No Fear Shakespeare

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    May 10, 2010 7:47 PM GMT
    http://nfs.sparknotes.com/.

    I'm not well read with Shakespeare, but I am familiar with some of his work. Does anyone have a favorite of Shakespeare? Mine is Hamlet.

    If you think Shakespeare's work has no relevence for you, think again. Like many other classic works like opera, plays, novels etc, his work has a lot to do with the human condition....things like looking for love, betrayal, depression, physical beauty, sexual attraction, marriage, wealth, politics, war, hatred and other questions people have been debating forever.

    You aren't alone with all your feelings. Shakespeare writes about them.

    The above link will take you to all of his work with side by side English translations.
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    May 10, 2010 8:28 PM GMT
    I have all of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets in my iPhone, so I can reference them as I may need, or just read them when I have some down time.

    Being former military I used to love Henry V, the unlikely warrior king, and had this quote framed in my office:

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility;
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger.


    For a number of years I used to have to address large numbers of Army commanders about the condition of their units, based on the results of evaluations my office performed. A challenge I faced with these officers was their reluctance to take personal responsibility for a substandard state of affairs. They'd protest that it was the fault of anything but them, from the poor quality of their own soldiers to their equipment. Here is the slide I would show them, and then expand on it, taken from "Julius Caesar":

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

    Not a message they liked hearing, but next would be objective slides that proved their personal failures in no uncertain terms. After which some of them were relieved of their commands on the spot. The poetry of Shakespeare, followed by the punishment of substandard performance. It was what I lived for. icon_twisted.gif
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    May 10, 2010 8:43 PM GMT
    Those NO FEAR guides are excellent I think since you can see a 'modern version' of the dialogue alongside the original. Also be sure to Google for scenes from the plays you study on YouTube - along with world-class actors like Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, etc. There are some fantastic video clips out there.


    Macbeth remains high on my list since it devolves so fast into blood. Hamlet is a gripping mystery story. But Lear remains my favorite.
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    May 10, 2010 9:17 PM GMT
    funny you should post this at this time. i was just thinking about renewing my knowledge of shakespeare. i'm just about finished with the fiction books i'm currently reading (frank herbert's dune series, including the work written by his son), and after i revisit some of j.d. salinger's work, i was thinking about going back to shakespeare. i'll take your forum thread as a sign that i should. yay!

    eye lyk tew reed beekaus et mayks me smerter, when i'm not too busy being a jack-ass.
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    May 10, 2010 9:21 PM GMT
    I've got to side with Hamlet. I guess it's because I'm similar to Hamlet where over-thinking gets the better part of me and little action is actually executed. The double implications of conversation in that play also weaves an awesome story.

    The Taming of the Shrew is a close second. Gotta enjoy the comedy in that play.
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    May 10, 2010 9:41 PM GMT
    Favorite tragedy is either Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, or Hamlet. Tough choice.
    Fav History is Richard III
    Favorite Comedy is The Taming of the Shrew or Loves Labours Lost

    This is too good...


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    May 10, 2010 9:45 PM GMT
    I decided last year that I MUST get better acquainted with Shakespeare’s works. I started with the sonnets, and discovered Shakespeare might have been bi…I should know that! But his turn of phrase, and word juxtaposition blew me away. I started writing my own sonnets in iambic pentameter, just for fun. I have a LONG way to go.

    King Lear is my favorite play. The plot is so complicated and tragic, and the themes are so heavy.

    "When we are born, we cry that we are come
    To this great stage of fools."
    King Lear, 4. 6

    Look for “In Search of Shakespeare,” hosted by Michael Wood on netflix or DVD at the library. It goes into Shakespeare’s life, and explains the times he lived in. It also touches on his some of his works. Very good.

    I always had trouble with the rhythm of elizabethan english, so reading Shakespeare is daunting for me. But I downloaded an album from iTunes with actors reading the Sonnets. It helped.

    I want to get into A Midsummer Night’s Dream next.

    Shylock’s soliloquy in Merchant of Venice is good too
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    May 10, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    wirefire21 saidFavorite tragedy is either Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, or Hamlet. Tough choice.
    Fav History is Richard III
    Favorite Comedy is The Taming of the Shrew or Loves Labours Lost

    This is too good...




    “This is the best your hair has ever looked! I can’t believe you were going to get it wet!”

    “There IS something rotten in Denmark. It’s his piss-poor ATTITUDE!"
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    May 10, 2010 10:22 PM GMT
    I have a fondness for "Much Ado About Nothing". It's always been more complicated in its emotional range than the other so-called comedies, and a bit more outrageous as well. It has some of my favorite Shakespeare characters. Particularly Don Pedro, a noble soldier who works so hard to master peace among silly people in a time without war. He always felt to me like the kind of soldier who isn't complete without a war. But he's the only of the returning "heroes" from the war who ends up without a partner at the end of the play (even Don John has Borachio to do his bidding.) I always thought him a very, very sad and complicated character, and a commentary on how war is some men's lover.

    In a great production in 1984 produced by the RSC and directed by Terry Hands, Sinead Cusak and Derek Jacobi performed Bendict and Beatrice, and Don John was played by Ken Bones (who was Jacobi's understudy in the production of Cyrano that played in rep along with Much Ado)

    Hands staged the play with a giant mirror as the back wall, and set it in the autumn of the year. At the end, all the couples danced together and then exited the stage, leaving Don Pedro alone, facing his own reflection - a soldier without a war about to enter a cold, bleak winter, all by himself as the lights dimmed. It was heartbreaking.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    May 10, 2010 10:52 PM GMT
    I think it's kinda funny that you say they are translated into English. It's really not any different that what we speak today (for the most part). It takes time to get into the meter and rhyme that he uses sometimes, but once you do, the meaning is usually quite clear! And he was quite vulgar. icon_smile.gif

    PS Love, love, love Sassy Gay Friend!
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    May 10, 2010 11:14 PM GMT
    Julius Caesar

    "Friends, Roman, countrymen
    Lend me your ears.
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him
    The evil that men do lives after them
    The good is oft interred with their bones
    So let it be with Caesar



    AND A BIG FAT WELCOME BACK TO YOU JP.

    YOUR WIT WAS TRULY MISSED
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 11, 2010 12:45 AM GMT
    Shakespeares Scum: One of the funniest things I have ever witnessed live.
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    May 11, 2010 3:03 AM GMT
    Oh and wanted to highly recommend a novel called The Third Witch.

    Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Third-Witch-Novel-Rebecca-Reisert/dp/0743417720

    It re-tells the story from the point of view of one of the witches. It was written by my former high school drama teacher Rebecca Reisert (who was a huge influence on my sister and I). She's also written a novel called Ophelia's Revenge that I need to grab.
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    May 11, 2010 3:15 AM GMT
    It's terrible to admit this, but my favorite is probably Titus Andronicus.

    Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
    As willingly as one would kill a fly,
    And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
    But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
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    May 11, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    i loved King Lear
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    May 11, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    KissingPro saidhttp://nfs.sparknotes.com/.

    I'm not well read with Shakespear, but I am familiar with some of his work. Does anyone have a favorite of Shakespeare? Mine is Hamlet.

    If you think Shakespeare's work has no relevence for you, think again. Like many other classic works like opera, plays, novels etc, his work has a lot to do with the human condition....things like looking for love, betrayal, depression, physical beauty, sexual attraction, marriage, wealth, politics and other questions people have been debating forever.

    You aren't alone with all your feelings. Shakespeare writes about them.

    The above link will take you to all of his work with side by side English translations.


    I totally used that website for my high school English classes, it's probably a reason why I passed them LOL

    But I definitely did have a bit of an obsession for Shakespeare section of the course, though my distinctively favorite one is Macbeth. I've always been interested in the relationship between a person and his desire for vengeance, and its aftermath.
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    May 11, 2010 2:36 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidIt's terrible to admit this, but my favorite is probably Titus Andronicus.

    Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
    As willingly as one would kill a fly,
    And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
    But that I cannot do ten thousand more.


    Julie Taymor's film Titus is one of the most visually interesting films I have ever seen.
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    May 11, 2010 9:19 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    TigerTim saidIt's terrible to admit this, but my favorite is probably Titus Andronicus.

    Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
    As willingly as one would kill a fly,
    And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
    But that I cannot do ten thousand more.


    Julie Taymor's film Titus is one of the most visually interesting films I have ever seen.


    Oh it's amazing. One of the best Shakespeare adaptations.
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    May 22, 2010 3:45 AM GMT



  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    May 22, 2010 4:02 AM GMT
    Oh Romeo, oh Romeo......nice ass on you, Romeo.
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    May 24, 2010 11:15 PM GMT
    Actually, I recently co-directed a production of Hamlet. Along with the Arden and Folger editions, which I always brought to rehearsals, I found a No Fear edition in the book collection of the person I was staying with out of town. In the end I really never used it and stopped bringing it to rehearsals. But I'm sure they're helpful for people.

    My favorite was always King Lear, but after working on Hamlet, I have to admit that's jumped up in my estimation. Other favorites include Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream (both of which I've directed), Coriolanus, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Much Ado, The Tempest, All's Well, and The Merchant of Venice. I do gravitate toward the comedies (although I see a number of them as being very dark).

    I hate to say it but I don't find the histories all that interesting for the most part. I do think the Henry IV plays and Richard II are pretty great, but they've still never been among my favorites.

    Two that are regarded among the greatest but that I don't find very interesting are Macbeth and Othello.
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    May 24, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
    A Midsummer Night's Dream is my all-time favorite. I read it usually once a year. In fact my screen name is from it, a reference to the rude mechanicals that put on the play "Pyramus & Thisbe".
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    May 24, 2010 11:44 PM GMT
    KissingPro said

    Perhaps a bit more mature than her 1968 turn as "Titania" in A Midsummer Night's Dream which she played nearly topless, wearing just pasties:

    judi20dench20nude20520-20midsummers20nig

    Not sure if this YouTube clip will require you log on with an 18+ account. You might want to jump ahead to 1:25 --

  • steven_patter...

    Posts: 144

    May 24, 2010 11:44 PM GMT
    Lear. Unquestionably Lear. The play is an entire universe.
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    May 25, 2010 12:41 AM GMT
    Mine is Much Ado About Nothing....Hi Steven! *waves*

    The most recent movie version I saw was the one with Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington.

    -Doug