Archive for July, 2012


July 31, 2012

The Comedy of Errors

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As a Gemini, I loved this little play full of doppelgangers, losing and finding oneself and mistaken identities.  Shakespeare juggles two sets of look-a-likes like four balls: Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus with their corresponding bondsmen, Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus. (Bondsmen.  After 18 plays and five weeks, a person starts  Read the Rest…


July 29, 2012

Richard III

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I have a Shakespearean Insults coffee mug.  As I read Richard III, I noticed that a fair number of the slurs from the coffee mug were ones directed at Richard: *Lump of foul deformity (I, ii) *Diffused infection of a man (I, ii) *Thou canst make excuse current but to hang thyself (I, ii) And  Read the Rest…


July 26, 2012

Henry VI Parts One, Two, Three, Six, Ten, Sixteen, Twenty-Four

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In a small English major corner of my being, I have always wanted to understand the War of the Roses which theoretically is covered in the Henry VI plays.  Except that Shakespeare was a writer of historical fiction.  Historians who are determined to get their facts correct prove, in doing so, why Shakespeare chose to  Read the Rest…


July 22, 2012

The Merchant of Venice

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Before I read this play I knew only a few things about it: there’s a character named Shylock, the play is said to be anti-Semitic and Judi Dench “loathes it.”  As I read it and thought about it, I wanted to tweak it, to change this emphasis or those words.  I wanted to make it  Read the Rest…


July 19, 2012

Romeo and Juliet

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I hadn’t read Romeo and Juliet since college and my impression was that it was two hours of that damn balcony scene and half an hour of fencing.  So I am glad I read it again because after a few false starts and with the help of the BBC, I enjoyed it.  Like the rest  Read the Rest…


July 16, 2012

The Winter’s Tale

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“A sad tale’s best for winter.” With King Lear still in my system, it was hard to find a nook in which to lodge The Winter’s Tale. Then I didn’t think I had anything much to say about it, but something came to me during a church service.  First, here’s the sad tale for winter:  Read the Rest…


July 12, 2012

King Lear

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One thing I have to say about King Lear is that if you watch the play on DVD, it doesn’t enhance the experience to be eating grapes during the eye gouging scene. It’s a difficult play beyond some of the barbarous and frankly crazy scenes.  I read it twice and watched two different versions of  Read the Rest…


July 10, 2012

King John

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Here’s rather a maligned fellow.  The king deserves it but not the play itself. The Friendly Shakespeare says The Life and Death of King John is the most unfamiliar and disliked play in the canon. Now I call that jolly unfair.  It has a fabulous part in it for Claire Bloom and some of the  Read the Rest…


July 8, 2012

Troilus and Cressida

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In Olivia Manning’s wonderful Balkan Trilogy set in World War II Bucharest, Guy Pringle, most lovable of extroverts, decides to do an amateur production of Shakespeare. He chooses Troilus and Cressida.  It’s so accessible to the ex-pats and legation folks that I think, well, how hard a play could it be? So here I am  Read the Rest…


July 6, 2012

Twelfth Night

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I was three pages into Harold Bloom’s celebrated masterpiece, Shakespeare, the Invention of the Human, and Twelfth Night sounded like the dullest play ever written. So I did myself a favor: I put Harold Bloom on the shelf for my annual yard sale.  Then I plowed through the text of Twelfth Night once so I  Read the Rest…