I'm not a Shakespeare expert by any means, nor is he my favorite author yet, but every once in a while I think: "Hey, I wonder how Shakespeare's doingI'm not a Shakespeare expert by any means, nor is he my favorite author yet, but every once in a while I think: "Hey, I wonder how Shakespeare's doing?" This time it was Hamlet's turn, because I had a ticket for a production that was organized on a stormy autumn night in my hometown's gorgeous medieval castle (pictures here & here). We exchanged our phones for skulls and wandered through the rooms in groups. Combining puppet theatre, singing, the art of clowning and pop culture references, the whole thing was amazing, but it was useful to read the play first in order to understand all the nuances.
In the end, I ended up liking the Grus Grus Theatre's production more than the original. When something's as legendary as Hamlet, there's always the fear that it doesn't live up to expectations. Hamlet definitely has interesting themes ranging from madness, guilt, and revenge, so all the pieces are there for a great tragedy, but as a whole it just didn't do anything for me. I did write down a couple of great quotes, and I'm happy that I finally got around reading something that is such a big part of culture, but that's all. Although I have to end my review on a high note: I had really missed Shakespeare's humor. Maybe I should try one of his comedies next?
Anyway, don't mind me. There's a reason why Shakespeare is popular, so you won't lose anything if you read his plays. Go Will!
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
General Coriolanus, typically considered as a protofascist leader, doesn't understand why anyone should suck up to others, especially if it's done inGeneral Coriolanus, typically considered as a protofascist leader, doesn't understand why anyone should suck up to others, especially if it's done in front of the common people, because too much humility could drive them into rebellion. On the other hand, the citizens think Coriolanus has been victorious only to gain reputation and to please his mother. If the general's loyalty to himself is not interpreted as part of his pride, it's a somewhat admirable quality (after all, too much praise might turn leaders into mere reflections of glory, and their bad qualities are overlooked). Coriolanus is only able to be a rough soldier instead of a good politician, probably because he doesn't understand power struggles well enough. He also shows his contempt openly, which obviously isn't the best way to reach the citizens' trust and appreciation.
Coriolanus's mother Volumnia and wife Virgilia are the women in his life, whose influence finally leads into tragedy. Volumnia is a lioness, who cheers to his son's achievements in the battle field, and in a way manipulates him to pursue glory even further. Volumnia seems to be the kind of mother, who lives through her children and their achievements. Her persuasions never lead to anything good, and she doesn't appear to understand Virgilia's understandable concerns. Virgilia herself is a loyal wife, but because she's mostly just weeping on the background, her role isn't that interesting.
Shakespeare doesn't take a stance on which side is better or which one is right, the people or Coriolanus. Neither is black or white, just like in real life. This ambiguous quality is the best aspect of the play, and even the political scheming kept my interest, even though I'm not usually enthusiastic about politics.
This was also the first Shakespeare play that I saw live (well, "live" in this case), since they showed a recording of the Donmar Warehouse production starring Tom Hiddleston in my local movie theatre. Won't go into detail on that, but I did like it, despite some directorial decisions that didn't serve the play very well....more
What I managed to rip from these letters was that, despite they were well written, Abelard was self-centered, worried about his reputation, arrogant,What I managed to rip from these letters was that, despite they were well written, Abelard was self-centered, worried about his reputation, arrogant, eager to gather pity from others and lacked the sense of responsibility. Heloise was asking him to write more and express his kindness and love to her after being put into a convent by him etc. So... I didn't really see that "true love" thing going on for even half the time I was reading....more