Bear facts about the Bard 1

September 3, 2009

Your annual feature on exam howlers ("The French Resistance made good use of the internet, you know", August) reminded me how keenly students of Shakespeare have illuminated plays I thought I knew inside out. To know that in The Winter's Tale, Antigonus makes his final exit "perused by a bear" is to feel increased respect for the Bard's green credentials.

And it has been hard to see Old Hamlet as the Polack-smiting father of legend since reading that, while his son berates Gertrude in her closet, his ghost is seen "hoovering in the background". Quite the new man - I can't wait to see the production.

David Roberts, Birmingham City University.

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