Archive for August, 2012


August 29, 2012


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If I collected a fraction of the available analyses on Hamlet I could organize a Bite of Hamlet the size of a small town.  Hamlet hamlet.  Every block would feature a different flavor and some of us could spend the rest of our lives wandering through the Mandela of ideas, trends, arguments, and responses this  Read the Rest…


August 25, 2012


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I read somewhere that people either take to Othello or they hate it.  I took to it.  The plot is as improbable as an opera but no one sees an opera for the plot.  Beyond this particular plot is a human dilemma that I expect we are all familiar with: Jealousy and its cousin envy.   Read the Rest…


August 23, 2012

Titus Andronicus

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I had heard this play was not for the faint-hearted.  It hadn’t been performed for a hundred or so odd years when Olivier mounted a production at Stratford in 1955.  They used to tally up how many people fainted every night, the record being 22.  In the same spirit of accounting, I have tallied up  Read the Rest…


August 20, 2012

Antony and Cleopatra

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At first read, I couldn’t have been less interested in this play.  But it is classed as one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. There had to be something in it besides an aging playboy slobbering all over a drama queen.  It was finally the sheer extravagance of the language that worked its way into me.  I  Read the Rest…


August 17, 2012

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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My immediate thought when I started reading this play was it could be called The Two Frat Boys of Verona.  After I met the rest of the cast, I regressed the characters even further.  This is a great play for a high school drama department. Teen-aged Love and Angst in Verona.  In fact, this could  Read the Rest…


August 14, 2012

All’s Well that Ends Well

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When I was an English major at Whitman College we used to say “a done paper is a good paper.”  That wasn’t true and neither is all well that ends well.  I found this to be a sour play with a depressing ending a wee bit too close to home. When it opens, we meet  Read the Rest…


August 11, 2012

Measure For Measure

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I enjoyed this nasty little play.  It’s got sex, religion and hypocrisy.  It’s so topical I don’t understand why theater companies all over the country aren’t performing it. The title comes from the Sermon on the Mount, the King James version because Shakespeare loves his thees and thous: “Judge not that ye be not judged.   Read the Rest…


August 8, 2012

Love’s Labors Lost

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Reading this play was like standing in an ocean of words and having twelve foot waves of verbiage crash over me.  It’s full of puns, inside jokes, 16th century topical allusions, patter dialogue and about 15 characters who “have been at a great feast of language and have stolen the scraps.” One of these characters  Read the Rest…


August 5, 2012

Julius Caesar

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I was eager to read Julius Caesar because I wanted to know the context for the line, “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.”  But I didn’t much care for the play.  I was going to lump it with Henry VIII and write about Julius and Henry but I actually have other plans  Read the Rest…


August 2, 2012

The Taming of the Shrew

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I read this play in college when I was still half asleep in the Woman’s Movement.  When I came to it last week, I had a vague idea about the usual characterization of the plot: a bitchy woman is tamed into docility by a husband who asserts his God-given authority over her.  I decided to  Read the Rest…