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Your Favorite Shakespeare Play

  1. Jun 1, 2005 #1
    Mine is A Midsummer Night's Dream. for plot.

    Hamlet's the best for quotable speeches.

    Richard III is the best for suspense and villainy.
     
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  3. Jun 1, 2005 #2
    Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream are my favourites :)
     
  4. Jun 1, 2005 #3
    Why Macbeth, Soilwork? I find that play just creepy.
     
  5. Jun 1, 2005 #4

    Chi Meson

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    I saw "Taming of the Shrew" performed in the Itallian "Comedia del Arte" format. That made it by far my favorite comedy.
     
  6. Jun 1, 2005 #5
    It was just a really powerful story of how the thirst for wealth and power corrupts people and how even the people you trust the most can sometimes stab you in the back.
    Also a story where good triumphs over evil in the end with Malcolm becoming king after Macduff kills Macbeth.
    Great twisted story overall haha :)
     
  7. Jun 1, 2005 #6
    A Midsummer Night's Dream for the setting and characters.

    I also like Taming of the Shrew for dialogue and plot.

    And Romeo and Juliette for it's adaptability to contemporary formats.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2005 #7

    brewnog

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    I like A Midsummer Night's Dream best. There's some terrific puns in there.
     
  9. Jun 1, 2005 #8

    arildno

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    Soilwork, here's my IMO:
    Good does NOT triumph over evil in MacBeth; if that had been the case, it would have been MacDuff who came to reign instead of the nasty Malcolm.

    Read again Malcolm's disgusting speeches of self-aggrandizement; he'll turn out just as bad as MacBeth ever were.

    However, MacBeth remains my favourite play overall.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2005 #9
    No Malcolm was saying that to test MacDuff's integrity...so he wasn't serious.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2005 #10

    arildno

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    Sure he was. Read on. He's just a conceited brat.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2005 #11
    haha nah he wasn't
    And anyway I thought Shakespeare based MacBeth on the real life king Duncan(sometime in the 11th century).
    So that would mean that Malcolm couldn't be bad at all because in real life he was pretty decent (apart from trying to invade England quite a bit).
     
  13. Jun 1, 2005 #12

    FredGarvin

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    I'd have to give Much Ado About Nothing the nod on this one. A close second would be Othello even though I am more a fan of the comedies.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2005 #13

    arildno

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    1. Well, it's a few years since I read MacBeth, so I can't bring along hard "evidence" here...:wink:
    You might be right, though I'll keep my own view on this till I've read it up again.

    2. And anyway I thought Shakespeare based MacBeth on the real life king Duncan(sometime in the 11th century).

    As for the historical background:

    From the English perspective, sure Malcolm was a "hero" (although I'm not too sure if Shakespeare held to that view).
    This is because Malcolm was a traitor who brought in the English in a Scottish feud.
    As for Macbeth&Duncan:
    Duncan had proven himself inept at governance, and were unable to prevent the Northumbrian Earl's conquests, in addition to the raids from Earl Thorfinn from the Orkneys.
    Through his wife Gruach, MacBeth had a claim on the throne; you might as well regard the removal of Duncan (in 1040) as a necessary evil in order to keep the state intact, rather than it should crumble to pieces under Duncan's inefficient rule.
    Note that MacBeth went to Rome in 1050 for absolution by the Pope; he could hardly have undertaken such a journey unless he had secured his country's borders (i.e, MacBeth was the one who actually managed to stave off the crisis which had built up under Duncan).

    Malcolm attacked with English troops in 1054, and killed MacBeth in 1057.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2005
  15. Jun 1, 2005 #14

    honestrosewater

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    I don't care about the basic plot; The actual writing is most important to me. In that regard, Hamlet is the best I have read, but I haven't read half of them. Julius Caesar would be my second favorite. I think Henry V and Troilus and Cressida have some exceptional parts, mostly involving the title characters. Hmm, we need a favorite lines and speeches thread. :biggrin:
     
  16. Jun 1, 2005 #15

    arildno

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    That is why I favour MacBeth; it is Shakespeare's most focused (and shortest..:wink:) play; there's a lot of irrelevant stuff in Hamlet.
     
  17. Jun 1, 2005 #16

    honestrosewater

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    Ah, that just kills me. What parts do you think are irrelevant?
     
  18. Jun 1, 2005 #17

    arildno

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    The invasion by Fortinbras, for example.

    (Besides, it is just about the most un-Norwegian name I know of..)
     
  19. Jun 1, 2005 #18

    honestrosewater

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    Okay, that doesn't bother me so much. I thought you meant parts of the writing were irrelevant.
    Anyway, I don't think Fortinbras is irrelevant. He is restoring his father's, or perhaps his country's, honor, even though his father was fairly beaten. At any rate, Fortinbras is doing what Hamlet cannot, so Fortinbras' actions challenge and spur Hamlet on. Just look at Hamlet's reaction to the news of the invasion:
    The invasion also adds pressure by giving Hamlet a deadline.
     
  20. Jun 1, 2005 #19
    Your favorite? Much Ado? Challenge! You must defend that choice!
     
  21. Jun 1, 2005 #20
    I agree, but only because Shakespeare always has good, theatrical plots. Given that, we're free to pick and chose which we think is studded with the best written scenes nd speeches.
    It is hard to argue against Hamlet.
    There are alot of great speeches in it, yes. The two films of it I've seen suffered from treating Caesar as a British Monarch in a toga. A production I would like to see, and that might properly enegize the plot, would be one that bore in mind the word: Mafiosi.
     
  22. Jun 1, 2005 #21

    honestrosewater

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    Plot schmot. Character, character, character. :tongue2: Woops, just slipped out. Character, character, character! Geez, maybe I should get this checked. Character! I think I've been brainwashed.
    I read some Shakespeare when I was younger, about 9-12. I was mostly only interested in poetry at the time, and the plays were more than I could tackle on my own. When I was 17, I saw Branagh's Hamlet and was blown away. I became very interested in Shakespeare again and started reading other plays. But no other play I've read or seen has measured up to Hamlet. I can't stand watching other adaptations- the cuts hurt too much. It may just be that I have Hamlet just about memorized (I would play the movie in the background as I was writing- I must have seen it at least four hundred times), but every single scene is unforgettable. I don't think I would change a word. It has my favorite character, Horatio, and my (current) favorite line, "Hold off the earth awhile, 'till I have caught her once more in mine arms." Gosh, I love that line more every time I hear it. It's so charged and pathetic and devastating and tells you everything he's thinking.
    And JC shows that the mob is fickle. :wink:
     
  23. Jun 1, 2005 #22
    I hate to say this, but I haven't seen this one, (and don't really want to based on his other movies.)

    I've seen the Olivier, and the Mel Gibson, both of which I liked, but I mostly know Hamlet just from reading it. It is loaded with some exeptionally well expressed insights into human nature, mostly in Hamlet's speeches.

    I know what you mean about character, but if all the plots were badly developed somehow, or rang essentially false, then the plays would suffer. In general, his plots are good and pretty interesting.
     
  24. Jun 2, 2005 #23

    Evo

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    I agree with those. Although the evo child liked Othello.
     
  25. Jun 2, 2005 #24

    Gokul43201

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    Twelfth Night, for the unstoppable flow of sexual innuendo. :tongue2:

    I too liked Julius Caesar. :approve: Speak, hands, for me.
     
  26. Jun 2, 2005 #25

    honestrosewater

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    I've been avoiding Mel Gibson's. I've seen Olivier's, an older one on TV with no one I recognized, and a new one with Ethan Hawke. I didn't like any of them, though I liked Olivier's the best. I thought they were all dead, just gloomy, flat, and dead. And Olivier's cuts!! :cry: :mad:
    For me, Branagh flips from being annoying to being refreshing. But the rest of the cast is excellent. I can't imagine a better Claudius, Polonius, Laertes, or Horatio. BTW, not a line was cut- it's 4 hours of entertainment, if you didn't already know (it is a smidge out of sequence in a couple of places). I think it's the best movie ever, but I don't know what to say to convince you to see it. Why didn't you like his other movies? Which ones?
    Right, of course. I was just joking. I've gotten the impression from some books that the author's students focus way too much on plot and not enough on character. So they overcompensate by advising writers to ignore the plot and just focus on character, character, character. I prefer the advice that every line should either advance the plot or expose the character- and ideally do both.
     
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