Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Shakespeare update

I've made my way through a few more of Shakespeare plays. I read Antony and Cleopatra and watched a filmed version. I didn't love it and the version of the play was helpful but not overly exciting. I didn't love the play. I've also read The Merchant of Venice, there are many issues to think about in the Merchant of Venice, I don't know that they are resolved to my liking in the play...or even at all but that does seem to be common in the works of Shakespeare.
I have learned more about some of the plays, maybe I'm the only one, but I hadn't realized that Richard II came before Henry IV and has an impact on it. I'm currently reading the first part of Henry VI but I'm excited to watch the Hollow Crown, including Richard II through Henry V and then go back to read Richard II.

Monday, March 7, 2016

If you are interested in Shakespeare and in learning more, I would highly recommend the series Shakespeare Uncovered, now back with a second season. It's great seeing scenes acted, hearing actor's musings on the plays and their parts and also learning about historical contexts.
This just in, you can watch the whole series online

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Shakespeare Update

Okay, so here's the update on my goal to read the complete works of Shakespeare (or at least the plays). I believe I've been making good progress. I've been reading dramas and histories, most of what I have read are comedies and so there's a lot more dramas and histories to read and I'm trying to do them in chunks with a comedy now and again for relief.
Getting back to the point, here are the plays I've read:
King Lear - depressing, I don't care for tragedies
Henry IV part I - I actually read this in my Shakespeare class but that was a while ago and I'd forgotten a lot. It was alright.
Henry IV part II - I'd never read this before and it was interesting but there again I didn't love it.
Henry V - I watched the Kenneth Branaugh movie version of Henry V as I mentioned previous post and I liked it alright and I'd say the play was similar, there were parts I really enjoyed and other parts not so much.
I'm currently about half way through Othello, another tragedy, more depressing plot.
It is always enjoyable when I stumble across something I hadn't realized was Shakespeare or just something I've heard quoted without the source. 14 and 1/2 plays down and 22 plays to go, stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Shakespeare revisited

Okay, so this is the first post in some time. I have made multiple attempts to read the complete works (or at least plays) of Shakespeare and mostly I just end up reading the ones I like/have and then get busy or lose interest.
This time it wasn't a really structured thing, I read Much Ado About Nothing, my favorite play and one that I own. To be fair I own the complete works, it's a text book from the Shakespeare class I took in college. It's huge, I call it "the beast" and it's not all that conducive to sitting and reading, somewhat ironically.
Jumping back from that tangent, I then proceeded to read The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I've read all these plays before and it was nothing new (though I will say Taming of the Shrew troubled me a good deal, I don't know that it has in the past) but it got me thinking about my goal to read the complete works and giving it another go.
I believe the first serious step was making up a list of the plays, I marked the plays that I had read recently and the plays that I have read ever. Some of the plays I decided I have read recently enough that I'm going to count them anyway, others I'm going to read again. For example, I read Julius Caesar in high school but hadn't read it since, so I reread it. I've read Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet within a year or two and I'm not wild about either, so I'm just counting them as read.
I've found that it's easier to read a play when I've either seen it performed live or watched a movie of it and so I'm watching old favorites (Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado) and trying out new movies (the Tempest with Helen Mirren as Prospera and Branagh's Henry V, which is a completely new experience).
The final step that I hope will bring success, is that I'm getting copies of plays from the library when I don't already own them in a smaller format, that way it's easier to read them.
So in addition to what I've already listed, I've also read Hamlet. As You Like It is the next up, I've read it before and watched Branagh's version (highly recommend) but I'm looking forward to reading it again.
Hopefully in a few months I'll still be making progress and will update you on it. Until then, check out the bard's work! I've been amazed to realize how much of our phrases, word and language come from him and his work as I've been reading and rereading.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This post is brought to you by Coldplay

I have loved Coldplay for years but lately they have been just the thing, especially from the album X&Y. Last night for instance a song came to my mind as I was making dinner, a few bars at first and then a phrase or two of lyrics and after they ran through my head for a while I got on google and was able to take the line I knew and the fact it was Coldplay and find the song: Swallowed in the Sea. I listened to it on youtube after, it's such a beautiful little song. This is a majorly thrilling post that I should probably just delete but I really love Coldplay and their music and I'm grateful. So there you are, a pathetic little post of no significance.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Tempest

Look at this, not even the end of June and I've finished the Tempest. I'd love to see the Tempest staged professionally, there's a lot of opportunity for cool special effects. It was sort of fun to remember back to when I was in a high school production of the Tempest, I think it was my first play. It was pretty fun, even though I had a tiny part and was costumed in a unitard (fairy, I think one fairy party was divided out to several of us). It's an enjoyable play. I'm not really sure what play I'll read next, probably a tragedy but I haven't decided yet, I've still got time to figure that out.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Finished Romeo and Juliet, maybe I just look at it from the wrong light. Maybe it's the fact that I hate tragedies and the going in with a sense of impending doom, knowing each crucial juncture along the way and still seeing things go wrong. The way I see it, there's enough tragedy in the world without going to watch it or read it for kicks.