Mine is Macbeth, what’s yours?
Play I enjoy the most: Twelfth Night
Play I think is the best: King Lear
Play I’ve studied the most: Macbeth
Henry V. But then I love those meaty historical plays.
I think The Merchant of Venice is really good, but I personally have a hard time with the antisemitism, even recognizing its a product of the time, etc.
I think every teenage male should read and understand Hamlet. I think I lived it when I was 18. Well, except for the uncle who married my mother, the ghost of the murdered father, the dueling to the death, and my wanna be girlfriend drowning herself. Other than that it was about me.
Seriously, it was tragic, funny, and for the most part, true to life. I’ve tried, but for some reason I can’t relate to it now.
The first one I ever saw, As You Like It.
Humor that spans centuries, how great is that?
Much Ado About Nothing, or Henry V. Depends on the mood I’m in, really.
I’ll put in a vote for The Tempest.
Troilus And Cressida: amazing stuff in its sheer modernity: Shakespeare takes the great culture heroes of the Trojan War, and mercilessly deconstucts them in order to examine the nature of wars and the men who fight them. Savage, satirical, and utterly bleak: it reads like it was written in the 1920’s by Bertolt Brecht.
PS This thread might do better in Cafe Society, wonderwall: I’ll ask a mod to move it for you.
The Twelth Night
I will always have a fondess for King Lear, but I think my favorite has to be Richard III. I love Richard’s character.
Mine can be found in Cafe Society.
Mine is also Richard III - just so delightfully dark.
Pretty great. Another vote for As You Like It.
I third (ha) Richard III. It was the first Shakespeare play I read in college, and I loved it at first reading. Richard is just so deliciously evil - he includes us in on his plots and machinations right from the get-go, and even tells us why he’s such a dick. He can’t get girls because he’s malformed, so he’s going to take it out on everyone else. He’s a funny git, too - has some of the best comic lines in any of Shakespeare’s plays.
“I thank God for my humility!”
Second choice would be Romeo and Juliet
Hamlet is awesome, but I also love *Titus Andronicus * (especially Julie Taymor’s brilliant film adaptation, Titus).
Being of Scottish descent, I’m fond of the Scottish play, historical inaccuries be damned!
I have a love/hate relationship with Richard III. Shakespeare was apparently an adherent of the sainted More (don’t get me started), who was largely responsible for Richard’s bad historical reputation. Why, yes, I do belong to the US branch of the Richard III Society… But damn, Shakespeare did make a helluva villian out of him.
I also like Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear.
Richard III, especially for Margaret’s advice on how to “curse” (it’s the Twenty Third Psalm of bitterness) and the ghosts (“Richard of Gloucester, despair and die”), but mostly for the title character of course. I particularly love the Ian McKellen fascist England alterniverse version (though they gave away Margaret’s spiel).
I also love Merchant of Venice, warts and all. Shylock is unmistakably an antisemitic stereotype but at the same time his “do we not revenge” speech is one of the most human in Shakespeare and no person even in an Elizabethan audience could argue that the man has some valid complaints against a fellow who “voids his rheum” one day and begs for money the next. Like Margaret he’s so consumed by hatred that it keeps him going, going against the stereotype of greedy Jews even by wanting blood more than 300% interest and yet at the same time you completely understand why he hates as much as he does. (The Pacino version is good, btw- and they redeem his “my daughter my ducats” scene by essentially showing it never to have happened [he’s devastated by Jessica’s elopement]).
King Lear is not my favorite but it’s one I’ve always wanted to appear in. I’d set it in Restoration era with the enormous wigs and heels and ermin capes, all of which will make the climax more striking as he’s left bald and bare minus his regal get-up. Or on the Death Star, either one.
Romeo & Juliet is possibly my least favorite of the “top notch” plays, mainly for the reasons Holden Caulfield expresses.
I love Measure for Measure. And Much Ado About Nothing.