If it weren’t for retellings of stories from long ago that desperately need fresher takes, we wouldn’t have Disney…
Who hasn’t needed SparkNotes at some point? Who else can tell you that one character’s name you forgot? If you don’t know by now, I’m obsessed with SparkNotes‘ twitter. Every tweet is a work of absolute genius. From god-tier memes to incredibly hot takes, SparkNotes’ twitter never disappoints. As we look down the barrel of a new decade, let’s take a look at the most mindblowingly relevant of their recent tweets.
And it’s Gender Neutral!
Sure, the original context wasn’t explicitly romantic, but it’s really something you can make your own. Who doesn’t want to be cool, feared, and respected? Think about it. And the implication that your very own calamity is a dragon? I’d be incredibly flattered. How could you not be? That way you’re not just saying your lover is great, they know you think they’re great. You’re telling them they’re powerful and feared in the local land. Goals.
The only thing that matters – which person in your relationship tries to kill the king and then panics, and which actually just finishes the job? Because listen. It’s important that one of you be able to get things started and set the ball rolling, or you’ll never get things done. At the same time, some people just aren’t great at finishing projects. Conclusions are tough. Momentum isn’t going to get you there. Someone needs to be more detail oriented. Detail obsessed. Wash their hands over and over.
I Can Relate
Okay, so only two of those things are true about me, but all of them are said. Do you love the sea? Are you probably a ghost? Avoid making appearances, especially during the day. Congratulations! You might be the Flying Dutchman, or another legendary ghost ship! Actually, you could be a vampire. Or just English and Victorian. All three? That’s a dream. Maybe THE dream. I’m not a ghost hunter or anything, but I might BE a ghost.
As we approach the decade that has, in advance, been termed the ‘screaming’ 20s, let’s avoid the pitfalls of the roaring 20s. And especially any choice ever made by Daisy Buchanan. Consider her an object lesson, actually. Don’t take up with lying military men. Don’t bail on them to marry guys who suck. Don’t then STAY with those guys when no one even expects you to. Don’t lead said military man on again years later. Definitely don’t commit vehicular manslaughter.
Awareness is Key
Hey. We know better than to call him foul creature. We’re beyond that. We have to be. But the rest of these are real. The Kids use them all the time. I mean, I’ll double check with my baby sister, but I feel pretty confident. it’s the sort of thing The Kids would definitely text about. Especially the last one. See? SparkNotes is always relevant. This is the cutting edge.
All images via SparkNotes on Twitter
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If you’re anything like me, SparkNotes has always been there when you need it. Now, they’re not only helping you pass your classes, but also serving you the spiciest of literature memes. They’re all pure gold, but here are just a few.
Theseus or not, YOU. ARE. VALID.
Unfortunately there’s no third option, so if you want to set the Minotaur up on a blind date with your friend, you’re kind of out of luck. Otherwise, you’re good though. What color do your sails need to be if you didn’t slay the Minotaur but you’re seeing it this Friday?
Some people appreciate attitude
I mean, he’s already in love with her by that point, but you get the idea. He’s always talking about how mean she is, and then boom, marry me! Of course, the same could be said of her. What a stressful ship. Still though, you know, I’m on it.
Want to delay your problems forever?
Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it sure killed Dorian Gray. Still, he lived a while looking fresh and evil in stead of old and evil, so if you’ve got the attic space, why not? In this economy though? The thing’s going under the bed.
Do You haunt an old building? Then you need…
Sure, you might not be the most conventionally attractive, but your secret underground hideaway is second to none, and isn’t it what’s on the inside that matters? What’s under the surface? (What’s directly under the opera house?)
People can’t know we sit! And… murder!
Maybe not as relatable as the original video, but definitely a strong mood, and just as futile. The body stays right under the floorboards after all. If only there’d been seashells on the doorknobs, maybe things would have gone better.
Hindsight is… Ah man I botched it.
Don’t look back in anger (or at all). Going to the depths of hell is a nice gesture, and who doesn’t like musicians, but you’ve gotta stick the landing by actually fulfilling the deal. Just one opinion, but if both of you don’t come back alive, that’s a bad date.
All images via SparkNotes
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player…”
My Shakespeare professor in college was a loud guy; he was also extraordinarily controversial. They’ve probably fired him from his third university by now, but that’s beside the point. On my first day of class with him, he warned us all that we would probably be offended at some point—he would run around the room quoting plays like Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth verbatim whilst taking scenes from those plays and applying them to recent news or daily experiences. Before him, Shakespeare was annoying and difficult—just early modern English nonsense.
Other teachers just focused on the plot points of William’s plays and brushed over the lyrical nuances of his words. Great art transcends time with eternal themes that strike deep through the heart of existential struggle. With subtly that is sometimes hilarious, over the top romance and gore, Shakespeare created plays that are still relevant to this day. I can only think of one pair of contemporary artists (not really) that so subtly tackle existential shit with ease: the Coen Brothers. This brings me to the news of how Joel Coen is set to direct Macbeth—courtesy of Variety.
Image Via Everymantheatre.co.uk
Whenever I think of either of the Coen brothers, my mind wanders to their adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men. I feel it is appropriate to mention that film here because of its thematic ties to Macbeth. Greed is bad and it will ultimately lead to a destructive end unto itself. Macbeth chases power while the characters in No Country chase drug money—albeit for different reasons. In both tales, violence is the result of the chase. Now, I could easily draw some parallels between the character of Macbeth and Llewelyn or Lady Macbeth and Carla Jean, but instead I’m going to focus on some more OMINOUS scenes.
Early on in Macbeth, the titular character runs into three witches who throw a bunch of prophetic—mind-effing—jargon his way; unfortunate for him, ominous for us. It sets the character of Macbeth on his arc. Similarly, there’s an ominous scene early on in No Country where Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is cautioned by his wife Loretta (Tess Harper):
Loretta Bell: Be careful.
Ed Tom Bell: Always am.
Loretta Bell: Don’t get hurt.
Ed Tom Bell: Never do.
Loretta Bell: Don’t hurt no one.
Ed Tom Bell: [smiles] Well. If you say so.
Image Via Mymeaningfulmovies.blogspot.com
I love that scene. Not just because it contains loads of macho nonsense (kind of) that makes me want to crush beer cans on my face, but also because of the subtle characterization that happens within it. The foreshadowing cements this character as someone who is about be involved with the plot but not ‘deathly’ involved. A narrator. A voice. A shadow.
The protagonist of McCarthy’s novel (more so than the film), Ed Tom Bell is the aging sheriff of Terrell County, Texas; he’s a bit of a jaded, yet hard-nosed character. Being an old-fashioned, ethical man, he finds it difficult adapting to all the violence, greed and corruption of society. He is the character the reader most identifies with… basically, he’s Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wrote himself into Macbeth, it would be as a jaded captain in Macduff’s army—as a character who sees the world as it is and is simply exhausted by it.
Image Via Ny Times
I’m exhausted by all the Macbeth adaptions we’ve had in the past. I’ve read the play numerous times and watched it at least a couple: the Mel Gibson version blew (or was that Hamlet?) and the Michael Fassbender one was eh. I didn’t expect to see or be excited about another adaptation anytime soon. Then I heard Joel Coen is going to try his hand at Shakespeare with the help of top tier talents like production company A24, Denzel Washington, and Francis McDormand. The long list of complex films that are (if this article is any indication) easily equatable with Shakespeare plays under his belt prove him more than capable of adapting the said source material. He must have something fresh, quirky, maybe even offensive up his sleeve—able to demolish prior stabs at Macbeth. Hopefully, he reinvigorates a new wave of WS enthusiasm. I will full-on seek it out upon its inevitable limited release. Maybe I’ll run into my unemployed professor in a darkened theater. I’ll throw popcorn at him.
Featured Image Via Empire Online.
Shakespeare’s work has inspired generations of authors, screenwriters, and poets. His storylines are still constantly used for modern films like She’s the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. Even The Lion King is based on Hamlet! He contributed countless new words to the English language like ‘lovely’ and ‘bubble.’ He also inspired some of the most beautiful paintings of all time. Let’s take a look at the art inspired by arguably the greatest writer of all time.
1. Ophelia by John Everett Millais, inspired by Hamlet
Image Via Wikipedia
Millais’ famous Pre-Raphaelite work depicts drowned Ophelia, bearing wreaths of flowers all with their own particular meaning–poppies symbolizing death, daisies for innocence, roses depicting love and beauty, violets for faithfulness. If you look closely, you can also see the spectre of a skull in the undergrowth on the lower right-hand side of the painting. This is one of my favorite works of art of all time. According to The Tate website:
Millais’s son John wrote that his father’s flowers were so realistic that a professor teaching botany, who was unable to take a class of students into the country, took them to see the flowers in the painting Ophelia, as they were as instructive as nature itself.
2. Ellen Tarry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent, inspired by Macbeth
Image Via Pinterest
Singer Sargent was inspired to paint this portrait of the actress Ellen Tarry immediately after seeing her perform as Lady Macbeth in a production in the Lyceum Theatre, London in 1888. She wore a spectacular gown which was embroidered with gold and decorated with 1,000 iridescent wings from the green jewel beetle.
3. The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania by Joseph Noel Paton, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Image Via Owlcation
According to National Galleries Scotland website:
Oberon and Titania stand reunited and are about to resolve the magically induced confusion between the two human lovers shown sleeping apart. Paton painted this as a sequel to his diploma picture of the fairy rulers’ quarrel.
4. Cordelia’s Goodbye by Edward Austin Abbey, inspired by King Lear
Image Via CultureTrip
This painting depicts Cordelia being banished by her father King Lear, as a result of her refusing to flatter him. Her elder sisters, Regan and Gonoreil, watch while the King of France kisses her hand, as he admires her honesty.
5. Othello and Desdemona by Daniel Maclise, inspired by Othello
Image Via fineartamerica
Here we see Othello and Desdemona, with Iago lurking in the shadows. The colors are so vibrant, and the detail so fine. Thank you Shakespeare for inventing the word ‘bedazzled’ and also for inspiring this beautiful painting. At least Desdemona got to wear that fab dress before she bit the dust.
Featured Image Via Wikipedia