Thursday, April 08, 2004

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare 97 minutes.

Dan loved it, I liked it right up to the part where my eyelids threatened to draw the curtains on my theatrical experience and our friends, B and CY thought it was too slap stick.

Part of the back drop was all the plays Shakespeare had ever written. It's embarrasingly shameful that I have only read a handful and they were done by order of the General Cambridge Examination Board, both the Ordinary and the Advanced Exam branches.

So let's see, I have read
1. Romeo and Juliet
2. The Merchant of Venice
3. Hamlet
4. A Midsummer Night's Dream its entirety.

I have read excerpts of
1. Julius Caesar
2. Macbeth
3. Othello
4. The Two Gentlemen of Verona

I have heard references of
1. King Lear
2. Macbeth
3. Julius Caesar
4. Pericles The West Wing

I have seen remakes of
1. Much Ado About Nothing
2. The Taming of the Shrew (two versions)
3. The Tempest

I am sure I have read the very very very abridged versions of
1. Comedy of Errors
2. The Merry Wives of Windsor
3. All's Well That Ends Well
4. Measure for measure
5. Cymbeline
6.The Winter's Tale
7. The Tempest much so that I don't remember anything about it beyond the title.

I have not heard of
1. Coriolanus
2. Titus Andronicus (Sounds too much like Jason the Argonaut)
3. Timon of Athens
4. Troilus and Cressida

I see a pattern here.

And I would like to read from cover to cover
1. King Lear
2. Othello
3. Some of the King Henrys/Richards and possibly King John
4. Macbeth
5. Twelfth Night
6. The Taming of the Shrew.

Not in anyway a complete list but well, it's a start. At least the references weren't as alien to me this time as they were when I last saw this at 16. At that time, I understood the entire Romeo and Juliet bit, but that was it.

Tis a pity that my college no longer does the Shakespeare paper. It was done away with because you couldn't bring texts into the exam. But if our students' knowledge are any indication, I think we really need it. We had a student sitting for the Literature Special Paper entrance exam thinking that she was wonderfully intellectual because she had spent the holidays reading Twelve Nights. She must have done it during the twelve days of Christmas.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:34

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