Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Little Shakespeare Anyone?

Alright, I admit it, William Shakespeare is my favorite author of all time. It’s true. And it’s not just because of his dashing good looks (mmm, bald spots). I own his complete works on my shelf at home and I’ve even downloaded several of his plays onto my Kindle, just so I have them with me at all times (because that complete works collection is a heavy load to carry, I’ll tell you!).

I can always count on Shakespeare for a good read, delightful wordplay, elegant prose and rhyme schemes and universal truths. I mean, even a so-so Shakespeare play is going to be better than the majority of most of the other garbage out there (sorry books, you know I love you!) I don’t know how many times I’ve read Romeo & Juliet (my favorite of all his works). I also played Ophelia in my high school production of Hamlet (I know, I’m so talented, you‘re so kind to say so). I’ve been to several different productions of several different plays, and before seeing each one I always have to read it over again. I think it just gives you a better sense of it and a richer appreciation for the play as a whole.

My brother hates Shakespeare unfortunately, which is too bad because I think if he took the time to really read and understand him then he’d find some of his plays rather humorous and right up his alley. Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing still throws me into fits of laughter.

But there are still so many of Shakespeare’s plays (even the great works) that I have yet to read. King Lear comes to mind. I just started Othello today and hope to be done very soon. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before, probably just because I already knew the plot (I mean, who doesn’t?). But I’m very excited about finally tackling it.

What about the rest of you? Anyone else in love with Shakespeare? How many of his plays have YOU read? What are your favorites/least favorites? Anyone read every single one of his plays? Now that would be an impressive accomplishment (one that I hope to tackle before I die).


Romance Girl said...

Sorry, I don't like Shakespere. Never have. Never will. I suffered through a few in high school only because we had to. That is what makes us all diferent!

Wall-to-wall books said...

I loved "Romeo and Juliet" of course, doesn't everybody? I read "McBeth" in high school, and would probably have liked it so much better if I had not had to read it in high school!
Our teacher was a drunk, and always drunk in class. He picked the story apart to death!!!! I have not been able to read Shakespeare since then. The teacher, by-the-way, was fired the year after I had him!

llevinso said...

Oh I'm so sorry some teacher ruined your Shakespeare experience WTW :( That was my experience with many classics during high school I'm afraid (however not from drunkness, thank goodness that teacher was fired!). But that's why I've taken them up again now, for myself, and I've found such a great appreciation for them.

And yes Romance Girl, different strokes for different folks. Although in my heart of hearts I do want to yell out: blasphemy! ;)

Christie said...

Shakespeare is one of my favourite authors as well. Not liking Shakespeare is a crime in my book, lol. I read everything attributed to him by the time I was 19, months before I had to take a Shakespeare module at uni (which was required & pointless). My favourites are the tragedies, & as for comedies, Twelfth Night. And I have a soft spot for Richard II and The Tempest.

What's your favourite play to see performed, Llevinso? Any film adaptations you recommend?

Shannon Young said...

I am also in love with Shakespeare. My favorites are Macbeth, Richard III and Henry V. I also love Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night. I had a Shakespeare professor in university who helped me appreciate the history plays (which are just as funny and profound as the rest of them). My 10th grade English teacher taught me to love Henry V's big speeches (we few, we happy few!), and I ended up teaching the same 10th grade English class years later.

I don't think I've read all of the plays yet, but they are definitely on my list!

Jenny O. said...

My favorite work by Shakespeare is Othello. I know it sounds macabre, but the writing is truly brilliant, the emotions intense, and the jealousy is the steamroller that keeps this work and all its characters barrelling towards the end.

Red said...

I love Shakespeare. I was lucky to have some great high school teachers that really instilled a love of Shakespeare early on. I haven't yet read all of the plays but I've read a couple of the obscure ones (Cymbeline anyone?) which haven't made exactly jump out of my seat to read more of them, though I would like to finish them all eventually.

Midsummer is probably my favorite followed pretty closely by Othello or Macbeth. And I'd put Titus up there. It may be the Elizabethan Chainsaw Massacre but it's at least entertaining.

llevinso said...

Red, Midsummer is the ONE Shakespeare play that my brother enjoys! I love it two :)

And it seems that almost all Shakespearean tragedies are like the Chainsaw Massacre because there's hardly anyone left alive in the end. Hamlet anyone?