I would open this post by saying that I’m sure every school boy has heard the story of how 300 battle hardened warriors held a tiny pass against a foe whose numbers literally dwarfed them for three days before being betrayed by a shepherd and then fighting valiantly to the last man. However, thanks to Zac Snyder and Frank Miller, this story that was once relegated to the high school and university classes was released to the world in the form of a graphic novel and one awesome movie.
Once again on my explorations of Youtube I came across a video produced by the Alternate History Hub (and I must admit that they produce some really interesting videos that inspire me to explore much deeper) speculating what would have happened if Persia had managed to invade Greece. The problem that I find with a lot of their productions is that their conclusions tend to be ‘this was so long ago it is impossible to know what would have happened’. Well, there is a whole field of counter-factual history where historians explore the ‘what might have been’ with regards to these particular historical events.
My first forays into Youtube was simply to upload videos of trains (for the benefit of my brother, who happens to love trains), and this basically continued for a while until I discovered a channel called The Alternate History Hub. Okay, to be honest with you, I had watched some videos, usually some of the older movies and the BBC Shakespeare episodes that were available (and I did try a couple of cat videos, but to be honest with you I really don’t like watching videos of cats being cats, because cats being cats are so much better in real life, and as for trains and trams, well I basically uploaded them as opposed to watching videos of them, well, usually). Anyway, it was through the Alternate History Hub that I really began to discover some of the many, short, wonders that Youtube had to offer (and in fact I ended up spending an hour today watching some of these short clips).
I remember when I was studying Greek and Roman Literature at University and our lecturers asked us if they should consider looking at any other works beyond the ones that we had studied and I immediately put my hand up and suggested a history such as Plutarch. My lecturer liked the idea of looking at a history but didn’t seem to be all that keen on my suggestion of author and instead suggested Tacitus. I immediately blew off Tacitus thinking that he was boring (and I had only just discovered Plutarch) however years later I picked a copy of his Annals of Imperial Rome from my shelf and gave it a read – and discovered that is was really good. It then went onto my ‘have already read’ bookshelf and promptly forgotten about. However, with the rise of social media, and in particular sites such as Goodreads and Booklikes, I decided that I would trawl through all of the books that I read and write a few thoughts on them along with the books that I was currently reading.
Well, it seems as if Sir Ian McKellan is in the position where he can simply do what ever he wants, well when it comes to the theatre at least. Apparently the Chichester theatre approached him and asked him if he would like to do a play, and then proceeded to ask him what play he would like to do, considering he is one of those actors that has probably played every role out there. Anyway, he said that he wanted to give King Lear another shot, and fortunately for me, this particular production appeared on the National Theatre Live listing.
Well, it seems that I simply cannot get away from watching Shakesperian plays, even if the production is, in my opinion, somewhat sub-par. I am starting to understand why a friend of my really hates going to Australian theatre. Okay, being a regular attendee at theatres of Broadway, and regularly traveling to the United States to go to Shakespeare festivals probably does that to you, and while I have never been to the States, I have been to London, and seen performances in the West End and at the Globe and honestly, these more modern adaptations are really starting to get to me.
Before I dive into talking about Montaigne’s basically random thoughts, all of his essays are available on the internet (Project Gutenberg hosts all of them) if you… Read more “Montaigne’s Essays – A French Aristocrat shares his personal opinions”