The Crucible

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After a bit of a hiatus, Novel Ideas returns with a classic American play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. (Ben here: My apologies for our absence, but I’ve been studying for my oral exam for my master’s degree. Now that I’ve finished that off, we should be back on schedule, more or less. More on that in a moment.) This is a pretty well known work that gets performed frequently and is a regular presence in school curricula. In this episode we cover the parallels between this play and McCarthyism, a variety of unlikeable characters, and the psychology of a witch hunt. We also cover elements of feminism (of course!), old people who are also badasses, and why white people are, generally speaking, the worst.

The music bump today is “Witch Hunt” by Rush, which is actually yet another use of witch hunts as a metaphor. Look up the song lyrics if you don’t believe me.

32- The Crucible – Bitches Be Trippin’

A quick administrative note: We will be posting a special holiday bonus episode next week, though we’re not sure which day just yet. The following Tuesday, January 1, we’ll be taking off before resuming our usual weekly schedule of a new post (mostly) every Tuesday.

Schedule Update

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This isn’t much of an update, our next three books will be the same. But we’ll be airing the episodes one week later than we originally planned, which means there will be no episode this week. We’re just going to go ahead and blame that on schedule chaos that definitely has nothing to do with either of us being lazy. Yep. Definitely none of that. Anyhoo, we’ll look forward to seeing you next week, at least to the the degree that we ever see you.

The Merchant of Venice, Part 2

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Welcome back for part 2 ofThe Merchant of Venice podcast! In this episode, guest star Anthony Funari returns to wrap up the discussion. We cover the stuff we didn’t quite get to in part 1, such as Shylock. He’s just a little bit important. We also discuss whether the fifth act is even necessary, how this play stands out compared to other plays of its time, and give a few suggestions on what other Shakespeare plays you might want to read. We once again set the bar high in broadcast professionalism as this episode was almost titled “Revenge of the Landscapers.” As it turns out, they get upset when you keep them off the air for a few weeks.

Administrative note: There have been a couple of minor changes to the schedule, due primarily toThe Stand being 1,745,122 pages long. Check the schedule page if you want to see what’s really going to happen around here the next couple weeks.

The music bump is once again Mendelssohn’s “Overture to a Midsummer’s Night Dream” for the same reasons as last week, with the additional reason of “we’re too lazy to come up with a new piece of music this week.”

10 – The Merchant of Venice, Part 2 – Shylock’s Revenge

Launch Date

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So we’re currently online, but don’t have any content. If you accidentally stumble across this page in the meantime, our official launch will be March 20, 2012 with Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games for those of you who might want to read ahead.