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The Shakespeare thread

  1. Oct 14, 2003 #1
    who's read any Shakespeare? what did you read? how was it? any favorites? worst?

    i've been reading a bunch of Shakespeare recently, including: Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and i have a couple more coming along. i liked Titus a lot, Macbeth a little and i loved Caesar. but i was wondering, what should be next? i hear Anthony and Cleopatra is good. any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2003 #2
    Macbeth has always, always been my favourite. I would suggest King Lear at some point soon, as that's high on my list as well (personal biases, I know. =P )
  4. Oct 14, 2003 #3
    At school I've read King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth. Outside of that I've read Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew, and Tempest. In "non-Shakespearan" English, I've read a host of others, including Comedy of Errors, Merchant of Venice, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It. Macbeth and Taming of the Shrew are my two favourites.

    I've been meaning to try some of his comedies. What I've read of MoV, CoE and AYLI sounds all very well in concise, modern form, but I've yet to see them in their more original versions. :smile:
  5. Nov 16, 2003 #4
    I have read A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. They are pretty good though sometimes difficult to get through.
  6. Nov 17, 2003 #5


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    My favorite by far is Henrv IV part one. I always wondered why Shakespeare's funniest play was a history, not a comedy.

    Other favorites are Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Richard III.

    I liked reading the histories of the English civil wars in order - Richard II, Henry IV 1&2, Henry V, Henry VI 1,2 & 3, Richard III.

    There are good movie versions of many of the plays. Kenneth Brannaugh (sp?) has done a very good job with a few. His Henry V was absolutely incredible. Lawrence Olivier did a very good Richard III and Hamlet. I hear Orson Welles did a good Macbeth, but I've never seen it.

  7. Nov 30, 2003 #6


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    the preceding posters have already recommended several favorites of mine so I will just get into side issues and possibly eccentric opinions,

    I think I need to see a Shake play BOTH performed (stage or screen) AND read it myself to fully enjoy it
    (and sometimes reading one of them aloud with other friends taking other parts has added, but the main thing is to read it quietly and then see a good performance!)

    My most-loved is the comedy Twelfth Night. I first saw it performed with wonderfully funny Sir Toby, Maria, and Sir Andrew. I do not know any good film version---I hated one filmed on the Adriatic coast, that I saw.

    The Emma Thompson/Kenneth Brannagh film of Much Ado about Nothing really opened up that play for me. I read it after seeing the film.

    The recent film Titus, based on Titus Andronicus, made that play come alive for me. Anthony Hopkins plays Titus.

    Zeffirelli directed a beautiful film version of Romeo and Juliet

    I can get over seeing a mediocre stage performance and still love the play, but a bad film version can ruins the play for a while. I hated Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet and just watched the first part.

    Patrick Stewart is such a good Shakespearean actor! At least as good as in Star Trek. I have seen him in a UK film version of Anthony and Cleopatra that I liked. One of Anthony's friends, dont remember who played Anthony.

    I dont know a good film version of that great play Taming of the Shrew. I did not like Burton and Liz Taylor all that bombast, fooling around stage business, not concentrating on the lines.
    Saw a American Conservatory Theatre live performance of it that was tops.

    Never saw Lear performed, only read it, and yet I love it.

    Probably am forgeting. Oh. AS YOU LIKE IT is a wonderful play. Dont know a film version but have read it repeatedly and seen a couple of good performances and read parts out loud with friends. It is a sure fire play that actors love to do, just like Twelfth Night.

    All personal views of course, no other way to talk about them.
  8. Dec 1, 2003 #7
    This is a great way to read Shakespeare. We did it in high-school English, and it was the highlight of the two years. The good thing about Shakespeare is that you don't have to wait long to see a performance of it. There's usually one drama group or another performing a play at a given time.
  9. Dec 7, 2003 #8
    Re: Re: the Shakespeare thread

    i have found this to be very true. with shakespeare, unlike with other books in general, it actually helps to watch the movie or see the play before reading it. it is sometimes difficult to get a visual as to what's going on in a shakespeare book and watching it first helps.
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