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After an incredibly draining Mardis Gras (who knew it was possible to party in the French Quarter until 8am for five days straight and then go to a rave with a pocket full of disco biscuits? And then do it all again for two more days!?) I decided to take a quiet day off and went to see Shakespeare's Henry V with my (maybe) girlfriend last night.
It was utterly incredible. They even did an impressive job on the Battle of Agincourt. This is one of my favorite plays by the master. It is about a young prince who parties all the time with the most dodgy characters he could find. But when he is faced with the responsibility of being a ruler and to take his rightful place as king of England and France, he is able to do it, even if it means sacrificing his drinking buddies. With his rag-tag populist army made up of infantry he soundly defeats the the impossibly larger (and arrogant) French army consisting of mostly knights. This battle is also the origins of the "two-finger" salute (Americans do it with one). It is such a powerful play and prehaps speaks more strongly to myself than others. Here is a guy who loves to drink and have a fun time all day long. But when it is time for him to grow up he does. Because if you don't, you will end up as the piteous sad dead drunkard that is Falstaff.
Now, I don't know how many people here love Shakespeare (my guess is that most endured it in high school but can't be asked to give it another try) but what are other plays that people here like? Any of them as personally inspiring as old Prince Hal was for me?
Note: Kenneth Branagh directed an excellent version that came out in 1989.
â€œCry â€˜Havocâ€™ and let slip the dogs of war!â€? - Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I
For me its a tie between Much to do about nothing and MacBeth. Totally different genre I know, but I like them more than than any of the others.
MacBeth was a very dynamic character, and he kind of reminded me of the doomsday book and how its rumored that Shakespeare was hiding from the government for part of his life.
I just like the humor a lot more in Much to do about nothing than in the other plays. I also have to admit that I haven't seen very many Shakespearian productions, and that the productions of Romeo and Juliet, the Tempest, and Midsummers nights dreams where simply awful.
Eh..I like Julius Ceasar. I'm not really that big into Shakespeare,but something about that play,Brutus in paticular, stuck with me. I know it's probably not something the true Shakespeare fans dig, but then again I'm not a true shakespeare fan.
Had to sit through Romeo and Juilet and Hamlet. Despise Romeo and Juliet, fell asleep during Hamlet (I was a little hungover :blush: ) but it was alright.
I went to see a production of Troilus & Cressida last year. They tryed to sex it up by throwing in lots of nude scenes. It didn't really help. (Though you should have seen Helen of Troy! It was easy to see why it is one of Will's lesser known plays.
Another production I saw of MacBeth had the 3 witches conniving around their cauldron. For the 'magic' affect once they finished their incantation they lit a full-on maritime flare. The kind you send up from a boat in distress in heavy seas. From 20 paces I was blind for the rest of the evening. Amateur theatrics, gotta love it.
The quality of the production matters an awful lot. Shakespeare can write the play but it's the players that bring it to life. I've walked out an awful Romeo and Juliet before now, while another production was so good that it gave me a lump in my throat that lasted for days.
As much as I like his comedies. It's Shakespeare's tragedies that really tend to stick in my mind. King Lear, MacBeth, Romeo & Juliet, JC and Anthony & Cleopatra have been my favourites so far. I do wanna see Henry V, I've heard it's good, Othello too.
I`ve never actually seen a play by Shakespeare, but I`ve read them all and sf for a read, I think A Midsummernights dream is the best.
What's the strength of tincan brets?
Charging lance and extra ranks
Charge their flanks with some Dark Riders,
Give the silly knights some spanks!
Words from the Russian poet Svart.
My favorite tragedy of his is King Lear. For comedy it is Much Ado About Nothing. Kenneth Branagh made a movie of Much Ado. It was also very good, but did about nothing in the box office.
The fire's going out...pass me another heretic.
To be honest i'm not a big fan of Shakespere (I much prefered George Bernard Shaw) although Bawd the two fingred salute dosen't come from Henry V rather i beleive it orginates round about the new forest in england which was regarded as kings land as such all the animals on it were the kings property. Now if you killed an animal owned by the king using a bow they cut off your pointer and middle finger as a punishment (also so you could not use your bow to hunt). So when being chased by game keepers it was common to stick these fingers up to show off and insult them.
I haven't had the opportunity to see Shakespeare's works performed live on stage.
Although I have read a couple and I have seen a couple of them turned into movies.
Othello: I saw a great movie with Laurence Fishburn that I like alot.
Hamlet: Mel Gibson didn't do too bad.
Romeo and Juliet: I saw an older version of this movie that was done very well. The stars are unknown to me. I think it was an Italian director.
Much Ado About Nothing: starring Branaugh and then (hottie) wife Emma Thompson. Great movie but who cast Keanu Reeves?
Henry V: Starring Kenneth Branaugh. What can I say, great acting, great directing. Very moving speeches.
I read MacBeth in high school and really liked it.
Well, I've read a good 2 dozen or so, and I can say I'm not really fond of his tragedies - Although they had some awesome lines.
I would have to say Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night were good. He does comedies so well, if you know a little about context they are truly hilarious. Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth and such weren't too bad, but they tended to feel like he was writing them as a pretentious move to show up other playwrights of the time. Take Hamlet - he incorporates every form of tragedy into the single play. Intelligent, but a little biggoted...
The Keneth Branagh MAAN - was that the one with Kate Beckensale? I enjoyed that one quite a bit actually.
On the note of Shakespeare - anyone who has read Hamlet, I strongly suggest you also read 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' by Tom Stoppard. An excellent existential play that uses Theatre of the Absurd techniques. It was written in the 60's, and there was a movie made of it, with Tim Roth. Watch it, it's very amusing.