alright, muffins, i’m gonna share with you one of my favourite things i learned at shakespeare bootcamp, and that is the explanation to why shakespeare wrote what is possibly the most famous stage direction of all time.
it’s also why there was a revival of the unattributed and at the time probably rather out of fashion mucedorus at the globe in 1610 (the same year as the winter’s tale), and why ben jonson wrote a chariot pulled by bears into his court masque oberon, performed on new year’s day of 1611.
the answer, my dears, is polar bears.
no, seriously. in 1609 the explorer jonas poole captured two polar bear cubs in greenland and brought them home to england, where they were purchased by the beargarden, the go-to place in elizabethan london for bear-baiting and other ‘animal sports.’ it was at the time run by edward alleyn (yes, the actor) and his father-in-law philip henslowe (him of the admiral’s men and that diary we are all so very grateful for), and would have been very close, if not next to, the globe theatre.
of course, polar bear cubs are too little and adorable for baiting, even to the bloodthirsty tudor audience, aren’t they? so, what to do with the little bundles of fur until they’re too big to be harmless? well, if there’s anything we know about the playwrights and theatre professionals of the time, it’s that they knew how to make money and draw in audiences. and the spectacle of a too-small-to-be-dangerous-yet-but-still-real-live-and-totally-WHITE-bear? what good entertainment businessman is going to turn down that opportunity?
and, voila, we have a death-by-bear for the unfortunate antigonus, thereby freeing up paulina to be coupled off with camillo in the final scene, just as the comedic conventions of the time would expect.
w a r i s w a r ;but killing a man at a wedding? horrid.
what sort of m o n s t e r, would do such a thing?
Melisandre has seen true horrors, for there is no hell worse than an awkward Baratheon family dinner.
I thought it was adorable because awwwwww, Stannis made Selyse book stew and shot her seagulls and she thinks he’s the dreamiest lobster ever and Stannis is all scowly scowly scowl and Melisandre is all “huh, domestic life, weird” and I love Team Dragonstone.
But very quickly they all became grave again: for, as you know, there is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes.
And later I dreamed that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow.
Finding out that Aaron Tveit’s hair in Les Mis was a wig was a seriously traumatic event
there are too many pictures of mermaids in sexy poses and not enough of them drowning and eating men. whats up with that
make me choose
↳ queenargelladurrendon asked: house arryn or house baratheon