So, once again, The Avengers dominates the box-office. Apparently if you take a good story, good actors, and make sure it’s well written in a way that stays true to the source material but even non-fans can understand, people will not only like it but go back and see it as another company attempts to make a two hundred million dollar commercial for a 50 year old board game.
“But”, you are asking yourselves over a box of your Count Chocolua cereal or perhaps while attempting to stop the Trix Bunny, “We know you like superhero stuff, but what does this have to do with Shakespeare, teaching, or any other general weirdness you usually write about.” My answer is: I’m writing about Shakespeare today, and I’m creating the mood. Please let me get to my point.
Where was I? Oh, yes, The Avengers and it’s flat out dominance in the box office. As I’ve mentioned before, the box office has always been a huge deal, not just nowadays but as far back as anyone can remember. It wasn’t always called the box office, sometimes it was “Oog’s funny pictures better than Meh’s funny pictures.” Then Meh would do some quiet indie pictures, and even though Meh won more awards than Oog. Then Meh would die young, knowing that he had more critical acclaim then Oog.
Back in Shakespeare’s day the box office was called Henslowe’s diary, and it was the reason we still know about Shakespeare: he was popular (As mentioned). People would pirate his work, and some people believe that there is a question as to whether he wrote all of these plays, or if he was someone else. (These people are referred to in the academic community as “needing to get a life”). You don’t achieve real fame until there’s some kind of conspiracy around who you are. (Which is why I started the rumor that I secretly own Canada.)
We may see him as high art now, and people won’t run that new Coriolanus movie that starred Lord Voldemort in a lot of movie theaters, but back in the day Shakespeare was popular, and played often. Maybe not Avengers popular, but none of his characters were played by Robert Downey Jr. But he used all of the same tricks: Special effects, stunt casting, even plenty of fart jokes. No, seriously, I joke that he created the Saw franchise early on, but dude was really the Adam Sandler of his day. (That's a post for another day.)
Which means in another 100 years or so, there may be classes on the great Sandler, and his influence on culture and the deep meaning behind Happy Gilmore. (Bob Barker is the wise old man who helps guide the young upstart into his place in the world. The alligator is just an alligator) And once they move my brain into a robot body, I’ll probably help teach that class.
There you have it. Now when people are talking about The Avengers today, you have something intelligent to add to the conversation. Impress your friends! Bore your enemies!