Shakespeare Meme

From Becky’s Book Reviews. Feel free to hop on board.

What was your first introduction to William Shakespeare? Was it love or hate?

Dream version: I adored this tiny, blue-cloth, complete set at the public library, and brought home The Tempest at age 14, not understanding much but loving the taste of the words. "This rough magic ..." *sigh*

Reality: (I think.) I imposed Romeo and Juliet on myself as a Freshman, picking it apart with the aid of some old English papers found in a discarded binder.

Trouble is, I can't remember which story actually came first. I like the Tempest version best.

Which Shakespeare plays have you been required to read?

Romeo and Juliet, as noted above, and then … Macbeth, Hamlet (gasp! I never finished Hamlet! I just realized that! I had about ten pages left! But I’ve seen the play.) Julius Caesar, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V and Richard III. Of course, I’ve seen/read a lot more than I’ve studied.

Do you think Shakespeare is important? Do you feel you are a “better” person for having read the bard?

Given. A better person? Morally? Intellectually? No. But I’ve enjoyed life through his plays—reading them, watching them, staging them; their absence would leave a gaping wound, as with any of my favorite stories. Francis Bacon: "Reading maketh a full man..."

Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?

Three-way tie: Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Tempest (though I have to admit, of the three, The Tempest is a little lower than the angels).

How do you feel about contemporary takes on Shakespeare? Adaptations of Shakespeare's works with a more modern feel? (For example, the new line of Manga Shakespeare graphic novels, or novels like Something Rotten, Something Wicked, Enter Three Witches, Ophelia, etc.) Do you have a favorite you'd recommend?

I love spins. I love how Shakespeare transcends time and tide.

I very much enjoyed Something Rotten. In fact, I believe every Freshman English teacher should chuck Romeo out the window, hand students a copy of Something Rotten, take them to see Hamlet, and then read and discuss the script.

I also like stories that are centered around the plays, like Ngio Marsh’s Light Thickens, or include performances, like Midsummer Night in D.E. Stevenson’s Celia’s House.

Movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s the Man are fun, too.

What's your favorite movie version of a Shakespeare play?

Oh, without a doubt, the 1996 Twelfth Night with Imogen Stubbs. Quite possibly my favorite film of all time. Please rent it, gentle reader. Please rent it.


Ink Mage said...

I own that version of Twelfth Night! I love it. :-) Nigel Hawthorne and Ben Kingsley are great, and the rest of the cast is wonderful, too. I want to dance like they do in the ending scene! :-D

I might have to do this meme....

Noel De Vries said...

I knew I liked you, Ink. :)

Everything about that film is lovely ... sets, score, costumes, acting ... sigh. I think I'll go watch it right now.