By: Sydney Vollmer
We all remember Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What a little imp. Well, actually, he isn’t quite an imp. He’s more of a hobgoblin. In fact, Puck is less a name than a species. Throughout mythology, “Puck” is interchangeable with “Robin Goodfellow.” The names come in different forms among various languages, but they all translate roughly to either “pixie” or “hobgoblin.”
Throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream, poor Puck is given orders to put spells on people he doesn’t recognize and things go awry. His willingness to perform, and then correct, shows his true obedience to King Oberon. However, if you aren’t King of the Fairies, a puck may not be as obedient. Pucks have a knack for being temperamental. It’s said that they’ve been known to do some minor household chores if they take a liking to you, but the helpfulness stops as soon as you offend them. Continue reading What Fools We Mortals Be
Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern
I was so confused. For weeks, Kevin and I have been talking about the Jacobites. –Before I get into this conversation, it’s extremely important for me to note that neither my grade school nor high school spent very much time on the subject of history. We excelled in language arts, but not so much the stuff I would one day have to write about.— So, Kevin recently showed me a collection we received from Virginius C. Hall on the Jacobites. Not having any idea who they were, I looked them up. The internet gave me the gist of information I would need to know, so between that and our collection I have been able to piece some things together—until today.
Continue reading Jacobean-Jacobite? Dated and Confused
By: Sydney Vollmer
Among the items recently received from the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is a watercolor of the “Beheading of the Rebel Lords on Great Tower Hill.” Unfortunately, the image is not one-of-a-kind. It is an incredible work, though. Depicted in this scene is an endless crowd surrounding a scaffold. On the platform, one man has his head down on the chopping block as an ax is raised over his neck. This execution took place in 1746 after the Jacobite Rising in 1745.
Continue reading Notes on Some Jacobite Beheadings
By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern
With our political choices today, we wish we could pretend that what’s going on is some twisted, comedic version of House of Cards. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s completely real. There’s no use in dwelling on it, so let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist by diving back into House of Cards while we (patiently) await the fifth season.
I’m not a big HOC buff, but I saw the majority of episodes each time my dad monopolized the couch after every season’s release. The series magnifies brutality and corruption, somehow getting its audience to root for unlikeable characters. Truly, there is no one on the show that you can look at as the underdog, or the person who deserves their prize. When you think about it, the show is a complete extension of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, if his characters hadn’t died at the end. I’m certainly not the first person to make this comparison—not by a long stretch—but I did come up with this realization without external influences. That means that the comparisons are so strong that multiple people individually have stood up and said “Frank Underwood is the modern-day American Macbeth.” And there is plenty of evidence to back this up; I’ll show you what I mean. Continue reading Dealt a Similar Hand: An Analysis Between Macbeth and House of Cards
By Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern
Do you remember when I thought there were a lot of film adaptations of Hamlet? Well, it turns out that number is nothing compared to the number of films made on Macbeth. The adaptations started as early as 1916 and are still running strong. Over the past 100 years, more than 15 film adaptations have been created. That number doesn’t even include the amount of television shows based on the play, episodes with Macbeth as their title, or all of the times the play has been filmed for television. (See full list below.) Many of these films are direct adaptations, but a few are creative twists on the traditional story. These twists include: Joe MacBeth (1955), Throne of Blood (1957), Men of Respect (1990), and Scotland, PA (2001).
In this adaptation, we no longer are traipsing through dark castles in Scotland, but ducking through the alleyways as Lily MacBeth urges her husband to take down the top mob boss. Starring in this movie is Paul Douglas as “Joe MacBeth” and Ruth Roman as “Lily MacBeth.”
Continue reading Joe Should Respect the Throne in Scotland, PA
By: Sydney Vollmer
Actors have this weird superstition about the name “Macbeth.” I know you’re not supposed to say it inside a theater unless you’re actually rehearsing the play, but I wonder if there is an official rule on saying it outside before the show starts. My reason for asking is that this summer the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has chosen to add Macbeth to their list of free Shakespeare in the Park performances along with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading Greed Makes Ghosts in the Scottish Hills
By: Sydney Vollmer
When the stupid *$&@___ in front of you in line can’t make up their *@($-ing mind, don’t you just want to pull out your hair and tell them what an %*$%&*! they’re being? But you can’t. Why? Because there are children around. And because we live in a “civilized” society where doing such things would get you kicked out. After all, you just want your #$*(-ing coffee! Four letter words won’t save you this time. You’ll have to get more creative.
Continue reading I’m Insulted We Haven’t Talked about This Sooner
The Archives and Rare Books Library will be closed on Friday May 20. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 513-556-1959 or by email at email@example.com
By: Bridget McCormick, ARB Student Assistant
One of the strengths of the rare books collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is 18th c. British literature, encompassing poetry and drama, history, political treatises, social commentary, and homiletics among several genres. And, these works are complemented by materials for the same time period from the Continent, particularly France and Germany. Brought together, these important volumes highlight the Age of Enlightenment, that period of intellectual development and reasoning that took place in Europe between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To “enlighten” is to provide knowledge or understanding to and indeed, this chapter of European history introduced significant developments in art, philosophy, science, and politics. Continue reading ARB and the Enlightenment
By: Sydney Vollmer
What’s more chilling than a good book? Perhaps the ghost that guards them. It’s been awhile since my encounter…but I decided that the world needed to know about our much rumored ghost.
Whether it is a he or she, we cannot say. For the sake of time and space, let’s call it a “he.” He resides in our rare books room here in the Archives & Rare Books Library in Blegen—one level above the library space that is open to the public. Some background on the rare books room: it’s cold (necessary for preservation), it’s dark, (again, necessary), and it’s spooky (necessary for preservation?). When you get up the stairs and open the massively heavy door, all the lights are off. Each individual row of book shelves has its own light. Last year, one didn’t. Continue reading Tales from the Rare Books Room