At first consideration, it would seem that Shakespeare and Monty Python have very little in common other than that they’re both English. Shakespeare wrote during the reign of a politically puissant Elizabeth, while Python flourished under an Elizabeth figurehead. Shakespeare wrote for rowdy theatre whereas Python toiled at a remove, for television. Shakespeare is The Bard; Python is-well-not. Despite all of these differences, Shakespeare and Monty are in fact related; this work considers both the differences and similarities between the two. It discusses Shakespeare’s status as England’s National Poet and Python’s similar elevation. It explores various aspects of theatricality (troupe configurations, casting and writing choices, allusions to classical literature) used by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and Monty Python. It also covers the uses and abuses of history in Shakespeare and Python; humor, especially satire, in Shakespeare, Jonson, Dekker and Python; and the concept of the “Other” in Shakespearean and Pythonesque creations.
An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References
Author: Darl Larsen
Pubpsher: Scarecrow Press
Category: Performing Arts
Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly everything. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed. This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episode is identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Scholars and fans who already appreciate the silliness of the Pythons can also enjoy the acculturated know-it-all-ness of their heroes.
This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the first original film by the British comedy troupe.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus was one of the most important and influential cultural phenomena of the 1970s. The British program was followed by albums, stage appearances, and several films, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. In all, the comic troupe drew on a variety of cultural references that prominently figured in their sketches, and they tackled weighty matters that nonetheless amused their audiences. In Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition:Cultural Contexts in Monty Python, Tomasz Dobrogoszcz presents essays that explore the various touchstones in the television show and subsequent films. These essays look at a variety of themes prompted by the comic geniuses: Death The depiction of women Shakespearean influences British and American cultural representations Reactions from foreign viewers This volume offers a distinguished discussion of Monty Python’s oeuvre, exhibiting highly varied approaches from a number of perspectives, including gender studies, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. Featuring a foreword by Python alum Terry Jones, Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition will appeal to anyone interested in cultural history and media studies, as well as the general fans of Monty Python who want to know more about the impact of this groundbreaking group.
Release on 2004-09-14 | by James R. Keller,Leslie Stratyner
Reinventing His Works for Cinema and Television
Author: James R. Keller,Leslie Stratyner
Category: Performing Arts
In the past two decades, Othello has tried out for the basketball team, Macbeth has taken over a fast food joint and King Lear has moved to an Iowa farm--Shakespeare is everywhere in popular culture. This collection of essays addresses the use of Shakespearean narratives, themes, imagery and characterizations in non-Shakespearian cinema. The essays explore how Shakespeare and his work are manipulated within the popular media and explore topics such as racism, jealousy, misogyny and nationality. The submissions concentrate on film and television programs that are adaptations of Shakespearean plays, including My Own Private Idaho, CSI-Miami, A Thousand Acres, Prospero's Books, O, 10 Things I Hate About You, Withnail and I, Get Over It, and The West Wing. Each chapter includes notes and a list of works cited. A full bibliography completes the work; it is divided into bibliographies and filmographies, general studies and essays, derivatives based on a single play, derivatives based on several, and derivatives based on Shakespeare as a character. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
As a follow-up to their first true feature film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the comic troupe next decided to tackle a “shadow” version of the Christ story. Shot in the Middle East and produced during Margaret Thatcher’s ascendant years, the film satirized—among other matters—authoritarianism and religious zealotry. Upon its release, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was both a critical and commercial success, and has been since hailed as one of the greatest comedies of all time. But the film also faced backlash from religious groups for its blasphemy, perceived or otherwise. In A Book about the Film Monty Python's Life of Brian: All of the References from Assyrians to Zeffirelli, Darl Larsen identifies and examines the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions in the film. In this resource, Larsen delineates virtually every allusion and reference that appears in the film—from first-century Jerusalem through 1970s Great Britain. Organized chronologically by scene, the entries in this cultural history cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places, as well as the many social, cultural, and historical elements that populate this film. By closely examining each scene, this book explores the Pythons’ comparisons of the Roman and British Empires and of Pilate and Margaret Thatcher. In addition, Larsen helps to situate Life of Brian in the “Jesus” re-examination of the postwar period, while also taking a close look at the terror groups of first-century Judea and the modern world. A Book about the Film Monty Python's Life of Brian will appeal to scholars of history, film, British culture, and pop culture, as well as to the many fans of this iconic group.
A Guide to All of the References from Americans to Zulu Nation
Author: Darl Larsen
Pubpsher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Category: Meaning of life (Motion picture)
"Darl Larson identifies and explains virtually every allusion and reference that appears in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Organized chronologically by scene, the entries cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places, as well as the many social, cultural, and historical elements that populate this film"--
The development of this drama over 119 years is the subject of Frances M. Kavenik's British Drama, 1660-1779: A Critical History, a fascinating account of the people and events shaping the genre during the period. Approaching her subject from a popular culture perspective, Kavenik argues that the drama produced in these years was the most innovative since Shakespeare's time, giving rise to such forms as the musical and the situation comedy. A comprehensive first chapter describes the theaters, stage apparatus, playwrights, performers, audiences, and critics of the period, while four chronologically arranged chapters detail key developments during each subperiod. The Lincoln's Inn Fields and Drury Lane theaters, the Licensing Act of 1737, legendary figures like Nell Gwyn and David Garrick, the growth of the periodical press as a medium for dramatic criticism, the popularity of productions like John Gay's The Beggar's Opera and Aphra Behn's The Rover - these and much more are brought vividly to life for readers, as is Kavenik's theme that "late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century comedies, heroic plays, tragicomedies, and tragedies were the genre films and soap operas of their day, enthralling their audiences and speaking to their needs and desires, offering entertainment, excitement, and escape. They also were capable ... of creating or reforming their audiences' needs and desires".