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Topic: Shakespeare- faves & least faves

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Subject: Shakespeare- faves & least faves
Date Posted: 6/23/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,928
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I always seem to see a lot of Shakespeare during the summer.  I'm friends with a bunch of theatre geeks who do summer outdoor productions or go to summer outdoor productions.  For the most I really like Shakespeare (when its well done, which most of what I've seen is).  My favorites are Richard III, Julius Caesar and Much Ado About Nothing. 

The only one I really don't like is Romeo & Juliet.  I think its over-rated and done way to often.  And the only reason it is even vaguely plausibile is because R&J are supposed to be about 14 years old and full of raging hormones.  We had to read this in high school & I didn't care for it then.  And it hasn't improved after 9 viewings. 

I really like A Midsummer Night's Dream, but that's another one that they do all the time and after 4 different productions I am well and truly sick of it.

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I've been wanting to read some Shakespeare and we only read maybe 4 of the plays in high school..I also disliked romeo and juliet..I read it in 9th grade and honestly had no interest in 'boys' at all then and couldnt' understand anyone killing herself over a guy...or vice versa!

however, while I dont' remember all the details, Macbeth is one I want to re-read because I remember liking that one with all the speeches, etc. I also liked 'taming of the shrew', esp when we got to watch the movie with Elizabeth Taylor!

I think Hamlet I disliked as well..isn't that the one with the spoiled brat boy who had the hots for his mom?? prety pathetic when that's all I remember of it and that was from someone saying that in class...



Last Edited on: 6/24/08 9:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/24/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
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I dislike the interpretation of Hamlet that has him hot for his mother - never knew why they took that particular turn with it.  It doesn't seem implicit in the text at all. 

My favorites are The Tempest and Winter's Tale, and they are two that you rarely see produced.  I agree about Midsummer Night's Dream; I really enjoy it but there are other plays that you could put on instead of it!

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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so that's a popular interpretation of Hamlet? I really don't rmember the story but remembered not particularly liking it and something I heard/read claimed he was too 'attached' to his mother...weird the play doesn't say that but it stands out in my head as the only thing Iremember about it...

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
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I am also not a Romeo and Juliet fan.  Even in high school all I could think was pathetic.  I love the Taming of the Shrew.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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To me, READING Shakespeare is something one does just before going to see a competent production of one or another of the dramas or history plays.  W. Shakespeare was a PLAYWRIGHT, and wrote for the  stage . . . . but since  he wrote in the English of  about 400 years ago, and since some American actors (in particular) do not enunciate their lines well, it really does help to re-read the play before going somewhere such as  the Guthrie in Minneapolis or the Festival in Stratford, Ontario, or anywhere you can find a solid production mounted.

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Most of the time I'd rather watch Shakespeare, but I do like to read his plays a lot too.  The language is just so beautiful and its hard to really appreciate all of it on the spot, as its being recited.  And I love some of his speeches so much I can read them over and over.



Last Edited on: 7/14/08 10:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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Well, I have to admit to liking Romeo and Juliet but we are blessed to have a lovely Shakespeare in the Park each summer, this year, we'll be seeng Hamlet and Twelfth Night.  My favorite of his plays, though, is MacBeth.



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Ah, I love Shakespeare.  I don't know that I dislike any of his plays, but Twelfth Night might be my favorite.  I guess it depends on my mood.  Richard II   might have been the one I least Enjoyed the first time around, but even that has some great stuff.  I admit I haven't read any of the more obscure ones, like Henry VIII.  Maybe someday I'll bull my way through the rest of the plays I haven't read...I do have the Riverside complete works at hand, and no it will never be posted :p

Subject: great topic!
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I've always thought that Hamlet was more disappointedly angry at his mother for her part in things.  Hamlet's always been my favorite, though at times it is a bit difficult to pick just one.  It was the first work of Shakespeare's I read, and it's always stuck with me.  There are many more lines in it that I find myself quoting or at least recalling at appropriate moments than any other play.  I think particularly I like the unique "flavor" of his troubled nature, notably his insanity/game of insanity/supersanity.  Of course Shakespeare's plays are often full of troubled and/or somewhat crazy main characters, Hamlet is still my favorite, and therefore so is the play.  Though I've never read it on my own, I did see a horrid production of Twelfth Night that would have me voting it my least favorite.  I love that about this thread though;  so many people citing as favorites those works that others dislike (sometimes immensely), and yet no one would deny the unearthly skills of the author.  It's almost a perfect thread topic, in which few to no arguments could ever manage to take over.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2008
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While A Midsummer Night's Dream never fails to entertain, I think Twelfth Night might be my personal favorite. I don't enjoy the histories very much, but I'd have to say my least favorite that I've read so far has been The Taming of the Shrew. I actually saw it preformed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer, and was hoping they could make it work for me. There just isn't much that can be done to make it not shallow and womanizing, and that's really disappointing.
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Well I checked out 'hamlet' in the no fear shakespeare series (or something like that!) from the library and might get around to reading it..give it another shot!

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
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Tempest, Winter's tale, Lear are my favorites.

Least favorites are Titus Andronicus and many of the histories.

 

Did anyone see the film Drowning the Book?

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
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Much Ado About Nothing is definitely my favorite, but there are others I enjoy quite a bit.  (I admit I enjoy the scenes where Beatrice and Benedick thoroughly insult each other.) 

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
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Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, and Othello are my current favorites. It really does help to get to see the play done live. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater is absolutely amazing, and I saw Othello there before even reading it and I fell in love with the story.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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My favorite was always Taming of the Shrew ever since I first read it in High School.  Years ago the show Moonlighting with Bruce Willis did a version of the play and it was hilarious. Then I saw Othello two summers ago and I went back to watch it 3 more times. I loved it. I also love Hamlet and A Midsummer Nights Dream.

 My least favorite is also Romeo and Juliet. I took a shakespeare class in college and was introduced to a lot of his plays and sonnets that were so much better than Romeo and Juliet.

There is a Shakespeare Festival every summer at one of our local colleges and I make a point of going once a year. This year they are doing Midsummer Nights Dream and Antony and Cleopatra. They are also putting on play called The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridgesd)  and a Shakespeare for Kids program.



Last Edited on: 4/6/09 8:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 17
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I first read Shakespeare in the seventh grade (Romeo and Juliet), but in my opinion that age is still too young to fully appreciate the language.  I read the play again in 12th grade and enjoyed it a lot more.

In 11th grade my English teacher gave us extra credit if we went to a Shakespeare play and answered some essay prompts about them, which is why I saw some great theater that year that I never would have seen otherwise.  I saw Macbeth, Cymbeline, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I'm now a member of a Shakespeare Company and have acted in The Taming of the Shrew (Hortensio), King Lear (King of France/Oswald) and am now rehearsing for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lysander).

I have a hard time picking a favorite, but A Midsummer Night's Dream is definitely up there because I've seen it three times in three different countries and now have the chance to be in it.  I love comedies, and the chance for comic interpretation in this one is very high.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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My DH and I have been watching "Slings and Arrows" on DVD from Netflix--it's a Canadian show about a Shakespearean theater. Each season is centered around a different play: "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "King Lear."

We just finished the last season, and there was an interview with one of the show's creators on the extras section. She said she felt that high school was a bad time to introduce Shakespeare to people--she feels that schools should start earlier and bring Shakespeare to children so that they can grow up with it. I liked that idea. It would take a talented bunch of people to bring it to life for children, though.

I don't know if I could pick a fave...maybe "Hamlet."

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/9/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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my daughter had to read The Tempest and Midsummer Nights Dream in 6th grade, then nothing  in 7th. This year, in 8th she has had a good english teacher. They have read Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ray Bradbury. She said they are reading a shakespeare play next but doesnt know which one.

Most kids dont get Shakespeare till high school and I agree they should start earlier.

Scott, Are you playing Lysander in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at Desales? They are doing Midsummer Nights Dream this year.

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 17
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Kat,

No, I'm acting with the Collingswood Shakespeare Company in South Jersey.  It's a small company, just started in 2005.  www.collingswoodshakespeare.org

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/14/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
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Thanks Scott. I actually grew up not far from there though a little closer to AC. Good Luck and Congrats on the part.

Date Posted: 7/6/2009 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2009
Posts: 36
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King Lear and Macbeth are my favorites. The Tempest is my least favorite.  A bit too preachy for me.

Date Posted: 7/6/2009 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,419
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A few years ago, Laurence Fishbourne did Othello with Kenneth  Branagh [sp?] as the bad guy. His performance instantly became definitive: the Othello superceding Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles, the one by which all future ones will be compared. He did that with the greatest Shakespearean actor of our time sharing the stage. So if you prefer to read the play first, then see it.  That is one to see.

Sylvia W. (Sly1) - ,
Date Posted: 7/19/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 14
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My favorites are Much Ado About Nothing:  Loved the bantering between Beatrice and Benedict!  Very Witty!  Also loved Hamlet, so many great passages in that play, and very interesting. 

My least favorite is MacBeth, I just couldn't get into it.

rpc
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 229
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My favorite is definitely The Tempest, but I do remember really enjoying Othello when I read it, as well.  I think Romeo and Juliet will never be one of my favorites because I had to read it for school in eighth grade, which was way too young to appreciate it.