Love, love, love the wit war between Beatrice and Benedick. Aside from a few times when Beatrice seems more flighty than befits her character, she isLove, love, love the wit war between Beatrice and Benedick. Aside from a few times when Beatrice seems more flighty than befits her character, she is a character whose intelligence overshadows Benedick's (go women!). The following lines of the play brought down the house during a recent "Shakespeare in the Park" performance. So funny!
They swore that you were almost sick for me.
They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me....more
Iago has got to be one of the most sinister characters in all of Shakespeare. Even though Othello is the protagonist of this play, Iago steals the shoIago has got to be one of the most sinister characters in all of Shakespeare. Even though Othello is the protagonist of this play, Iago steals the show,and if you're thinking of watching/reading "Othello," do so if only to digest just how crafty/evil a character he is, deceiving his compatriots, his wife, his friends to get what he wants. Ruthless, ruthless, ruthless....more
Henry VI, part 2 isn't exactly one of Shakespeare's plays that makes me squeal with joy upon hearing it mentioned. Correction: I have never heard HenrHenry VI, part 2 isn't exactly one of Shakespeare's plays that makes me squeal with joy upon hearing it mentioned. Correction: I have never heard Henry VI, part 2 mentioned, so I'm not sure if I would squeal with joy or not if given the chance.
What I will say is that during the course of the, oh, five months it took me to read it (I get sidetracked a bit too easily - call it literary ADD), is that if I were a contemporary of Shakespeare's, I would have loved to read about or watch of play of my country's history (albeit an artist's take on history, with more regard to wit than to accuracy) through the saucy, hilarious, and witty perspective that Shakespeare offered than via a conventional history book.
Sure, Shakespeare took his liberties: I remember reading one section in Henry VI, part i when the King says, "Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell/Civil dissension is a viperous worm/That gnaws that bowels of the commonwealth (III,i,71-73) whose footnote, in reference to "my tender years" says, "The King was actually five years old at the time of this episode."
Because I was not quite as caught up in the overarching story of Henry VI, what stood out even more so were Shakespeare's one-liners, his literary ingenuity, his mastery and precision with words. And his modernity! Some phrases that stood out: "dead as a door-nail" (IV, x, 39-40); "smooth runs the water where the brook is deep" (III, i, 53); "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" (IV, ii, 74); "Monsieur Basimecu" (a parody of the french for 'kiss my ass') (IV, vii, 26); "Now art/thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction" (IV, vii, 24).
I also loved the imagery of the following passages: "Thus stands my state, twixt Cade and York distressed,/Like a ship that, having scaped a tempest,/Is straightway calmed and boarded with a pirate" (IV, ix, 31-33).
"But sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,/And after summer evermore succeeds/Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold; /So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet." (II, iv, 1-4).
Nonetheless, as Shakespeare is just as witty in his other plays as he is in this one, and because I wasn't as captivated by the specific characters or story, among Shakespeare's plays I give Henry VI, part 2 (and part 1, for that matter) 3 stars. ...more