Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Favorite Shakespeare Play

Because we're reading one of William Shakespeare's plays this week, and because he wrote so darn many of them, we're picking our favorite Shakespeare play!

It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me that I loved the Royal Shakespeare Company's version of Hamlet, given that David Tennant and Patrick Stewart are my two favorite actors, and they play Hamlet and Claudius / The Ghost, respectively.

I didn't really like Hamlet much until I saw this version. The characters are all just... terrible people. (Okay, I'll give Ophelia a pass, because I don't think her terribleness is really her fault. It's mostly Hamlet's fault.) Also, I had to read Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead in a theater class I disliked, and I didn't know Hamlet that well, so the two of them frustrate the hell out of me, even now that I know what's going on.

Side note: If you've never liked/understand the whole "alas, poor Yorick / I knew him" scene, you should watch Tennant do it. It's just great. And you can see from this still, although they kept the words verbatim the same from the original, the set and costuming are a contemporary update, and it works just... so well.

I had to read about a million and one Shakespeare plays in high school.  And then I became an English Major in college and read about 101 more.  So I've read a LOT of Shakespeare (Surprisingly, I have not read this week's pick, Richard II)

Over the years, I've always been more of a fan of his comedies, and in that realm, The Taming of the Shrew has always been one of my favorites.

I know that it's really terrible in terms of Women's Rights and all that (She was a fierce, independent woman and let herself be cowed by a man who married her for the money.)  But, I just really like Kate.  You don't get a lot of women, period, in Shakespeare, but to have a female that has such a HUGE effect on the story line and play?  Well, that's part of the reason I just really liked the play.

Plus, Kate completely SCHOOLS the women at the end of the play, which I thought was kind of cool.  The male kind of takes a backseat to Kate, which is a big deal when we're talking late 1500s Shakespeare.

10 Things I Hate About You is a modern adaptation to this play, and I pretty much LOVE that movie.  I mean, Heath Ledger singing?  What is not to love (plus, a really young Joseph Gordon Levitt.)


  1. Ha... I love that Hamlet too! It's really a great production!

    1. I feel like I need to join the party and watch this movie now...

  2. I love 10 Things I Hate About You. One of my favorite movies ever. I have seen several versions of Hamlet, on stage and screen(we must count The Lion King as part of it, since it is loosely based on Hamlet) and its decent, but not my favorite. My favorite is A Midsummer Nights Dream. Its totally fantastical and random. It's the only play to my knowledge which relies heavily on the belief in a world with fairies. There is actually a story in 1001 Arabian Nights that resembles some of this play. I just like that it's a fantasy, and it's romantic. Not to mention the fact that I performed Puck's closing monologue on stage at theater camp back in the day. :)