janetlin: (Shakespeare)
(Have also in the meantime read Henry IV part I and A Midsummer Night's Dream for my Shakespeare class, but since I read those last year I won't count them. Same will go for The Merchant of Venice, which is up next.)

It amazes me that I spent _months_ in rehearsals for this play back in high school and missed so much of what was going on. Don Pedro flirting with Beatrice?! How'd I miss that? And speaking of Beatrice, I can now say that I do indeed think Portia is cooler. Not by _too_ much, and actually the only difference is that Beatrice wails to Benedick to duel Claudio until he concedes, whereas Portia would have just rolled up in drag and done it herself. ;)

And alas, among all the greater insight I now have into this play, I still think Hero is a cardboard cutout: insert good-girl daughter of venerable old man and love interest for hot young soldier here. Really there's not much else to her character. I guess Shakespeare was either saving himself for writing such awesome females in The Merchant of Venice or had already shot his load doing so.

Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 197



26 / 36 books. 72% done!
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
(Have also in the meantime read Henry IV part I and A Midsummer Night's Dream for my Shakespeare class, but since I read those last year I won't count them. Same will go for The Merchant of Venice, which is up next.)

It amazes me that I spent _months_ in rehearsals for this play back in high school and missed so much of what was going on. Don Pedro flirting with Beatrice?! How'd I miss that? And speaking of Beatrice, I can now say that I do indeed think Portia is cooler. Not by _too_ much, and actually the only difference is that Beatrice wails to Benedick to duel Claudio until he concedes, whereas Portia would have just rolled up in drag and done it herself. ;)

And alas, among all the greater insight I now have into this play, I still think Hero is a cardboard cutout: insert good-girl daughter of venerable old man and love interest for hot young soldier here. Really there's not much else to her character. I guess Shakespeare was either saving himself for writing such awesome females in The Merchant of Venice or had already shot his load doing so.

Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 197



26 / 36 books. 72% done!
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
This is the only play for my "Shakespeare's Early Plays" class which I haven't already read and/or performed. And I actually liked it quite a lot. Read it in one sitting, out of my stonking huge Complete Works of Shakespeare because the bookstore was out of the little paperbacks.

Richard himself... I'm kind of ambivalent. Sometimes he's obnoxiously selfish, others he's unbearably mopy "Let us sit upon the ground / and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings," and I only really sympathized with him toward the very end when he's saying farewell to his wife and they can't stop kissing each other (it's really adorable). But the more we talked about it in class, I started equating his bipolar antics with this notion of the king's two bodies. When he's up, he's the King-with-a-capital-K and life is good, and when he's down he's just poor (and mortal) Richard, king-with-a-lower-case-k. Also he might have secret wells of badassery because he singlehandedly killed two or three would-be murderers while he was imprisoned in the Tower.

And then sometimes I felt like I was reading the Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) show. Which is understandable since this is the prequel to that play, but it reminds me of how frustrated I was reading Henry IV, part 1 and feeling like I was watching the Prince Hal show. And oh, yes, that's the next play on our reading list. *facepalm* Maybe on second reading it won't be as much of a slog as it was last time.

Title: Richard II
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 352



21 / 24 books. 88% done!
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
This is the only play for my "Shakespeare's Early Plays" class which I haven't already read and/or performed. And I actually liked it quite a lot. Read it in one sitting, out of my stonking huge Complete Works of Shakespeare because the bookstore was out of the little paperbacks.

Richard himself... I'm kind of ambivalent. Sometimes he's obnoxiously selfish, others he's unbearably mopy "Let us sit upon the ground / and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings," and I only really sympathized with him toward the very end when he's saying farewell to his wife and they can't stop kissing each other (it's really adorable). But the more we talked about it in class, I started equating his bipolar antics with this notion of the king's two bodies. When he's up, he's the King-with-a-capital-K and life is good, and when he's down he's just poor (and mortal) Richard, king-with-a-lower-case-k. Also he might have secret wells of badassery because he singlehandedly killed two or three would-be murderers while he was imprisoned in the Tower.

And then sometimes I felt like I was reading the Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) show. Which is understandable since this is the prequel to that play, but it reminds me of how frustrated I was reading Henry IV, part 1 and feeling like I was watching the Prince Hal show. And oh, yes, that's the next play on our reading list. *facepalm* Maybe on second reading it won't be as much of a slog as it was last time.

Title: Richard II
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 352



21 / 24 books. 88% done!
janetlin: (Theatre)
Found this while out trawling teh intarwebs:

Bold the ones you've seen stage productions of, italicize the ones you've seen filmed versions of (including TV versions, like the BBC's), underline the ones you've read or listened to, and add a star* to any you've performed in, done readings of or otherwise theatrically participated.

All's Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet (At least the Mel Gibson one, perhaps another I can't think of at the moment)
Henry IV, Part I
Henry IV, Part II
Henry V
Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI, Part II
*Henry VI, Part III (*Queen Margaret taunting the Duke of York. This is a kickass speech, y'all)
Henry VIII
*Julius Caesar (*Portia imploring Brutus to tell her what the heck is up, the old old one with Marlon Brando)
King John
King Lear
Love's Labour's Lost (Kenneth Branagh version)
*Macbeth (*Lady M reading the letter and hatching the Plot, Roman Polanski, Verdi's opera)
Measure for Measure
*The Merchant of Venice (*duet of Portia & Nerissa, The one with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons)
*The Merry Wives of Windsor (*random fairy at the end)
*A Midsummer Night's Dream (*duet between Helena & Hermia, The one with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, and Kevin Kline)
*Much Ado about Nothing (*random seventh member of the watch, Kenneth Branagh's with Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves)
Othello (Kenneth Branagh's with Laurence Fishburne as Othello, opera by Verdi)
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Richard II
Richard III
**Romeo and Juliet (*Juliet's Nurse, and *Tybalt in a fantastically choreographed duel with Mercutio, Roman Polanski, and Leo DiCaprio & Claire Danes)
*The Taming of the Shrew (*Kate's speech at the end where she "proves" herself tamed, The old Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor)
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night (The version with Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia)
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter's Tale

This doesn't count adaptations ("Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" and Strange Brew =/= Hamlet, etc.)

Huh. I've never seen a Shakespeare production on stage that I wasn't in?! How'd I manage that?
janetlin: (Theatre)
Found this while out trawling teh intarwebs:

Bold the ones you've seen stage productions of, italicize the ones you've seen filmed versions of (including TV versions, like the BBC's), underline the ones you've read or listened to, and add a star* to any you've performed in, done readings of or otherwise theatrically participated.

All's Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet (At least the Mel Gibson one, perhaps another I can't think of at the moment)
Henry IV, Part I
Henry IV, Part II
Henry V
Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI, Part II
*Henry VI, Part III (*Queen Margaret taunting the Duke of York. This is a kickass speech, y'all)
Henry VIII
*Julius Caesar (*Portia imploring Brutus to tell her what the heck is up, the old old one with Marlon Brando)
King John
King Lear
Love's Labour's Lost (Kenneth Branagh version)
*Macbeth (*Lady M reading the letter and hatching the Plot, Roman Polanski, Verdi's opera)
Measure for Measure
*The Merchant of Venice (*duet of Portia & Nerissa, The one with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons)
*The Merry Wives of Windsor (*random fairy at the end)
*A Midsummer Night's Dream (*duet between Helena & Hermia, The one with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, and Kevin Kline)
*Much Ado about Nothing (*random seventh member of the watch, Kenneth Branagh's with Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves)
Othello (Kenneth Branagh's with Laurence Fishburne as Othello, opera by Verdi)
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Richard II
Richard III
**Romeo and Juliet (*Juliet's Nurse, and *Tybalt in a fantastically choreographed duel with Mercutio, Roman Polanski, and Leo DiCaprio & Claire Danes)
*The Taming of the Shrew (*Kate's speech at the end where she "proves" herself tamed, The old Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor)
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night (The version with Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia)
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter's Tale

This doesn't count adaptations ("Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" and Strange Brew =/= Hamlet, etc.)

Huh. I've never seen a Shakespeare production on stage that I wasn't in?! How'd I manage that?
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
I actually finished this last week, but was distracted somehow (I wonder) from posting about it. This was the last of the plays we had to read for my Shakespeare class. I liked it better than Henry IV (which, I know, doesn't say much), and it's one I'd read before, back in high school. I think it might have been one of those I never finished, though, because the further in it I read, the less familiar everything was. Like I think I might never have read Acts 4 and 5 before. Heh.

Title: Julius Caesar
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 209



23 / 24 books. 96% done!
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
I actually finished this last week, but was distracted somehow (I wonder) from posting about it. This was the last of the plays we had to read for my Shakespeare class. I liked it better than Henry IV (which, I know, doesn't say much), and it's one I'd read before, back in high school. I think it might have been one of those I never finished, though, because the further in it I read, the less familiar everything was. Like I think I might never have read Acts 4 and 5 before. Heh.

Title: Julius Caesar
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 209



23 / 24 books. 96% done!
janetlin: (Bored)
Another that dragged, without the benefit OMF had of at least being interesting while it dragged. John Falstaff annoys me, and I can't figure out whether Prince Hal really even likes him at all. I understand Hal does put him aside at the end of part II, but I don't think I care quite enough to bother reading it to find out. Happy to just have this one behind me.

Title: Henry IV, Part I
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 225



22 / 24 books. 92% done!
janetlin: (Bored)
Another that dragged, without the benefit OMF had of at least being interesting while it dragged. John Falstaff annoys me, and I can't figure out whether Prince Hal really even likes him at all. I understand Hal does put him aside at the end of part II, but I don't think I care quite enough to bother reading it to find out. Happy to just have this one behind me.

Title: Henry IV, Part I
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 225



22 / 24 books. 92% done!
janetlin: (Thinky thoughts)
Whew, one long overdue book done. This one was fun. I liked Viola and felt bad for Olivia. How awkward to discover the boy you've fallen in love with is in fact a girl. Meep!

Now, I really don't get this whole deal with there having to be three weddings. Why? The third one always feels like a throwaway, especially here. We don't see it onscreen, don't even see the parties involved afterwards being all "lalala, we're newlyweds," it's mentioned in passing _once_ by someone else, and nobody even reacts. Why bother writing that in? Is there something deeply symbolic or something, that there absolutely _has_ to be three weddings? And if Shakespeare knew this, why didn't he ever bother to set up the third one as well as he did the first two between the main characters? Really, it's starting to get annoying.

BUT. Next up is Henry IV and then on to Julius Caesar. No more of this comedy stuff. ... Except, Henry IV is where we meet Falstaff, right? *sigh*

Title: Twelfth Night, or, What You Will.
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 189



20 / 24 books. 83% done!
janetlin: (Thinky thoughts)
Whew, one long overdue book done. This one was fun. I liked Viola and felt bad for Olivia. How awkward to discover the boy you've fallen in love with is in fact a girl. Meep!

Now, I really don't get this whole deal with there having to be three weddings. Why? The third one always feels like a throwaway, especially here. We don't see it onscreen, don't even see the parties involved afterwards being all "lalala, we're newlyweds," it's mentioned in passing _once_ by someone else, and nobody even reacts. Why bother writing that in? Is there something deeply symbolic or something, that there absolutely _has_ to be three weddings? And if Shakespeare knew this, why didn't he ever bother to set up the third one as well as he did the first two between the main characters? Really, it's starting to get annoying.

BUT. Next up is Henry IV and then on to Julius Caesar. No more of this comedy stuff. ... Except, Henry IV is where we meet Falstaff, right? *sigh*

Title: Twelfth Night, or, What You Will.
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 189



20 / 24 books. 83% done!
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
I love all the women in this play! How often can that be said of Shakespeare? Portia is kickarse (I like her much better than Katherine. Possibly more than even Beatrice. I'd need to read Much Ado About Nothing again). Come to think of it, I wonder when this was written, in relation to Much Ado; if Portia was sort of a proto-Beatrice or vice-versa. Hmm, Wiki says right round about the same time. No help there.

We started to watch the film version with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons in class, which I _must_ find and rent now. The court scene must be fantastic.

Title: The Merchant of Venice
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 203

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 50
(38.0%)


Okay, I know the official challenge is fifty books, but I'm very unlikely to get there by the end of the year, so I think I'll start using the tickers based on my personal goal of 24 (which I am, actually, likely to meet and even exceed. Never thought I'd be so glad of all the reading I must do as an English major). So here:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 24
(79.2%)


Woo, doesn't that look nice?
janetlin: (Shakespeare)
I love all the women in this play! How often can that be said of Shakespeare? Portia is kickarse (I like her much better than Katherine. Possibly more than even Beatrice. I'd need to read Much Ado About Nothing again). Come to think of it, I wonder when this was written, in relation to Much Ado; if Portia was sort of a proto-Beatrice or vice-versa. Hmm, Wiki says right round about the same time. No help there.

We started to watch the film version with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons in class, which I _must_ find and rent now. The court scene must be fantastic.

Title: The Merchant of Venice
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 203

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 50
(38.0%)


Okay, I know the official challenge is fifty books, but I'm very unlikely to get there by the end of the year, so I think I'll start using the tickers based on my personal goal of 24 (which I am, actually, likely to meet and even exceed. Never thought I'd be so glad of all the reading I must do as an English major). So here:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 24
(79.2%)


Woo, doesn't that look nice?
janetlin: (Reading)
This is the second play for my Shakespeare class, and one I'd read before, but a long time ago. I think actually the first duet I ever did was from this play; I was Hermia (which was a mistake on my part: Helena has much better lines in the scene we chose, though she's a bit whiny). And I either somehow never noticed or - more likely - had forgotten that they actually have a bit of a catfight on stage. Whoa that would have been fun. Alas, the boys were around so it couldn't be considered a duet.

Hermia: "And are you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak!
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes."

Dude. Short girl has some rage. 'Course, her man just got stolen.

Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 173 (paperback)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 50
(32.0%)
janetlin: (Reading)
This is the second play for my Shakespeare class, and one I'd read before, but a long time ago. I think actually the first duet I ever did was from this play; I was Hermia (which was a mistake on my part: Helena has much better lines in the scene we chose, though she's a bit whiny). And I either somehow never noticed or - more likely - had forgotten that they actually have a bit of a catfight on stage. Whoa that would have been fun. Alas, the boys were around so it couldn't be considered a duet.

Hermia: "And are you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak!
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes."

Dude. Short girl has some rage. 'Course, her man just got stolen.

Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 173 (paperback)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 50
(32.0%)

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