I gave it a good try over the past few years. Well, actually, I don’t know if it really qualifies as a good try, but it was a try. I started on Podbean, with a podcast called “The Bible Bookshelf.” But that didn’t quite work out. Then, when coronavirus “lockdowns” began last year, and I found myself stuck at home much of the time, I reworked the podcast into the “Corybantic Podcast.” After a few weeks of that, I once again set aside my podcasting plans, until just recently, when I decided to give Anchor.fm a try. At first, it…

The more I read this scene, the more I find it a thing not just of cleverness and slapstick, but of sweetness anddevotion. The relationship between Lear and his Fool is clearly one of love. The Fool is trying his best to give his master loving advice, and he’s the only person who seems to be able to do so without Lear getting angry. But the advice is too late to do Lear any real good. And so the Fool goes on a difficult journey with Lear, a journey which ultimately costs both of them their lives.

Lear, Kent & Fool — Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive

Fool. Mark it…

Edwin Booth as Hamlet, one of the most famous actors ever to play the role.

My favorite soliloquy in all of Shakespeare is not the most famous one. Most people would probably name “To be or not to be” or “The 7 Ages of Man” as their favorites. No, mine is the one that really sets the stage for Hamlet, in which we see just how much the Prince misses his father, how much he hates his uncle, and how this has affected his feelings about his mother. This is Hamlet’s very first soliloquy, from Act I, Scene 2.

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that…

Poster advertising Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.
Signed: J.L. Lith.

I’ve been listening to some recordings of Romeo & Juliet lately, and I’ve found this passage intriguing. Romeo tries waxing poetic and swearing by the moon, but Juliet has a different take on the matter…

Romeo and Juliet: Act II, Scene 2

Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops —

O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

What shall I swear by?

Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy…

The scene in Hamlet where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern first visit their college friend (in order to report back to Claudius what the deal is with his “madness”) is so exquisitely structured. Hamlet indulges in some playful banter with his friends, and as the dialogue continues, the Prince gets more and more suspicious, but then begins to wax philosophical. There’s a palpable tension surrounding the “What a piece of work” speech, making the poetic nature of the speech all the more surprising when it happens. …

Certainly one of the great things about Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is the magnificent wit of its heroine. Even when not pitted directly against the competing sarcasm of Benedick, Beatrice’s lines simply sparkle. The scene below displays some of this wit, as she jokes about her disdain for the institution of marriage, a disdain which, of course, becomes ironic as her feelings for Benedick change from hostility to love. Enjoy this short passage of Beatrice’s undeniable ability with words.

Image of Beatrice from Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive (https://shakespeareillustration.org)

LEONATO By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a
husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.


It’s been awhile since I posted a passage here at Bites of Bard. So today I thought I’d post one of my favorite comic scenes in all of Shakespeare. This is the scene from Twelfth Night, when the pompous Malvolio is taken in by a practical joke perpetrated by Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Maria. It’s a bit longer than most passages I share here, but well worth reading for its comic value.

Image from Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive

Malvolio. By my life, this is my lady’s hand these be her
very C’s, her U’s and her T’s and thus makes she her
great P’s. It…

As I continue to develop my Corybantic Podcast at Anchor.fm, I’m trying to take advantage of some of the tools that Anchor makes available to help users promote their podcasts. One of these tools is automatically connecting your podcast to a Wordpress blog. So I’ve set it up, and so far it looks pretty decent.

The problem, of course, is that I need another blog like I need a hole in the head, so I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or not. It’s handy that my podcast episodes will automatically post on the Wordpress blog. But in general, I don’t enjoy blogging on Wordpress, so we’ll have to see how it all goes.

If you are interested in taking a look at the Corybantic Podcast Blog, you can go to the link HERE.

For many years now, I’ve been collecting books about the Latter-day Saint movement, especially different copies of their main Scripture, The Book of Mormon. This Corybantic Podcast episode (“Adventures with The Book of Mormon”) doesn’t really dig deep into the history of this religious work, originally published in 1830 and now given out for free by the ubiquitous LDS missionaries, but it does dig back many years into my personal history with the book, as well as with the people who consider it to be the word of God.

You see, my interactions with Mormons over the years have been…

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

It took awhile, but I think I finally found a podcasting platform that will work for my purposes. A few weeks ago, I stumbled over a tweet about a former Baptist pastor who had converted to Mormonism. As someone who is interested in Latter-day Saint history and literature, including the Book of Mormon, I watched his video and discovered his podcast, The Narrow Gate. While I found his podcast very enjoyable, I was even more interested in how good it looked. It was on a site called Anchor.fm, …

Cory Howell

Full-time dad & church musician in the United Methodist Church; fan of Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, language and more

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