under the Anglicised name “Elsinore.” Though scholars debate whether or not Shakespeare himself ever visited Helsingør and Kronborg Castle, they do confirm that he likely had heard stories of the town and its castle through various Renaissance actors who had performed at the castle before joining Shakespeare’s troupe in England.

Despite the somewhat tenuous connection to the Bard, Kronborg celebrates its Shakespearean roots with an annual Shakespeare festival and a daily tour for visitors that connects the castle to Shakespeare’s play. (The castle’s gift shop, of course, sells several Shakespeare-related items and memorabilia, including a “To Be or Not to Be” hooded sweatshirt that I picked up.) While Denmark’s literary history is often dominated (and rightly so) by Hans Christian Anderson, Kronborg Castle offers Shakespeare fans a bit of the Bard outside of England.

Below are some of the pictures I took while visiting.


Book News, March 7th

March! My favorite months, bookworms! One week until my birthday (aka THE GREATEST DAY EVER even if I will deny my real age if anyone dares to ask) and 10 days until St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, friends, I will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day IN IRELAND. As it’s a national holiday, I partly expect previously unseen awesome-ness, and I also partly expect a completely normal day if the Irish are like, “eh.” Either way, I’m exciting for what might happen. Hopefully, you’ll be excited about this week’s book new:

  • It’s been 400 years since the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, died and to commemorate this occasion, the Folger Shakespeare Library is launching a travel tour of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Every state in the US and the District of Columbia will have a specific library designated to receive the traveling tour and the delicate books. The tour will help give the average citizen a chance to see some of Shakespeare’s original works. In my home state of RI, Brown University received the honor, while Bostonians will have to travel west to Amherst to see the Folio in Massachusetts.
  • In honor of International Women’s Day (celebrated on March 8th), a number of authors, writers and coders planned a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia and encourage female editorship. In the US, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) led the charge for the event. Book Riot suggested a list of female authors and writers (particularly women of color) who should have an increased web presence. Take a look at their suggestions, and think about who you would include.
  • And since we’re now in March (which is Women’s History Month) and we’re talking about awesome females, Book Riot again continues to awesome by compiling a list of the Best Feminist Books for Young Readers. I’m a big believer in encouraging feminism early and often, and these suggestions are perfect for girls (and boys!) who are elementary and middle grade readers, and/or who are perhaps not quite ready for young adult fiction. Shannon Hale’s The Princess in Blacktops the list (and she herself wrote an important post about why boys needs “girl” books or feminist books just as much). Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is also on the list, so why haven’t you read it yet?!
  • Earlier this week – March 4th, to be exact – we celebrated National Grammar Day. (It’s okay if you didn’t realize it at the time. As far as I’m concerned, every day is National Grammar Day.) Even if you did forget, Grammar Girl has a list of the Top 10 Grammar Myths to remind you that you may not know what you think you know. I personally find #6 (the passive voice isn’t always wrong) to be interesting. As an academic, I’ve had the “no passive voice” rule drilled into my head. Now, though, I have a good point to make a different case.
  • The world of Divergent may have found something of a conclusion, but Veronica Roth is just getting started. Roth recently signed a new book deal for a duology (two-book series) “in the vein of Star Wars.” DONE! Sign me up! I don’t even need to know what else the books will be about. HarperCollins had me at “Star Wars.” Roth’s new novels will be published in 2017 and 2018.
  • Well, that didn’t take long. Mere weeks after Gayle Forman’s newest novel, I Was Here, was published and released, New Line Cinemas has picked up the film rights for the novel. Last year, one of Forman’s earlier novels, If I Stay, was released as a film and was fairly successful. I Was Here tells the story of Cody, who struggles for answers in the aftermath of the unexpected suicide of her best friend. So, basically, if you sobbed your eyes out this last summer, you’re going to need more tissues when the new Forman movie makes its way to the theaters.

As always, happy reading.

Word of the Week (170)

DictionaryHistory happens, and Shakespeare reinvents it. Turns out, his Scottish play did involve some truthful pieces of fact. On August 14, 1040, two cousins met each other in battle. Duncan I is killed, and his rival, Macbeth, becomes king. Of course, that version doesn’t evince as much joy as the Bard’s version, complete with witches, scheming and a crazy wife.

Evince (“ih-vins”)

Verb; from

1. To show clearly; make evident, prove
2. To reveal the possession of a trait or quality

“My old acquaintance,” Leo said. Although his tone held no rancor, neither did it evince any pleasure. (Mine Till Midnight, Lisa Kleypas)

With its first usage dating back to sometime around 1600, evince comes into English from both French and Latin. The French word évincer translates to “disprove” or “refute” and, in turn, stems from the Latin evincere, which means “conquer” or “elicit by argument.” The modern meaning of “to show clearly” dates back to the late 18th century. While it may not be perfectly clear to see how evince of the 1600’s became the evince of today, the original Latin meaning does refer to proving by argument, which could suggest the path of the word’s history.

Your turn, bookworms – Were you to evince a particular personality trait or characteristic, what one thing would you want to be known for? Obviously we can’t be boiled down to just one characteristic, but what’s the one defining thing about you?

[Photo Credit: Google Images]

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