Shakespeare Speeches: Iago

Iago’s motivations and jealousies, grounded in his Act I Scene I introduction, yield many moments to be mined in the rest of the play. In this episode, I posit that Iago’s motivations revealed therein are distressingly understandable for a modern audience.

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Shakespeare’s Themes: The Three Kings

Not a religious video at all! In this episode I talk about the three kings of the Henriad – Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, and a brief view of my theory about how Shakespeare explains the three. The final companion piece episode to “The Hollow Crown,” this episode marks the last time I’ll harp on these three dudes for a while!

Shakespeare Answers: Why Are You Called Cassius?

In this episode, I discuss the selection of my moniker “Cassius”, both from the artistic and personal perspectives. And speaking of “Cassius”, here is a selection of other places where you might follow me for even more Shakespearey goodness (that is less likely to be targeted for removal than Youtube, so I do recommend these)!

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Shrewsbury Revisited

Tomorrow, July 21st, is the 609th anniversary of the Battle of Shrewsbury. In honor of the battle, and in keeping with the Henriad themes I have going while The Hollow Crown airs, here is a discussion of the actual historical record of Shrewsbury and the level of factual accuracy and inclusion Shakespeare was (and wasn’t) able to bring to “Henry IV Part I”, the play in which the battle is featured.

Here is an informative, concise description of the historical record of the battle, I particularly recommend the “related document” on this page:

And here is my Memorial Day special about Shakespeare’s Shrewsbury:

Shakespeare’s Themes: End of a Tragedy

While Shakespeare tragedies often kill off many of the relevant characters, those left behind to lead the way into the future are interesting too. Here is a discussion of three characters who are raised to power by the end of their respective tragedies: Lucius (Titus Andronicus), Malcolm (Macbeth), and Fortinbras (Hamlet).

And, with a much pithier statement on the end of tragedies than I could ever muster, here is TheGeekyBlonde’s Hamlet, which ends with her Fortinbras summing up how Shakespeare ends his tragedies.

Shakespeare Speeches: Prince Hal

In “Henry IV Part I”, on my mind from the “Hollow Crown” airing its adaptation of the play last weekend, Prince Hal lays out his bizarre plan for ascending to kingship and respect. In this video, I discuss Prince Hal and his how he becomes Henry V, with a particular focus on the “I know you all” speech from the beginning of “Henry IV Part I”.

The link to the PBAB review is here:!

Shakespeare Themes: Richard II Title Drama

In Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” on my mind due to the recent airing of “The Hollow Crown”‘s adaptation of the play, there are many moments where one character will critique another’s use of names or titles. “What did you just call me” seems to be a sentiment common to these moments, and there’s a very plot-relevant reason why, as I explore in this episode of “Shakespeare Themes”.

Beyond the Bard: The Spanish Tragedy

I go beyond the bard to bring you a Shakespeare-era tragedy, “The Spanish Tragedy” by Thomas Kyd. This play heavily influenced “Titus Andronicus” and “Hamlet”, and is one heavy hitting revenge drama of epic proportions.

Major Character List, in case you want a cheat-sheet:
Hieronimo: Father to Horatio, Lord Marshal of Spain and protagonist
Lorenzo: Brother to Bel-imperia, nephew to the king of Spain and villain
Bel-imperia: Sister to Lorenzo, former lover of the deceased Andrea and now lover of Horatio, niece to the king of Spain, and our heroine

Horatio: Hieronimo’s son, murdered by Lorenzo, lover to Bel-imperia and friend to Andrea
Balthazar: Prince of Portugal, living in Spain since his capture in the war. Loves Bel-imperia, it is unrequited. Also a villain
Andrea: Died in the war, back to watch the mayhem. Friend of Horatio and former lover of Bel-imperia.

Pictures shown are of the Hyperion Shakespeare Company production of “The Spanish Tragedy” from 2010, which I had the pleasure of directing.
**Pictures by Annie McGrath, producer on the show.
For the rest of the show info:

Text of the play:
Youtube with Derek Jacobi: