Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Deeper Underground

For those of you who find it difficult to get your head around Shakespearean characters, but easy to navigate the London Underground system, this map from the Royal Shakespeare Company may be of help:

Reminiscent of The Great Bear by Simon Patterson, another inspired (and indeed educational in a pop culture and stuff-it's-good-to-know sort of way) take on the iconic Tube mape.

(Not a brilliant quality image, so if anyone manages to find a better one online please inform me of it).

Patterson's idea sparked off many imitators, especially on the 'net, although most of the ones I've seen so far haven't been too inspired. One of the few exceptions is arguably The Guardian's map of musicians and musical genres (the accompanying article upon which can be found here). Largely though, they don't succeed to the same degree as Patterson's version. I'd be interested to see any other versions of the Tube map people know of, though.


TheTelf said...

Cool maps (though why is Macbeth listed under "strong and difficult women"?).

Not as good, but on the same idea are these ones from Strange Maps:



TheTelf said...

Also lol @ the comments on the Guardian article...

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the Macbeth/Lady Macbeth station is that they are often interpreted as interchangeable, almost as two parts of one overall being, maybe even the two halves of a split personality. Lady Macbeth has some very masculine qualities, and Macbeth often shows characteristics you would expect to see more (at least in a Shakespeare play) in a woman.

By its nature the map oversimplifies some characters (Lear and Cordelia are far more than just a "father and daughter" pairing, for example) but I still think it's ace. I particularly like the little touches, such as the facilities put on certain stations, my favourite being the "restaurant" knife and fork next to Titus (look up the plot of Titus Andronicus if you're unsure of what the joke is...).

Hanspan said...

Pah. I can't believe they left Pauline off the strong and difficult women line. She's my favourite. Still, it's a nice idea.

TheTelf said...

"My understanding of the Macbeth/Lady Macbeth station is that they are often interpreted as interchangeable, almost as two parts of one overall being, maybe even the two halves of a split personality"

*nods sagely*

Anonymous said...

Oops, I nearly forgot:

[/condescending English graduate mode]

*nods onionly*

Anonymous said...

Also, @Hannah: Winter's Tale is one of the plays I'm far from an expert on - why do you feel Paulina is such a glaring omission? There's plenty of others who have been left off too, such as Emilia on the Strong & Difficult Women line as well as others across other lines, and the map is certainly not comprehensive, but I don't think it takes anything away from it as an imaginative document of Shakespearean characters.

Hanspan said...

Winter's Tale just so happens to be a particularly favourite.

I know it's not intended to be comprehensive but they include Leontes, Hermione and Perdita on the map and Paulina's fairly crucial to a lot of the action. So it just seems strange that she wouldn't be included. She doesn't have much scope for complicated intersection with any other lines (which may be why they left her off) but it wouldn't have been hard to include her.

She has some great speeches and is totally ball-busting for the times. She tells Leontes he's a jealous fool and a tyrant and her husband is constantly berated for not being able to control her. And she champions the other women in the play who aren't free to speak, Hermione the queen, and her baby daughter.

::nods rosemarily::

Remind me again who Emilia is? Iago's wife?

Anonymous said...

Emilia is indeed Iago's wife, and is another female character fairly pivotal in her play's story. Another who would be fairly easy to include, amongst others.

*nods in a thymely manner*