Shakespeare works

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Shakespeare works

Postby ABlipinTime » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:23 am

Dare I say,
hath thou sought thee noble pages of olde?
Hath thou not been inspired by one so grande as this one?

Ok, so how many of you have actually read a work of Shakespeare, I mean a FULL work - not some abridged passage. Translations/simplifications allowed, just not cutouts.
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Postby Neane » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:53 am

Yes I have. I used to read them when I was 13,14,15 years old. I had a CD-ROM that contained his complete work.
A very good read I say.
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Postby rocklobster » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:57 am

I have a HUGE book of all his plays and sonnets. Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet are my favorites
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:09 am

Several, actually, since in my school district there was 1 year assigned since I was in 7th grade. And I also took a class on Shakespeare last semester.

I actually dislike Hamlet (I prefer MacBeth). But I adore Midsummer Night's Dream.
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Postby goldenspines » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:58 am

Everyone would love Hamlet if they saw the Kenneth Branaugh version! Or even the David Tennant (with Patrick Stewart as Cladius!) version as well.

I've read roughly 2/3rds of Shakespeare's works (the sonnets get me, there are so many @_@). I plan to complete them all sometime soon. =D
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:31 am

goldenspines (post: 1521791) wrote:Or even the David Tennant (with Patrick Stewart as Cladius!) version as well.


Saw this one. Still immensely dislike Hamlet (but loved Patrick Stewart).
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Postby rocklobster » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:12 pm

The Mel Gibson version was good too.
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:38 pm

The Mel Gibson version twisted the story into a whole incestuous mess. I could not get behind that interpretation at all.
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Postby mechana2015 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:55 pm

Midsummers Night Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar and the Tempest.
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Postby ich1990 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:08 pm

I have read a handful of his tragedies (which were generally excellent). A few of his comedies (which I generally disliked), and his sonnets (which were a miserable read in bulk). He is not my favorite author. I consider him overrated, but he did put out some good stuff on occasion.

I should probably read a history or two to round out the experience.
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Postby TWWK » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:28 pm

I liked the Mel Gibson version (the parts of which I saw). Branaugh's was AWESOME, for the costumes and art design as much as the wonderful acting.

Hamlet (the play) is amazing...but I can see how it might leave readers cold. So even though it's the best of his plays that I've read and/or performed, my favorite would probably be A Midsummer Night's Dream. I'm also partial to Julius Caesar.
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Postby Agloval » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:16 am

In England I think everyone has to study Shakespeare once or twice before they're let out of compulsory education, and then I went on to do an English degree. I'd estimate I've read maybe half of his output, which is probably not enough. I've seen a handful of them performed.

To my mind the best film adaption I've seen is the 1995 Richard III. Though given where we're having this conversation, I suppose I should say I've seen Kurosawa's Ran and Throne of Blood (but not The Bad Sleep Well) -- any thoughts on those?
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:59 pm

I read A Midsummer Night's Dream a while back, and I've read snippets of Shakespeare's other stuff here and there.

I also read the 'Shakespeare manga' version of A Midsummer Night's Dream for kicks. Not sure what to say about it.
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Postby bigsleepj » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:38 pm

I read Romeo and Juliet in Highschool (out of choice). A year later, as part of the syllabus, we did Julius Caesar. I enjoyed both. I tried reading King Lear though and found it difficult to get into.
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Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:16 pm

Yes, unfortunately I have encountered this man's works and read them all of the way through, and understood little of them. They are torturous works to read for someone with even mild dyslexia. In Year 8, I did A Midsummer Night's Dream, Year 9 - Twelfth Night, Year 10- Romeo and Juliet, and Year 11 - Macbeth.
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Postby LadyRushia » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:37 pm

Several. I took a class last year and I'll be a TA for that same class next semester.

Twelfth Night, Othello, King Lear, Measure For Measure, Macbeth, The Tempest, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and various sonnets. In the Critical Theory class I just finished, we studied like 12 different critical approaches to Hamlet and we watched Almereyda's 2000 redux (which is total crap in my opinion, but when you look at it through a postmodern or Marxist lens, then there's some interesting stuff).

I might read The Taming of the Shrew next semester if that's one of the plays the class ends up studying.

Shakespeare is much easier to understand if you get to learn about his context and all the ideas/social forces that were at work in the Elizabethan era. Reading his texts cold is just asking for total confusion.
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Postby GeneD » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:28 am

Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar (only Act 1 -if I remember correctly) and the Tempest were the ones I did in school, although I have reread Much Ado since then. Other than that I've only read Twelfth Night. Sadly I've not seen any on stage. My favourite so far is Much Ado, followed by The Tempest.
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Postby Atria35 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:37 pm

Dang, now I realize I never listed what I read.

A Midsumer Night's Dream, Romeo x Juliet, MacBeth, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Hamlet, Othello. Measure for Measure,
Henry V

And various sonnets.
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Postby ABlipinTime » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:15 pm

Interesting to see so many readers.
My fam used to read some of speare's works back when I was in high school. We read Julius Caesar I know, but my mom also says we read Much Ado About Nothing (I recall seeing the movie more frequently than actually reading the story, but I guess the story is what got us motivated to see the film, lol) amongst others (which I can't recall off the top of my head; maybe Hamlet?).

@ich1990 - I get that impression too sometimes. But heck, if you write something, it doesn't matter how good or bad it is, you'll probably have some people who like it and some who won't. In Shakespeare's case, it's the style of writing that is, what's the term, elevated? My point being, it isn't necessarily his story. Of course, I don't know what way you think he's overrated.
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Postby the_wolfs_howl » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Let's see, I've read Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Comedy of Errors, and Othello. And various of his sonnets, of course - my favorite being "Let me not to the marriage of true minds". I greatly prefer Shakespeare's comedies to his tragedies, though literature classes have helped me appreciate the latter more than I did just through reading them on my own.

Favorite comedy: Twelfth Night

Favorite tragedy: Othello
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Postby Atria35 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:58 pm

Atria35 (post: 1522666) wrote:Dang, now I realize I never listed what I read.

A Midsumer Night's Dream, Romeo x Juliet, MacBeth, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Hamlet, Othello. Measure for Measure,
Henry V

And various sonnets.


I'll soon be adding Merchant of Venice to this list.
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Postby Vii » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:05 pm

I had to read Much Ado About Nothing when I was in fourth or fifth grade.
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Postby rocklobster » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:43 pm

I think Elementary school is a bit young for Shakespeare. I think that'd be more suited to high school or college.
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Postby ich1990 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:14 am

ABlipinTime (post: 1522779) wrote:@ich1990 - I get that impression too sometimes. But heck, if you write something, it doesn't matter how good or bad it is, you'll probably have some people who like it and some who won't. In Shakespeare's case, it's the style of writing that is, what's the term, elevated? My point being, it isn't necessarily his story. Of course, I don't know what way you think he's overrated.
It is just that he is generally held up as "the greatest writer who ever lived" and I think that is clearly an overblown estimation. Greatest playwright of his era, perhaps, but not greatest author of all time. I think it is mainly his prevalence in popular culture that inflates his stature.

I have also met people who think that he is the sole inventor of story archetypes, such as the Romeo and Juliet "two people whose families hate each other fall in love" story. I have had the unpleasant experience of pointing out to these people that Shakespeare was merely drawing on a story that has been written many times before, such as in Ovid's "Pyramus and Thisbe".

I just don't think he deserves quite the amount of credit he is getting.
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Postby ABlipinTime » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:51 pm

yeah, I was gonna say, the Greeks had explored character development loooong before. Maybe it is pop culture, or maybe it's just academia. I dunno
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Postby sandalwood » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:50 am

On my own, I've read Othello and The Tempest. In class, we've read MacBeth, Hamlet, Othello, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice (probably my least favorite of all), King Lear, and Taming of the Shrew. I've also read the manga version of both The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream. :)

I love Shakespeare, but I have to be in a very patient mood to read him for fun.
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Postby Atria35 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:01 am

ich1990 (post: 1527771) wrote:It is just that he is generally held up as "the greatest writer who ever lived" and I think that is clearly an overblown estimation. Greatest playwright of his era, perhaps, but not greatest author of all time. I think it is mainly his prevalence in popular culture that inflates his stature.


Since I'm in the process of reading Milton - many of his works, not just Paradise Lost - I actually have come to understand and appreciate this statement.

But I still really enjoy Shakespeare.
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Postby ABlipinTime » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:04 pm

@Atria:
I tried reading Paradise Lost... and got lost. How would you say the reading difficulty of Milton compares to Shakespeare, considering that you've read both?
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:34 pm

ABlipinTime (post: 1533928) wrote:@Atria:
I tried reading Paradise Lost... and got lost. How would you say the reading difficulty of Milton compares to Shakespeare, considering that you've read both?


It depends on what you're reading, and whether you have good footnotes. You see, Milton wrote in a time where originality was frowned on in so many ways. You didn't make up your own stuff, you pagiarized from everybody else. Milton was a master at it, and his work has layers upon layers upon layers of allusions to other works. He was also far better educated in the classical myths and writings than most people are today, which means that there are tons of allusions you need good footnotes in order to understand.

But his writing is incredibly rich and complex, and is often poigniant if you know some of his history and why he's writing what he is.

There are a lot of easier, smaller things to tackle before going onto Paradise Lost, such as his poems Lycidas, How Soon Hath Time, On Shakespeare, On Time, On The Morning of Christ's Nativity, and On His Deceased Wife. I've found these to be as lovely as anything that Shakespeare put out. Some do require knowledge of his life and, yes, footnotes.

Shakespeare was also a well-known plagiarist (Hamlet is the best example). He also took things and made then a whole ton better. However, his don't require the footnotes and study that Milton does. His aren't as full of allusions and classical imagery, and he's writing from a more recent time.

If you have a good copy of Milton, then Milton is actually an easier read, but more difficult to sift through with the allusions. Shakespeare has a lot of archaic terminology and can be more difficult to translate into modern language/meanings, but doesn't have all the allusions Milton does.

So they're equally difficult, but with different areas of difficulty.
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