It wasn’t meant to be that way

It wasn’t; there were to be more compilations to follow. The Dogs of War, for example, inspired by those lines from Julius Caesar:

“Let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.”

Battles and warfare, hand to hand combat, brave deeds, victory and defeat… all would be there, for, after all, there’s a lot of warfare in Shakespeare’s plays.

Just think:

“Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quartered with the hands of war,
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds.”

But after proper consideration, I have to say that there’s far too much.

I know! If you judge by the most popular modern films or the most often played computer games, you’d think scenes of mayhem and bloodshed would be sure-fire crowd-pleasers, but really, is it likely that audiences would flock to a theatre to see a stage full of armies fighting all the time?

It might work for Star Wars but, to be honest, I find almost half of that franchise’s most recent offerings just a tad—well, shall we say, repetitive?

I couldn’t think of a way to link so many similar stories together, so I simply gave up and looked for other ideas.

What about “Ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night”?

There are just so few of them in his plays! Hamlet’s father’s ghost. The ghosts that visit Richard III before Bosworth. Banquo’s ghost.

That’s not what I expected when the idea first came to me. For some reason I thought there were more but no, that’s about it and that’s not enough. Of course, if you add in the various supernatural characters (Macbeth’s witches and Hecate, the Fairies in Dream, Ariel and the spirit actors in The Tempest and a few more), there may be enough—just!—but trying to tie them together into a cohesive whole proved beyond my imagination, so I gave up and headed off in a totally different direction.

For the foreseeable future my Shakespeare involvement was dead!

And so it has remained, and now, thanks to a lack of energy because of my COPD, I am retired from directing.

<Exceedingly sad face>