Shakespeare Mini Review of 5 Shakespearean Plays // We Love Shakespeare Blog Party

As you may or may not know, I'm an unashamed Shakespeare nerd. 

So when Hamlette from Hamlette's Soliloquy announced We Love Shakespeare Week, a Shakespearean blog party, I knew I just had to be a part of it. I knew this party was just going to be...lit. 

Yes. A terrible pun. But it's what ol' Shakespeare would have wanted.  


Now, while I have read many summaries of the bard's plays and seen many many film adaptions, I've only read about 5 original plays. 

I've rated them from least to most favorite. But basically, only the bookends of this list really earned their spots. I hated HATED #5 and absolutely loved #1, but enjoyed all the ones in the middle.




5. 
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA 

I was forced to read this for school my senior year. And I hated it. I hated it more then I hated Oliver Twist (which I was recently forced to read for college.)

Normally I like reading about manipulative characters. They either make the most interesting/horrifying villains or characters to read about. But Cleopatra and Antony? 
I had to drag myself through the text and I think that is partly because they were so melodramatic and...emotional. #gross.

Also, why is Antony's name first? It's clearly more about Cleopatra.  





4. 
MACBETH

It's Macbeth. Of course I liked it. It's so quote-able!
 The reason it's second instead of third is that I read this as a high school freshman and basically don't remember much of it...

I DO remember that it's really fun to try and say the witches part as fast as you can. 





3. 
JULIUS CAESER 

The sass.  
So much sass.


Just look at this. 

ACT 1. SCENE 1. 


...


FLAVIUS
Hence! home, you idle creatures get you home:
Is this a holiday? what! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a labouring day without the sign
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
First Commoner
Why, sir, a carpenter.
MARULLUS
Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
You, sir, what trade are you?
Second Commoner
Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but,
as you would say, a cobbler.
MARULLUS
But what trade art thou? answer me directly.
Second Commoner
A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
MARULLUS
What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?
Second Commoner
Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet,
if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
MARULLUS
What meanest thou by that? mend me, thou saucy fellow!
Second Commoner
Why, sir, cobble you.
FLAVIUS
Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
Second Commoner 
Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I
meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's
matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon
to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I
recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.

...

To sum up this scene: 

Roman Noble/Officer: Why aren't you guys working? Hey, wait. What do you do for work?
Random Guy #1: I'm a carpenter 
Random Guy #2: I'm super annoying and sassy and there is no way I'm giving you a straight answer





2.  
King Henry V 

Originally this play was being beaten out by Julius Caesar, but bias from the film adaption won be over.  (The 1989 movie is the one that I've watched, but I am VERY interested in watching the newer one with Tom Hiddleston. It's called the Hollow Crown, I think?)
I loved the scene at the end between King Henry and the French princess (and her handmaiden.) I honestly don't remember if that was even how it happened in the play. Oh well.
   
I also LOVE the St. Crispin's Day speech! 
And Dona Nobis! 
(Though every time it is played in Church now I mentally see the movie...)






1. The Twelfth Night 
And now you meet my most favorite play ever. 
It's just so twisted. You have all these stories weaving in and around each other, you have some of Shakespeare's most famous lines (If music be the food of love, play on) and what should probably be more famous lines (better a witty fool then a foolish wit!)  

And gah! I just love it so much!  





The Two That I'm Planning on Reading Next: 

Romeo and Juliet

Yes, I know. Why would I knowingly do this to myself? 
Because I've been playing around with a modern day rewrite that subtly mocks EVERYTHING and...
1.) You can't write a good rewrite without reading the original 
2.) I don't want to miss anything in my mockery 

But I probably won't get around to this for a while

Much Ado About Nothing 

I hear the movie was amazing and I've been meaning to get together with my sisters and watch it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I still have to find it somewhere...
But the play? 
That's much easier. All of Shakespeare's plays are in my favorite place: 
THE PUBLIC DOMAIN! 

 


So what plays have you read? Are you planning on reading any? Do you hate Romeo and Juliet as much as I do? Have you checked out all the other posts in this blog party? (Psst. They're linked on Hamlette's blog.)


-MK
















***UPDATE***


(Rated #4)

It's Macbeth. Of course I liked it. It's so quote-able!
 The reason it's second instead of third is that I read this as a high school freshman and basically don't remember much of it...


And this kids, is why you dont let sleep deprived college students run blogs!



9 Comments

  1. I remember too much about Macbeth.... *flashback to freshman play we had to put on*

    Ahh Twelfth Night is my favorite too :)

    Lia

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  2. I have read Macbeth and that is about it. :) I want to read Hamlet.

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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  3. Hey, Twelfth Night is the only one that I've read! It's so good!

    (Yes! Another person who doesn't like Romeo and Juliet!! Maybe I'll like it better when I read it...? I don't know. Probably not.)

    (P.S. Is your background for this blog the Cliffs of Moher?)

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    Replies
    1. Yes! It's my favorite! I love trying to basically explain the plot and about when you get to the third person who is also the fourth person who everyone thinks is the eighth person, their eyes start to glaze over!

      (I think so? It was a random background picture, but based on other irish-y cliffs I've seen, I think so?)

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Ooh yes. Which one are you going to start with?


      For some reason I'm pegging you as a Hamlet person...*shrugs*

      Delete
  5. What a fun post! I agree that Antony & Cleopatra are exxxxxxxtremely dramatic. Kind of the point, I think. I don't hate Romeo and Juliet, but I don't find it super romantic. More like a cautionary tale -- don't be like these stupid people with their stupid feud!

    Branagh's version of Henry V is awesome. I do want to see the Hollow Crown version, though.

    Twelfth Night is wacky and fun!

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