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message 1: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
When I was a teenager, I read everything Shakespeare I could get my hands on, and it has served me well over the years as it brought me and my husband together. Our first "real" date was to see The Tempest at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in downtown Cincinnati.

We have since seen Much Ado About Nothing set in a hippie commune, Taming of the Shrew as a western, Comedy of Errors as a campy sci-fi, and Hamlet set in the WWII, all of them with the original language in tact.

I love Shakespeare, especially the comedies, so I am hoping for some great discussion.

What's your favorite play? Do you prefer the comedies, the tragedies, or the histories? Who is your favorite character?


message 2: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Ah, Rita, The Tempest is one of my favorites! It's a great story for kids too. I told the story, read a simplified version, and read some of the original to my five-year-old (years ago). She drew all of the characters and really got into it.

I also gave her short passages to memorize from a variety of plays -- quotations really. She understood them too. My mother-in-law, a retired teacher, was appalled.


message 3: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Jeanne, you would have been an awesome homeschool mom. Your children have been so blessed to have you.

My favorite play is As You Like It. Though I've never seen it performed, I've read it many times. But I think Much Ado About Nothing is a very close second.

My favorite character is the fool from Twelfth Night. Shakespeare was a master at making wise fools and foolish wise men. Twelfth Night is probably the best at showing both of these roles.


message 4: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Speaking of fools, how about King Lear?


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Rita wrote: "When I was a teenager, I read everything Shakespeare I could get my hands on, and it has served me well over the years as it brought me and my husband together. Our first "real" date was to see The..."

True story: I got the chance to play my favorite character when I was in high school.

Mercutio.

I was built like a boy until I was 16, LOL.

It's hard for me to pick one favorite play, unfortunately; I love them all for many reasons. I am, however, particularly fond of the (Tudor apologist) Richard III, because of the richness of the language.


message 6: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "Speaking of fools, how about King Lear?"

When I think of King Lear, I am reminded of a fairy tale I once read about a king who asked his three daughters for a valuable gift to prove their love. The youngest gave her father a dish of salt. Angry, he banished her.

Years later, the reknown of a certain chef filled the land, and the king just had to have this chef in his castle. The first meal served by this chef was horrible, and the king demanded the chef to explain why the food was awful.

The chef revealed that she was the king's long lost daughter and that she had cooked without salt because he had spurned her gift. The king quickly changed his mind and restored his daughter to her place.

A much happier ending than King Lear.


message 7: by Rita, Busy Bee (last edited Nov 09, 2010 05:48PM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "True story: I got the chance to play my favorite character when I was in high school.

Mercutio.

I was built like a boy until I was 16, LOL."


How funny. When you think about the boys playing the female roles in Shakespeare's day...


message 8: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Rita wrote,
The king quickly changed his mind and restored his daughter to her place.

Smart daughter and wise king!


message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (chasmofbooks) I've only read two of Shakespeare's plays (Romeo and Juliet and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar) and both times I had been told beforehand that they were horrible. I actually enjoyed them both. Although I have some problems with the logic the characters used, I prefer The Tragedy of Julius Caesar over Romeo and Juliet.


message 10: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments I just adore The Taming of the Shrew. Not enough of Shakespear's comedies are studied in school. I think more students would appreciate Shakespear if they studied at least one comedy.


message 11: by Rita, Busy Bee (last edited Feb 10, 2011 09:12AM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Sonia, I think you are so right. We did two tragedies and a history, and I think Midsummer's Night Dream with all the references to the faerie world would make a great discussion in a high school literature classroom.

And you'd learn a lot of useful information, IMO. A lot of books today use references to the faerie world in their Urban Fantasy books. As a reader and a writer, I think that would be interesing to know more about.


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