The Shakespeare Topic

  1. Oddly enough, I got into Shakespeare when I saw William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet in 1996 (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes).

    (Of course, Leo was hot in the movie and that's when I 'fell in love' with him, as it were.)

    But after that, I thought the way Baz Luhrman directed it was great. He changed the weapons, the costumes and the setting, but he didn't change the words, the story or the ending. It was the same tragic love story.

    After that, I took it upon myself to read more of his plays (and I used Cliff's notes while I read, so I could take notes in the book. I really wanted to understand what I was reading).

    I've come to realize that while I prefer tragedies over the comedies (there's more depth to the characters in the tragedy) I really enjoyed A Midsummer Night's Dream.
    (I think the Queen Mab piece in Romeo and Juliet is my favorite.)

    In terms of Shakespeare made into movies, I loved the Kenneth Branaugh version of Hamlet. Kate Winslet was brilliant as Ophelia and the scene where she goes mad was just riveting.

    10 Things I Hate About You is a cute retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

    Get Over It! is a movie using A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of the plot.

    Then I went to college and became an English Literature Major.

    During Christmas break, Shakespeare in Love came out in theatres, and I was so excited to see that, and I loved the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow won an Oscar for her role in that movie.

    During my sophomore year, I wrote a paper about Shakespeare's sonnets. I look at them differently because I learned that the first half of them were written to a guy in an "I love you, you're my best friend" way.

    During the winter of my junior year I got the opportunity to study abroad, and I chose to study in London. One of the highlights of my trip was to go to the Globe Theatre and see a production of Romeo and Juliet. We knew what they were talking about, because we were studying the play in class.

    While I was there, I bought a copy of Titus Andronicus, one of his earliest and bloodiest plays. When Shakespeare wrote it, people weren't going to the theatre as much, because people would rather go to bear baitings, public executions and buy tickets to see the inmates of insane asylums. Shakespeare made the play as bloody as he did to compete with all of that.

    Titus Andronicus became another one of my favorite plays of his, along with Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.

    Titus the movie was brilliant but it was also very violent, as is to be expected.
  2. I'm an English teacher, and when I was in college, I loved Hamlet. The play I love to teach is Othello. I just love the story.
  3. Othello is a great play, because Iago is the quintessential villain. He can manipulate people into doing what he wants them to do.

    (The 1995 movie version with Lawrence Fishburne is a great movie. I watched it for extra credit in high school. I didn't bother seeing the 2001 movie O, which was supposed to be an updated version with Julia Stiles because it didn't appeal to me too much.)
  4. I don't really care for Shakespeare. I really like "The Taming of the Shrew", though. I don't like Liz Taylor too much either. Go figure. I like Leo's Romeo and Juliet. I think it's cool that did it modernized. I know Shakespeare wanted his plays to take place in modern times and clothing. So, that's cool they did it the way he would have had he been alive now. Speaking of which, "he" may of never been alive. No one knows for certain if there was a Shakespeare (there have been many spellings) and if was the same person to write all of the plays. They only know there was actor named William Shakespeare for sure. I only know this, despite not being a fan, because I took a Shakespeare class in high school and college.
  5. I'm a big fan of the histories, especially Richard III. There is an amazing film version of it with Ian McKellen.

    I think this is a common misperception that gets blown way out of proportion. The main reason people say this is because there are no surviving manuscripts. However, there are surviving copies of promptbooks, so when people say "Shakespeare didn't exist", its not that he literally didn't exist, but more that the romantic conception of a genius author pumping out these amazing plays doesn't exist (as in, any given Shakespeare play is not the product of one person, but is more of a collaborate process with different actors and members of the theatre company).

    There actually is a ton of evidence of Shakespeare "existing" that suggests he was more than just an actor. There is the first folio that clearly says "Master Shakespeare's Comedies, Tragedies, and Histories". Considering this was only published a few years after his death by his own peers, it's unlikely that they would have gotten it wrong and attributed his work to some random actor. Also, my Prof was telling me about an entry found in King James' accounting books that shows that a person named William Shakespeare (or any alternate spelling, since standardized spelling wasn't so common back then) was given x amount of material to make a cloak for himself to wear in his participation in a procession celebrating the King. Again, it's not very likely that some random actor (which was a very unrespected position) would have been invited to this event.
  6. I'm just saying what I was taught, but I do believe that Shakespeare was more than one person. I'd also like to add that just because someone, or multiple people use a name(s), doesn't mean that that is their name. kiwm? (I hope that is worded right) :yes:
  7. Oh I was more just responding to that general school of thought, not just what you said specifically. :flowers:

    But just for arguments sake, couldn't that be said about anyone? I've just never understood why people make a case for Shakespeare not existing, while the same line of logic could call into question the existence of a lot of literary figures whose lives we don't even question.
  8. I love shakespeare! Fell in love in Jr.High...even more in love in high school....went to the Shakespeare festival in my early 20's.

    Among of my most prized possessions, 2 antique Shakespeare anthologies, given to me be a friend.
  9. We definitely need a book sub-forum... LOL
  10. that's an amazing idea!
  11. I'm an English Lit major too, taking way too many Elizabethan Lit courses, lol. I also did the lil Shakespeare pilgrimage to the Globe Theatre while I was in London :biggrin: I enjoy Shakespeare, though I prefer some of his less popular works, like Venus and Adonis, the Sonnets, and The Merchant of Venice. But I do like King Lear too. I think I'm more of a Spenser fan though, probably because I spent so long studying it and I really appreciate its amazing intricacies and symbolism.
  12. From some of these sonnets, especially Sonnet 20 in which Shakespeare laments how "nature fell a-doting" when she made his friend a man instead of a woman, one can interpret that Shakespeare had more than a friendly interest in the sonnet's subject. In the rhyming couplet at the end of sonnet 20, he resigns himself to the fact that "since she (meaning nature) prick'd thee out for women's pleasure/ Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure." Note the double entendre of "prick'd," which means "picked," but is also slang for *ahem * a certain part of the male anatomy. Shakespeare is torn by his attraction to the sonnet's subject, but ultimately decides to let the women have his beloved's "use," while he is content with having his love. Or so he would like the reader to believe.

    Shakespeare continues this same theme of "I love you as a friend, but actually, more than just a friend (but I can't act on it)" in his play, The Merchant of Venice, in which Antonio nearly sacrifices his life for the sake of his best friend, Bassanio, who uses Antonio as a means for obtaining Portia. Though I'm not sure if the Elizabethan's caught on to the subtext, the deep love Antonio has for Bassanio is quite evident. The most recent adaptation of Merchant (with Al Pacino as Shylock), the director plays up the homosexual subtext between these two male characters. While some scholars argue that Shakespeare was strictly heterosexual and that these sonnets are merely odes to a friend, others claim that Shakespeare was bisexual. I don't care one way or another because the man was brilliant (even if "the man" might actually be a couple of men writing under one pen name; "the man" still had creative control over any piece published under his name.)

    Yikes! I just realized I rambled off on a tangent, sorry!

    Yes, I like Shakespeare...
  13. I love Shakespeare. I've had Sonnet 16 memorized for the past 8 years. Read so many of his plays since middle school
  14. I love Shakespeare! My favorite plays are The Merchant of Venice and Julius Casear. Hamlet (which we just finished in English) is my next favorite.

    I've read a few of Shakespeare's sonnets and comedies. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing (just got the movie version with Kenneth Branaugh), and The Twelfth Night.
  15. I got to hear Stephen Greenblatt speak at my school last night! :yahoo: His lecture was about the portrayal of beauty in Shakespeare, specifically about beauty marks. I may be giving away how much of an english nerd I really am, but getting to hear him was one of the most exciting experiences ever. Anyway, I thought my fellow PF-shakespeare nerds would understand.:greengrin: