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message 1: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle One of the greatest men in the Literary world. What do you think of him? Did he write the plays? Are they any good? Are any of them bad?


message 2: by Keara (new)

Keara (kearachristine) I hate him because of all of the words he added to the dictionary. DX

Yes, he's absolutely brilliant. Yes, there are some of his plays that were disastrous.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen (astudyinfic) I love Shakespeare. I haven't found a play that I didn't like, the MacBeth was probably the hardest to get in to. Much Ado About Nothing is one of my all time favorite books.


message 4: by Everyman (new)

Everyman Groovy wrote: "I love Shakespeare. I haven't found a play that I didn't like, the MacBeth was probably the hardest to get in to. Much Ado About Nothing is one of my all time favorite books."

He is certainly well worth reading and enjoying. Though I wonder whether you have yet read, say, Timon of Athens, a play I find it very hard to like.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 614 comments Mod
I like Shakespeare, although I am really horrible at understanding him without help. I admit I prefer movie adaptations because I have a visual reference to understand the syntax of his language.

I tried to read Taming of the Shrew one summer unassisted. I didn't get half of what I was reading.


message 6: by Roos (new)

Roos | 1 comments I love Romeo&Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. I think it's funny that most people see R&J as the greatest lovestory of all times while it was meant to be a parody.


message 7: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I like Shakespeare, although I am really horrible at understanding him without help. I admit I prefer movie adaptations because I have a visual reference to understand the syntax of his language.
..."


I'm not a fan of movie adaptions. I have been told to watch Romeo and Juliet is one to watch but currently in class we are studying Hamlet and we watched the BBC version of it staring David Tennent as Hamlet. It was not to my taste and I found myself drifting off...


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 614 comments Mod
I think that some movie versions are better than others.


message 9: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Yes, we could have a page recommnending the right movies and letting us know which ones to steer clear of. I will get onto it soon.


message 10: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle I am studying Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead and Hamletnext year (September) for my Enlgish Lang/Lit class and wondered if anyone has read the Rosencrantz one as I never knew it existed before my teacher told me. It is a line from Hamlet if I remember correctly.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 614 comments Mod
I haven't read either of those, Nicolle.


message 12: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Shame.....no one seems to have read it.
Can't be that good then??


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 614 comments Mod
Well, I skipped the year of English where it was assigned to read Hamlet. I think my sister liked it.


message 14: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Ok, well when I read it this year I will tell the group whether it is a masterpiece or a disaster.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 614 comments Mod
I hope it's a masterpiece!


message 16: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Me too, as I generally write better essays if I like the book.


message 17: by Vikki (new)

Vikki (silverstarz) | 6 comments I studided Macbeth for GCSE English Lit and A Winters Tale for AS English Lit. First time round I wasn't so keen on Winters Tale, I resat the exam in my A-Level year to improve my mark on that module and enjoyed it much more when I was re-reading it! I loved Macbeth though and did Lady Macbeth for a speech & drama exam (when she receives the letter from Macbeth). We watched 2 film versions of it, both had weak & strong points. One was by Roman Polanski, and I can't remember the 2nd at the moment... would probably need to check my notes


message 18: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle I agree that Macbeth is a lovely work, if I have it translated into normal English it is even better! HA!!


message 19: by Tango (new)

Tango I love Hamlet and Richard the Third, the latter has some of he best insults such as "diffused infection of a man".


message 20: by Breanna (new)

Breanna McDowell (bre_mcdowell89) | 12 comments My favorite Shakespeare play would have to be "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It's absolutely hilarious, and I love the fact that they perform a play within a play. It's fantastic!


message 21: by Fei Fei (new)

Fei Fei  (fallensnow) I adore Hamlet. I hope I don't sound like a snob saying this but I definitely prefer watching Shakespeare performed live at a theatre rather than watching it adapted into a movie. I read Hamlet, watched it on screen (in 2 different adaptations), then watched it performed live at a free, local college performance. It was through that live performance that Shakespeare really came alive for me. Believe me when I say I'm not one to be easily moved to tears. But the word of the Bard made me weep that day. Hamlet's last soliloquy broke my heart.

My Grade 10 English teacher always encouraged us to read (and/or act) the plays out loud - this is the intended medium after all. By reading it out loud, though it may sound a little silly at first, will allow you to pay much closer attention to the words than if you are merely reading it in your head. Sounding out the phrases in it's distinctive iambic pentameter will also allow you to give proper weight to certain words, intentionally communicating it's significance.


message 22: by Breanna (new)

Breanna McDowell (bre_mcdowell89) | 12 comments Fallensnow wrote: "I adore Hamlet. I hope I don't sound like a snob saying this but I definitely prefer watching Shakespeare performed live at a theatre rather than watching it adapted into a movie. I read Hamlet, wa..."

I agree that it is better to watch Shakespeare's plays live rather than watching them in movies; however, the film Hamlet with Mel Gibson was awesome!


message 23: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle When I went to see Hamlet it was a modern version which really put me off. (also I was so tired as had actually collapsed the previous day [luckily I was in a hospital at the time], and so was really worn out and actually went to sleep for about 15 minutes, it was also about 35 degrees celsius in there, and I was sat next to someone with a very bad cold and cough; overall not a pleasant experience).


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Harvey | 3 comments I cannot say how much I love Shakespeare.
Othello is by far my favorite play. I'm always drawn to the more 'evil' characters like Iago.
I would have to say that I prefer the tragedies over comedies. I think Shakespeare's work has the ability to really affect the audience (more so than any other playwright I have read).
I'm currently on a mission to convince a friend that Shakespeare, or any other Renaissance drama, is certainly not boring!


message 25: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle What other Renaissance dramas could you reccommend?


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Harvey | 3 comments I would definately reccommend Marlowe's Dr Faustus. That is by far my favorite play of all time. Marlowe's Tamburlaine and Edward II are amazing too.

Also Ben Jonson's The Alchemist is a rather hilarious one, Although Ben Jonson can be a little bit stuffy sometimes ^^


message 27: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Thanks Jessica, I have added them to my to-read shelf!


message 28: by Deborah (new)

Deborah I'm taking an English class on Shakespeare this year and it's amazing! At my middle school/high school we're required to read one Shakespeare a year so I've read A Midsummer's Night Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth and Hamlet. For my English classes for my senior year I have to read Othello, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear and another play of our class's choice. I really want to read a history! An suggestions? And I've read The Tempest and about to read The Taming of the Shrew on my own. My class finished Othello recently and it is my favorite play so far because of Iago, the best villain in Shakespeare. My least favorite play would have to be Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night.


message 29: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Haven't read all of it, but Henry V has a great speech in it.


message 30: by Jessi (new)

Jessi | 52 comments I haven't read them all but for the most part I have loved every single one I have read so far.Some I did enjoy more than others though (A Midsummer night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing being my favorites)


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) My thoughts on Shakespeare. I believe he wrote the plays because from what I've read it seems the best conclusion. And despite what some people claim he was a master of the written and spoken word. His plays and his poetry are grand. Not to mention he's the reason we can read a lot of books today because of the words he created for the English language.

Rosanne wrote: "I love Romeo&Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. I think it's funny that most people see R&J as the greatest lovestory of all times while it was meant to be a parody." Haha yes it was more a tragic comedy as such challenging what love really was. Shakespeare was witty like that and unafraid to challenge current conventions. If only more modern writers were like that in the smart, sensible way.


message 32: by Bianca (new)

Bianca (bm05) | 1 comments I'm crazy about Shakespeare. My major work to get my degree in Literature and Language is on Shakespeare - the evil in Othello (Iago) and Richard III (Richard).


message 33: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) I received a full set of Shakespeare from 1892 yesterday. They're tiny books and the name is spelled Shakspeare.


message 34: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle Origionals? Wow...including sonnets?


message 35: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle I'm not all into Shakespeare either, but mainly from my lack of exposure to his works. I am studying Hamlet this year, so have finally got into the grips of his writing style and some of the language. The main thing to remember is that it is hard to translate his works word for word of even line for line...a more general view to understand the plot is needed, and then you can get to grips and start to look at the words and lines and appreciate the poetry of his lexical choice and narrative devices.


message 36: by Melissa Jeanette (new)

Melissa  Jeanette (melissajeanette) I'd never read Shakespeare before either until I had to read Hamlet for a class last year. I highly recommend the No Fear Shakespeare versions. They have the original language on one page and a modern translation on the opposite page. I switched to the No Fear version about half way through after a friend suggested it, and it made such a difference! I didn't have the headache of translating everything but I was still able to appreciate the humorous word choices and poetic quality of the original language. I linked the text in case anyone finds it helpful.


Hamlet


message 37: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) If you want to appreciate Shakespeare you need to see the plays performed. That's the medium for which they were written. A movie version works ... as long as it is faithful to the original. The old Franco Zefferelli Romeo & Juliet (starring Olivia Hussey as Juliet) is wonderful. Kenneth Branaugh has filmed a number of the Bard's plays ... the film of Much Ado About Nothing is wonderful.

I find that the visual clues of the actors facial expressions and movement on the stage (or on film set) help to "translate" the unfamiliar language.

I'm sure these are both available on NetFlicks.


message 38: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) I've seen a stage performance of Romeo and Juliet and acted in one myself. Not the full thing of course but still difficult to remember.

I appreciate them more in stage form because they're plays but I've always loved reading plays just to imagine for myself as a lover of literature how they could be dramatised. And of course I've always wanted to be able to write plays for myself but I doubt I'll ever be quality enough...

Nicolle wrote: "Origionals? Wow...including sonnets?"

Well as original as 1892 gets yes. They're over a hundred years old (although not the first books I've owned around that old). And as far as gifts go that's near priceless for me regardless of how valuable they actually are. I'm now thinking of getting myself the full Sherlock Holmes in one leather book to complement it. And yes there are sonnets. And a memoir at the start.


message 39: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (softyprincess) | 7 comments I can enjoy his plays but cannot read them. I don't know and haven't seen that many of them though.

I tend to be dissaponted by set today versions(e.g. the DiCaprio R&J).


message 40: by Tammy (new)

Tammy (tammy1) | 46 comments I like Shakespeare. The first one I remember reading was Merchant of Venice in school, thanks to a great (extremely patient English teacher) we ended up loving it. I feel like anytime I start a play, it's a struggle and so much work at the beginning but after awhile, I adjust and it's clearer and enjoyable. I admit the 'struggle' bit does put me off, I haven't read any Shakespeare for awhile now.


message 41: by Jesse (new)

Jesse Pyne | 2 comments Shakespeare is a hard read for anyone. I've read eight of his plays, performed in two of them, done scenes from several and it still kicks my butt. The keys to understanding these works are realizing that they are mean't to acted on stage, not be afraid to look for outside opinions, and to just keep working at them. The most incredible part of his works is that you can interpret them to what makes sense to you. Favorite play is a two way tie between Two Gentlemen of Verona and Love Labour's Lost.


message 42: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie wow a shakespeare thread! sweet! didn't see this before! one of my goals this year has been to start making my way thru shakespeare, i want to read all of it, including the sonnets. the no fear/side by side companions are a big help when u get stuck. i used them more in the beginning, but now i don't find myself having to use them as much. but once in awhile, i still get stuck. it's just not an easy type of literature. i also agree they are meant to be watched not read, so reading will always be harder...but there are some really good movie adaptations out there to see...

so far, my favorite is much ado about nothing.


message 43: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) I used to find it hard to read but now not so much. Once you understand how the words he used have transformed into others in modern English it becomes easy enough to understand the context and idea. I had to read a lot of Shakespeare in a row before I began to grasp it though... I don't know why but I've always loved reading plays.


message 44: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie yeah, i know what u mean jonathan...keep trying to add another one on my list as soon as i finish one to keep me going thru them...and as you're reading them...one after another...the language becomes easier...just started macbeth...


message 45: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) If you start studying linguistics and understand how the words link up with modern English it becomes even easier. Shakespeare still included case markers in his writing apparently as a vestige of old English. Oh Macbeth is nice and dark isn't it...


message 46: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie not sure yet...i just started it...i'll let you know in my excessive and frequent status updates tho.. *wink*


message 47: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Terrington (thewritestuff) Well I think Macbeth is dark and morbid. I shall await your decision myself haha.


message 48: by Mike (last edited Jun 08, 2012 07:51AM) (new)

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments janine, orson welles' othello and the chimes at midnight (concentrates on falstaff), peter brook's hamlet and king lear, and roman polanski's macbeth are all terrific movie versions.

edit: there are some interesting silent and russian versions as well.
edit edit: shakespeare's as much for reading as for watching; language is language and you're less likely to sing song it like so many actors do anyway.


message 49: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie i love kenneth branaugh versions...and i'm currently finishing up the orson welles version of jane eyre, and i like it...so i'll give some of those a try...

basically whatever i can find on netflix and at the libarary will be my first choices. :) but i'll keep those in mind. thanks michael!


message 50: by Mike (new)

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments all of those except for brook's lear are on netflix, I think, though probably not streaming. the whole chimes at midnight is available on youtube, but welles had a shoestring budget and the audio's not so great. anyway, have a good time watching whatever you watch!


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