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William Shakespeare

OrganichuOrganichu Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, this is a thread about the dude who might be my favorite content creator of any medium of any genre of any era: William Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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If you have ever endeavored to learn English in the first world, you've almost certainly read some of these:

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (commonly called Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare about a man who commits regicide so as to become king and then commits further murders to maintain his power. The play clearly demonstrates the corrupting effect of ambition, but also deals with the relationship between cruelty and masculinity, tyranny and kingship, treachery, violence, guilt, prophecy, and disruption of the natural order.
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

Thankfully my school curriculum had me read all of these! And a few others, but I think these are probably the three most commonly assigned to American students. Or maybe you didn't read any of them. You might have seen them performed on stage or in film.

For me personally, Shakespeare changed my life. As English is not one of my first languages, I struggled mightily (and felt a lot of alienation and insecurity) upon moving somewhere that eschewed everything else. I spent years trying to punch above my grade and read American and English classics. I read the dictionary. I read the encyclopedia. I tried to do anything I could- I threw it all at the wall, hoping that some of it would stick. None of it did. I was too young, and my grasp on the language was too tenuous.

And then I read Shakespeare. I don't know! Maybe it was just the right place and the right time. I was comfortable enough with the language that I could perceive wordplay and follow along with allusion and foreshadowing. I could predict and truncate things in my head. It might be sheer luck that his were the first works to penetrate my brainmeats. But I don't know; I don't really care. William Shakespeare gave me a lifelong appreciation for cleverness, wit, communication, complexity, interplay, and drama. I love him!

1) what do you all think of the dude
2) questions of authorship can eat my butt and find another thread

Organichu on
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Posts

  • WinkyWinky Frog Rammer Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    MURELLUS
    But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

    COBBLER
    A trade, sir, that I hope I may use with a safe conscience, which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
    HAMLET
    Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

    OPHELIA
    No, my lord.

    HAMLET
    I mean, my head upon your lap?

    OPHELIA
    Ay, my lord.

    HAMLET
    Do you think I meant country matters?

    OPHELIA
    I think nothing, my lord.

    HAMLET
    That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.

    OPHELIA
    What is, my lord?

    HAMLET
    Nothing.

    Winky on
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  • Gigazombie CybermageGigazombie Cybermage Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Yes, the Bard is awesome. I personally like King Lear the best.

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  • WinkyWinky Frog Rammer Registered User regular
    Also, "making the beast with two backs" is officially the best euphemism for sex of all time.

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  • MazzyxMazzyx A Restoration through Revolution. Registered User regular
    "Midsummer Night's Dream" is probably one of the best comedies ever written. I am also a fan of Shakespeare's histories. Julius Caesar, Henry V, and Richard III are some of my favorite plays of all time. Amazing speeches and some great deep heart wrenching tragedy with heroics. Also love Macbeth.

    meijisig.png
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Shylock wrote:
    If every Ducat in six thousand Ducats were in six part, and each part a Ducat, I would not have them; I would have my bond.

    My favourite Pre-Mellvillean line about vengence.

    I need to read more Shakespeare.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    Also,
    Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.

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  • MazzyxMazzyx A Restoration through Revolution. Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Also Ian McKellen doing Richard's famous speech.



    edit:Better video of the speech.

    Mazzyx on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Also,
    Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.

    Whores, however, have many little deaths.

    tea-1.jpg
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Back in senior year in highschool, my english teacher kinda mismanaged the curriculum and by the time we got to Macbeth the end of the year was in sight. But he loves covering it with his classes so we had this super-abridged instruction of it, though he constantly urged us to read it on our free time (few of us did). I still talk to him and he still considers it one of his biggest regrets in his teaching career, the one year where he couldn't cover Macbeth as in-depth as was usually required.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    I got a chance to see Patrick Stewart play Prospero onstage in London in a version of "The Tempest" set in the Antarctic.

    Rad as fuck.

  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    I do not bite my thumb at this thread, sir, but I do bite my thumb

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  • EddEdd Registered User regular
    I've always really loved how Shakespeare handles the passing of his plays' various "great men," especially if it involves one falling in a fight between bitter enemies. There's a dignity and mutual respect in the conflict that lacks in the sadism that we usually associate with those BOSS FIGHT moments in modern films.

    Take the battle between Hotspur (Harry Percy) and Prince Hal.

    Struck down, Hotspur, who had spent much of the play as an entitled, egotistical dick, reflects (in part):
    O, I could prophesy,
    But that the earthy and cold hand of death
    Lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust
    And food for--

    To which Hal replies,
    For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great heart!
    Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
    When that this body did contain a spirit,
    A kingdom for it was too small a bound;
    But now two paces of the vilest earth
    Is room enough: this earth that bears thee dead
    Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.

    Starts out as something distinctly resembling an action film one-liner, but twists into something alternately triumphant, reverent, and sad.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Freshman year was Romeo & Juliet, sophomore year was Julius Caesar, junior year was Othello, and senior year was MacBeth.

    I think.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    I do not bite my thumb at this thread, sir, but I do bite my thumb

    That goddamn modern film, Romeo + Juliet, ruined that for me so much.

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  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    What did they do? Never seen it

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    What did they do? Never seen it

    Did I say ruin? I mean, it's the best thing ever, watch it! <_<

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
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  • EddEdd Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    I do not bite my thumb at this thread, sir, but I do bite my thumb

    That goddamn modern film, Romeo + Juliet, ruined that for me so much.

    To be fair, having spent probably too much of my academic career studying Shakespeare, he and the rest of the Renaissance crew would have goddamned loved Baz Luherman. It's a visual realization of everything they tried to do with the language alone.

  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    I loathe Romeo and Juliet, it honestly seems to me to be his weakest play. Caesar is by far my favorite, such epic tragedy on display and such great emotion. Midsummer Night's Dream is also fantastic, and I duly love Othello and The Tempest as well.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Everything I know about Midsummer Night's Dream I learned from Gargoyles. Which is to say, I know nothing.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • WinkyWinky Frog Rammer Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I don't know if it's still up, but there was a version of MacBeth up on Netflix with Patrick Stewart, and it's the entire original script, but it's set in like a WWII bunker and the whole thing has this really grungy military-industrial aesthetic to it. What I saw was pretty awesome, but I never finished the whole thing.

    Winky on
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  • EddEdd Registered User regular
    I loathe Romeo and Juliet, it honestly seems to me to be his weakest play. Caesar is by far my favorite, such epic tragedy on display and such great emotion. Midsummer Night's Dream is also fantastic, and I duly love Othello and The Tempest as well.

    What don't you like about it?

  • MazzyxMazzyx A Restoration through Revolution. Registered User regular
    I was able to do Mark Anthony's speeches in high school. I am no Brando but I loved playing the character. Such fierce emotion built into the script and wonderful lines. I really do love this play.

    meijisig.png
  • WinkyWinky Frog Rammer Registered User regular
    I loathe Romeo and Juliet, it honestly seems to me to be his weakest play. Caesar is by far my favorite, such epic tragedy on display and such great emotion. Midsummer Night's Dream is also fantastic, and I duly love Othello and The Tempest as well.

    I think Romeo and Juliet gets a bad rap for being overrated, I don't know that it's my favorite (it's hard to contend with Othello), but there's some great stuff in there. Any scene with Mercutio in particular.

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  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus ha ha just kidding I'm Frog ManRegistered User regular
    So has anybody seen the Ralph Fiennes/Russell Crowe Coriolanus? The trailer looked pretty good to me, although I'm not sure about Russell Crowe in it.

  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    Why oh why can't I find a clip of that episode of the Colbert Report where he refers to some political stunt (a sleep-in by the Democrats to block some kind of legislation, iirc) as "political theatre," and goes on to say...

    "It's got all the classic characteristics: the wise old man (picture of some old Congressman), the fair maiden (picture of Hillary), and of course... the Moor (picture of Obama)."

  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I got a chance to see Patrick Stewart play Prospero onstage in London in a version of "The Tempest" set in the Antarctic.

    Rad as fuck.

    What?! When?!

    Also, who played Caliban?

  • shalmeloshalmelo sees no evil Registered User regular
    I've seen a lot of Shakespeare over the years (drama major, what?), but it wasn't until last fall that I finally saw a professional production of Julius Caesar for the first time. Holy shit - I finally get why that one is so well regarded.
    Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus; and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
    Men at some time are masters of their fates:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

    Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights;
    Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

    'Tis a common proof,
    That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
    Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
    But when he once attains the upmost round,
    He then unto the ladder turns his back,
    Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
    By which he did ascend.


    I mean seriously.

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  • WinkyWinky Frog Rammer Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    I was able to do Mark Anthony's speeches in high school. I am no Brando but I loved playing the character. Such fierce emotion built into the script and wonderful lines. I really do love this play.


    Goddamn that speech is great.

    I lament the fact that the art of really epic speeches is something you just don't see enough of in modern media.

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    Yeeeees, this is my favorite Shakespeare sonnet. That man. That man!

    The sonnets are really my favorites out of his writings.

  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    I am going to see Henry V in the new Globe this summer as a present to the ladyfriend. Should be good!

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I loathe Romeo and Juliet, it honestly seems to me to be his weakest play. Caesar is by far my favorite, such epic tragedy on display and such great emotion. Midsummer Night's Dream is also fantastic, and I duly love Othello and The Tempest as well.

    Romeo and Juliet is better if you take the view that it isn't the great romantic tragedy that everyone pimps it out to be in high school.

    For my money, his weakest play is probably King Lear, at least out of the ones I've read.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    I loathe Romeo and Juliet, it honestly seems to me to be his weakest play. Caesar is by far my favorite, such epic tragedy on display and such great emotion. Midsummer Night's Dream is also fantastic, and I duly love Othello and The Tempest as well.

    Romeo and Juliet is better if you take the view that it isn't the great romantic tragedy that everyone pimps it out to be in high school.

    For my money, his weakest play is probably King Lear, at least out of the ones I've read.

    You're crazy. King Lear is amazing and one of his best. He has a bunch of lesser plays like Cymbeline that are worse than stuff like Romeo and Juliet.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Well the "at least out of the ones I've read" caveat was important.

    And that doesn't make it awful, I mean, Shakespeare's worst is still going to be miles ahead of anything else.

    Lear's problem, for me, is that it's two awesome plays stitched together into one which muddies it up.

    Edward Bond's Lear is a great adaptation of King Lear, btw. I don't particularly like King Lear and I loved Bond's, so if you like Shakesman's give it a go.

    AManFromEarth on
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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Everything I know about Midsummer Night's Dream I learned from Neil Gaiman

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    I love Kate Beaton's King Lear comics.

  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer Registered User regular
    I wish we'd been assigned the Shakespeare Made Easy versions of the plays in highschool. I had a really really hard time making it through the archaic language, so all the great comedy and wordplay just went right over my head, and I had a real hate for Shakespeare as a result.

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  • OrganichuOrganichu Registered User regular
    I wish we'd been assigned the Shakespeare Made Easy versions of the plays in highschool. I had a really really hard time making it through the archaic language, so all the great comedy and wordplay just went right over my head, and I had a real hate for Shakespeare as a result.

    *slowly loads firearm*

    wait

    you say 'had' a real hate

    XMSODhjrer45.gif
  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Organichu wrote: »
    I wish we'd been assigned the Shakespeare Made Easy versions of the plays in highschool. I had a really really hard time making it through the archaic language, so all the great comedy and wordplay just went right over my head, and I had a real hate for Shakespeare as a result.

    *slowly loads firearm*

    wait

    you say 'had' a real hate

    Yeah, definitely past tense. I the Made Easy version have a thoroughly modern translation on the left page, with the more archaic version on the right. Suddenly I could understand the jokes - which incidentally, is pretty fucking crucial to finding them funny - and the snappy dialogue and shit. I was so outraged that we didn't work with those in class, and didn't even have copies in the school library.

    mysticjuicer on
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  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    I have been a horrible person for living 40 minutes from Ashland and never seeing any selection in their Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This year their centerpiece is Romeo and Juliet (against a mission-era California background), definitely going.

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