A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony

To be filed in the category of “This is a guy who makes you want to go back to school”, we learned and reported (on our lovely sister site damian-lewis.com) that Damian’s version of Antony’s funeral speech from Julius Caesar, for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos, was featured in a seminar on rhetoric. This wasn’t an avenue for literary criticism or drama theory, but a newsletter on effective public speaking.

How is speaking any different from writing and reading, you may wonder? Well, there are components to classical rhetoric, when dissected, can show you what makes one speech different from another. Such an analysis would reach your brain (or at least attempt to). Alternatively, we can talk about how a speech makes you feel. Granted we’re not seeing much great oratory from our current elder statesmen, so examples are few and far between. But, there was a time, wasn’t there? In our not too distant history, when a leader spoke, it did a heart good to hear, didn’t it?

Continue reading “A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony”

A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony

To be filed in the category of “This is a guy who makes you want to go back to school”, we just learned and reported (on our lovely sister site damian-lewis.com) that Damian’s version of Antony’s funeral speech from Julius Caesar, for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos, was featured in a seminar on rhetoric. This wasn’t an avenue for literary criticism or drama theory, but a newsletter on effective public speaking.

How is speaking any different from writing and reading, you may wonder? Well, there are components to classical rhetoric, when dissected, can show you what makes one speech different from another. Such an analysis would reach your brain (or at least attempt to). Alternatively, we can talk about how a speech makes you feel. Granted we’re not seeing much great oratory from our current elder statesmen, so examples are few and far between. But, there was a time, wasn’t there? In our not too distant history, when a leader spoke, it did a heart good to hear, didn’t it?

Continue reading “A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony”

Damian as Antony

When is it a bad time to bring up Damian’s turn at Shakespeare? Why, never, of course! We’ve yet to see him live in a Shakespeare production, but, thanks to The Guardian’s video series, we got the next best thing.
Continue reading “Damian as Antony”

Damian Lewis and Shakespeare

Speaking of Shakespeare in his anniversary month and of Damian’s return to stage also this month, let’s revisit Damian’s turn as Antony. Seems one Antony visited another at the opening of “The Goat”.

In the talk with Stacey Wilson Hunt at SAG-AFTRA Foundation, it is notable that Damian never had straight up formulaic answers for any of the excellent questions asked by the interviewer. He seemed to put some real thought into all his answers. Something struck out as requiring further exploration from that interview. When asked about the best advice he’d been given as an actor, Damian turned it around into a story of his biggest professional regret. Damian tells us that he was once offered a major role in a major Shakespeare production to be staged at the very major National Theatre by, as you can imagine, an appropriately superlative artistic director. In sharing this story, he provided a perfect instance of the notion that our biggest lessons come from our biggest mistakes. Continue reading “Damian Lewis and Shakespeare”

Top Damian Lewis Moment 2016: Antony’s Speech for The Guardian

Today’s Top Moment of the year is one that still comes up in Damian’s Twitter timeline, many months after it was first released, a brilliant short video of Damian reading Marc Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech from Julius Caesar for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos. Several lit profs have tweeted thanks to Damian, remarking that they use his speech when they teach the play. Actually literature professors and acting teachers alike have found something remarkable in Damian’s prescient delivery. It’s a master class, both on the role of the speech within the play and on acting.

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Continue reading “Top Damian Lewis Moment 2016: Antony’s Speech for The Guardian”

Damian Lewis and Shakespeare

In the talk with Stacey Wilson Hunt at SAG-AFTRA Foundation last week, it is notable that Damian never had straight up formulaic answers for any of the excellent questions asked by the interviewer. He seemed to put some real thought into all his answers. Something struck out as requiring further exploration from that interview. When asked about the best advice he’d been given as an actor, Damian turned it around into a story of his biggest professional regret. Damian tells us that he was once offered a major role in a major Shakespeare production to be staged at the very major National Theatre by, as you can imagine, an appropriately superlative artistic director. In sharing this story, he provided a perfect instance of the notion that our biggest lessons come from our biggest mistakes.

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Continue reading “Damian Lewis and Shakespeare”