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Old 04-20-12, 02:21 AM   #1
FRwL
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So.... Shakespeare

Tell me what Shakespeare plays you've read and opinions.

I only read Romet and Juliet and Julius Caesar before through school. Caesar was particularly interesting especially all the weird moments that happen during the night like people on fire and ghosts appearing. Have only read the beginning of Hamlet though. I really want to get into Macbeth though as that's the other biggie

More clearer happy.

Last edited by FRwL; 04-21-12 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 04-20-12, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

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Originally Posted by FRwL View Post
School me on your Shakesfu.

I only read Romet and Juliet and Julius Caesar before through school. Caesar was particularly interesting especially all the weird moments that happen during the night like people on fire and ghosts appearing. Have only read the beginning of Hamlet though. I really want to get into Macbeth though as that's the other biggie.
Is there a question here?
Reading the plays is cool, though performance is the best way to experience the Bard
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Old 04-20-12, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

I'll watch a movie, and then read the text. I can't read a Shakespeare play until someone has unlocked it for me.

It's educational watching different performances. For example, Mel Gibson plays Hamlet as an energetic young man, while Kenneth Brannaugh plays him as the smartest person in the room, and Laurence Olivier plays him as a depressive.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:46 AM   #4
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

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Originally Posted by Philzilla View Post
Reading the plays is cool, though performance is the best way to experience the Bard
This. I majored in English and by far the toughest class I took was "Shakespeare and His Contemporaries". I love R&J and Hamlet, but most of the rest of his works are an absolute chore to get through (don't get me started on King Lear).

I'd do as Nick suggested and tackle the better film adaptations first, and then read the plays. Watching Brannagh's Henry V, for example, made the text far more enjoyable to read as I could better imagine the setting (the Agincourt sequence is brilliant in the film) and gauge how faithful the film is to text. (As Nick noted the three adaptations of Hamlet are dramatically different in the "staging" of scenes and the depictions of the lead, but they're all drawn from the exact same source. That W.S. can be interpreted in so many different ways is quite beautiful.)
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Old 04-21-12, 04:19 AM   #5
brainee
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

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Originally Posted by Philzilla View Post
Is there a question here?
Reading the plays is cool, though performance is the best way to experience the Bard
Another "this". Shakespeare wrote his plays to be staged so they can be viewed by an audience ... not so that they can be read like novels. As long as you're seeing something that uses the original text, you're still properly experiencing the plays. Visualizing helps me understand and follow in a way that I can't do from just reading the text.

If you're looking into Macbeth, my favorite adaptation is Polanski's. There are only some minor changes from the text, and as you'd expect from Polaski it has plenty of style. Though somehow I doubt many stage productions had Lady Macbeth in the nude
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Old 04-30-12, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

I'm in the minority of people who prefer reading the plays first so that I can form my own mental image of how they could or should be staged, and then viewing the available adaptations to see how the actual productions differ.

I love all things Shakespeare and have never had a problem getting through the texts, as long as I'm using an annotated version that clarifies some of the less familiar words or expressions. I was also an English major and always sought out any and all courses related to Shakespeare above all others.

Macbeth is still my favorite and the one with which I'm most familiar. Agreed that the Polanski version is by far the best film adaptation. The Ian McKellen/Judi Dench version is also good, though it's all about the performances since it's more of just a filmed theatrical production.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:32 AM   #7
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Re: So.... Shakespeare

I read the plays aloud, staging them in my head and doing different characterizations for the characters. I've got a very nice complete Shakespeare collection with historical notes, introductions, etc. No matter how many times I read Hamlet, I always find something new in it. My favorite might be The Tempest, though.
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