Celebration Quotation – April 22, 2016

In honor of Earth Day, an earthy quotation from Hamlet:

"This goodly frame, the earth...this most excellent canopy, the air—look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament fretted with golden fire..." Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2

The image is a portrait of John Howard Payne (1791-1852) in the role of Hamlet.  Payne was a fascinating fellow: he was born in America, but had much of his stage success in London.  As well as being an actor, Payne was also a poet, playwright, and songwriter – his song Home Sweet Home (“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”) became one of the most popular songs of the day in the English-speaking world.  Payne was fascinated by history and archaeology – he traveled widely, spent time among the people of the Cherokee nation, and served for ten years as the American Consul to Tunis.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Our production of A Shakespeare Celebration for the Westminster Fine Arts Series opens tonight and runs through May 1.  In honor of Shakespeare’s Birthday, tickets for this weekend’s performances are Free – though you can make a “Free Will” donation.  Get tickets here

Celebration Quotation – April 21, 2016

Today’s quote is from the “Scottish Play” – you know the one:

"If it were done when 'tis done, 'twere well it were done quickly." Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7

The image is an engraving of actor Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (1818-1866).  Born in Ireland, Brooke found success on the stage in Ireland, England, and Australia.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 20, 2016

Today’s quote is from Hamlet:

"Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind." Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1

This gorgeous image is from an early 20th century painting by artist Charles A. Buchel (1872-1950).  Bushel was born in Germany, but moved to England as a child and studied painting at Britain’s Royal Academy of Art.  Bushel painted portraits of many leading theatre artists of the late 19th and early 20th century.  He also designed sets, theatre posters and playbills, as well as illustrations for theatre magazines. and See more of his work – including some paintings from his stage sets – here at ArtUK.org.

We were talking about Hamlet just this morning.  Like many of Shakespeare’s characters, Ophelia doesn’t have a last name, and we were speculating on what it might be. Do you have a suggestion?

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 19, 2016

Today’s quote comes from Julius Caesar:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries." Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3

This is Shakespeare’s way of saying “Seize the Day!”

The actor pictured is Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852).  Booth was born in England, but emigrated to the U.S. in 1821 and became one of the country’s most celebrated actor-managers.  His children followed in his footsteps, and toured with him as members of his company.  His eldest son Edwin was one of the greatest actors of his generation.  His second son John Wilkes was also an actor, but is more remembered as the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.  The youngest Booth – Junius, Jr. was also an actor-manager, but found his career eclipsed by Edwin’s talent – and John Wilkes infamy.

Booth was named after Marcus Junius Brutus – the character he was playing in Julius Caesar when this portrait was created in 1827.  The artist is John Neagle.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 18, 2016

Today’s quote is from Two Gentlemen of Verona:

"How use doth breed a habit in a man!" Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, Scene 4

The image – an engraving of a drawing of Valentine (the character in the play who speaks this line) – is by British artist Henry Singleton (1766-1839.)  See more of his art here at ArtUK.org,

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 17, 2016

Today’s quote is from As You Like it:

"Men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love." As You Like It, Act IV, Scene i

The actor in the photo is Margaret Anglin (1876-1958).  Born in Canada, Anglin found success on Broadway, toured the U.S. and Canada, and was considered to be one of the best actresses of her generation, specializing in playing Greek tragedy and Shakespeare.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 16, 2016

Today’s quote is from Julius Caesar:

"For mine own part, it was Greek to me!" Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2

It’s amazing how many of Shakespeare’s lines have become common sayings.  Have you used this one when you heard something you didn’t quite understand?

The image – of the character Casca having a conversation with the philosopher Cicero – in an 1789 engraving by German artist Conrad Martin Metz (1749-1827.)  See more of his work here at Artnet.com.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 15, 2016

Today’s quote is from Hamlet:

"It is a custom more honored in the breach than the observance." Hamlet, Act I, Scene 4

The actor in the photo is American actor Edwin Adams (1834-1877) in the role of Hamlet .  Adams was best known for playing light comedy, though as a member of Edwin Booth’s touring company in the mid-19th century, he played roles in a number of tragedies, including Romeo & Juliet and Othello.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 14, 2016

Today’s quote is from Measure for Measure:

"Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall." Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene 1

The engraving – an illustration of the scene from which this quote is taken – is by artist Robert Smirke (1753-1845.)  Smirks specialized in illustrations for subjects from literature, particularly Shakespeare. View more of his works at ArtUK.org.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 13, 2016

Today’s quote is from Henry VIII:

"I feel within me a peace above all earthly dignities; a still and quiet conscience." King Henry VIII, Act III, Scene 2

The actor pictured is Samuel Phelps (1804-1878).  Phelps was well-known for his work with Shakespeare – his most frequently performed role was Hamlet, but he was considered by many to be the finest King Lear of his generation.  This portrait of Phelps was painted by another great actor of his era: Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson. Phelps was his mentor.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection