Published Aug 2012
Loose ends and red herrings are the stuff of detective fiction, and under the scrutiny of master sleuths John Sutherland and Cedric Watts Shakespeare’s plays reveal themselves to be as full of mysteries as any Agatha Christie novel. Is it summer or winter in Elsinore? Do Bottom and Titania make love? Does Lady Macbeth faint, or is she just pretending? How does a man putrefy within minutes of his death? Is Cleopatra a deadbeat Mum? And why doesn’t Juliet ask ‘O Romeo Montague, wherefore art thou Montague?’ As Watts and Sutherland explore these and other puzzles Shakespeare’s genuius becomes ever more apparent. Speculative, critical, good-humoured and provocative, their discussions shed light on apparent anachronisms, performance and stagecraft, linguistics, Star Trek and much else. Shrewd and entertaining, these essays add a new dimension to the pleasure of reading or watching Shakespeare.