Favourite comedy: Much Ado About Nothing
Favourite tragedy: Macbeth
Favourite comedy: Much Ado About Nothing
Favorite comedy: Much Ado About nothing - Favorite film adaptation: the one with Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, and Denzel Washington.
Favorite Tragedy: Othello - Favorite film adaptation: The one with Kenneth Branagh ( ) and Laurence Fishburne.
The characters, the emotions, they are all simply wonderful.
Hamlet is my personal favorite. My dad dragged me to see it when I was 14 at the reconstructed Globe in London. The only Shakespeare I’d read was Romeo and Juliet so I expected Hamlet to be terribly boring. But I loved it to bits. It even survived my 12th grade English teacher’s week long 'is Hamlet really insane?" lecture series.
I also really loved reading Antony and Cleopatra. It’s just ridiculous and grand and the language beautiful. I’d love to see it live.
Hamlet, not least because of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Scholarly favorite (the one that I wrote huge chunks of my dissertation about and find infinitely fascinating): Henry V
Most electrifying one I’ve ever seen in performance: Titus – both the Julie Taymor film and the Washington Shakespeare Theater production this spring
One that I can see over and over again: Much Ado About Nothing
Favorite underrated plays: The Merry Wives of Windsor and the Henry VI plays
Favorite one to teach (of the ones I’ve taught so far): Measure for Measure, or maybe Othello
Best poetry: Antony and Cleopatra (though The Tempest is right up there)
Other ones I really like: King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, 1 and 2 Henry IV, Twelfth Night
I agree with Sampiro, Ian McKellen’s 1930s fascist-Britain take on Richard III is wickedly good, and the play certainly lends itself to that. I’ve always loved Henry V more, though (notwithstanding Shaw’s dismissive description of it as “the National Anthem in five acts”). It’s a truly thrilling exploration of political and military leadership.
But I will rise there with so full a glory
That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
Hath turn’d his balls to gun-stones; and his soul
Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
I don’t care what literary background you’re from, that’s some cold blooded shit.
I’d go for **The Merchant of Venice ** and King Lear. The best productions that I’ve seen though were of **Troilus and Cressida ** and The Winter’s Tale.
History: Richard III
Comedy: Much Ado About Nothing
Lear. The last time I saw it, I thought the actor playing Lear was going to have a stroke. He turned bright red and played it not so much as lunatic king as angry, angry daddy.
Othello. Give me some melodrama.
And I’ll probably be lynched by my colleagues, but I really do like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Never gets old for me.
Not when compared to Mark Antony*'s spiel:
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
There is a line in Shakespeare whose source I can’t remember- a character is describing either a battle or a future where so much blood has been spilled that further blood has to puddle for the ground can absorb no more. Anybody have any idea where this came from?
Trivia: Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth both had the same passion for Macbeth and Richard III. To Booth it was a vocation as well as avocation of course, but those were his favorites, and he and Lincoln would both launch into long impromptu recitations or readings from those two plays when they were nowhere near a theater or a social gathering as such.
*In his defense, Jennifer Lopez had really pissed him off that day by comparing him negatively to Ben Affleck.
I’m bringing the love for Julius Casear. I adore it. I loved it when I read it, I loved watching the version with Brando, I loved it when I saw it live.
The play that caused the most immediate gut response was Titus Andronicus. holy shit, that was brutal.
My favorite play that grew on me after repeated exposure: Much Ado About Nothing.
Midsummer Night’s Dream - I can trace this directly to it being the first live Shakespeare performance I saw in HS, put on by a combined human/puppet troupe called Handspring Puppets that was truly out of this world. Compounded by the good fortune of it being the play on at the Shakespeare Summer Festival the first time I was in Stratford-on-Avon.
My two favorites are Henry V and Richard III.
I also really liked Ian McKellen’s version of Richard III. The line “A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” was never so appropriate.
To watch: Midsummer’s Night Dream.
To read/study: Hamlet.
Another vote for “Henry V”, although I’ll be brave and admit I’ve not read all of his plays. Yet.
Much Ado About Nothing for comedy (but I dislike Dogberry)
**Hamlet ** for tragedy
I was skimmed down so I didn’t see who had written this, but when I started reading it, I knew.
My favorite- I really like KING LEAR- totally loved the Olivier-Diana Riggs version & am going to have to seek it out on DVD.
But in Vincent Price’s THEATRE OF BLOOD, the best murder was the TITUS ANDRONICUS-inspired one. Of course, it ruined Robert Morley’s Tyson Chicken
commercials for us.
I like Titus Andronicus (or, as I like to call it, “Shakespeare’s chainsaw movie”).
I like Richard III. Ian McKellan was great, but I still love Laurence Olivier’s version. Also, Al Pacino’s film LooKing for Richard.
As I get older, I am finding that I like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet more and more.