Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

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Shakespeare Report: Measure for Measure

Look, th’ unfolding star calls up theshepherd. Put not yourself into amazement howthese things should be. All difficulties are but easywhen they are known. Duke, Measure for Measure, Act IV Sc 3 Measure for Measure is a lesser-known play, and one I’d never before read

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Shakespeare Report: The Tempest

Shakespeare’s final masterpiece, self-referencing yet universal, was written just five years before he died in 1616. It all kicks of with a shipwreck, as so often happens (Twelfth Night, I’m looking at you). Maybe in Tudor times the fear of a fatal shipwreck was so

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On Pandemic and Literature

Pausing for a moment to make general historical remarks. Three years ago this time we were in our first weekend of the hard lock down in Italy, which we initially thought would last a week, or two, or three, but instead stretched to 53 days,

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Shakespeare Report: Last Thoughts on Cymbeline

I finished the vintage print copy of Cymbeline last night right before I fell asleep. Quite a note to go out on! Never mind the appearance of Jupiter as an actual deus ex machina with his eagle, shimmering before Posthumus in jail, aka gaol. Because

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Shakespeare Report: Stuck on Cymbeline

It often happens with the Shakespeare project that I’ll get some nice momentum going, plays are fun and easy to read, easy to find, and I think, right! Done and dusted! Then the Bard has some trick up his sleeve, buried in centuries of change

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Shakespeare Report: Henry V

Decades ago, when I was in my most larval phase of the Shakespeare Project, Henry V (1599) was the first play I ever watched for fun, text in hand. I followed along mesmerized by the magic in words that tracked precisely to what I watched

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Shakespeare Report: Hamlet

Alas poor Yorick! Brevity is the soul of wit. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil Though this be madness, there be method in it! Infinite jest… To be or not to be—that is the

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Shakespeare Project Explainer

Shakespeare is a bonnie bee in my bonnet that I could never shake loose, as a poet, a writer, the daughter of a very verbal mother and a father who loves an amusing pun or turn of phrase. The bard’s language permeates the English vernacular

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Shakespeare Report: As You Like It

As You Like It? Yes, indeed I do! Another Shakespeare play I’ve never before seen or read (hanging head), but we all know many of its most famous quotes. Jacques’ monologue in the forest, removed from court and musing on their lowered state, giving the

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