Well, it is with great joy that I announce that I've finished my fifty books for 2016! And since this weekend is such a huge football weekend, I thought I'd combine two of my favorite things: Shakespeare and College Football. I'll admit, it's an unlikely pairing. Three of my last books of the year were… Continue reading Three Plays for Bowl Season
In the heat of the summer, there's nothing better than settling into a cool movie theatre seat with popcorn and a drink. One of my new favorite things is to go see theatre broadcasts at the movie theatre. I saw one last fall--Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet--so I was excited to see that Kenneth Branagh was releasing… Continue reading Film Review: Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet
If you click over to Google today, you'll see that their logo commemorates William Shakespeare, who was born (according to our best guess) on April 23, 1564, and died on April 23, 1616. Today marks the 400th anniversary of his death, and if you're like me, that's cause for celebration. But why? To modern readers,… Continue reading Why Shakespeare?
Other titles I considered for this post: Henry V: How many Henrys does it take to rule England? Henry V: I'm really only here for Tom Hiddleston. I am very glad to say that I have finished reading through "The Henriad," one of Shakespeare's two historical tetralogies. I decided to read the plays in the order… Continue reading Henry V: The Last King of 2015
If you ever need proof that history repeats itself, read Henry IV, Part II. Just like Henry IV, Part I, this play focuses on King Henry IV, his son Hal, and Hal's less than perfect friends. In Part 2, however, Shakespeare plays on the reader's expectations. He knows we are all waiting for Hal's reformation, waiting for Hal to "banish plump Jack, and banish all the world." He knows we are waiting, and he makes us wait. And wait. And then wait some more.
Confession time: About fifteen minutes into this film I had to go get my copy of the play and follow along. I could hardly understand what anyone was saying, and it was difficult to understand the plot. There are a lot of people in these plays, and none of them go by their real names! If… Continue reading The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part I
Prince Hal is the Shakespearean character I want to love--but it's tricky. At the beginning of the play, he's a prodigal son. He wastes time in taverns, pulls pranks, and commits petty crimes. It's easy to like this Prince Hal, the easygoing, carefree friend of Falstaff. But there's an edge to Hal that doesn't let you laugh along with him.
Happy Saturday! I'm always stumbling across cool videos and links on Facebook, but I thought this one was especially relevant. I've been reading through Shakespeare's histories, and this video is really good background information. I've always wondered why Shakespeare's poems never quite rhymed. Even if you aren't a Shakespeare fan, you should check this one out. Apparently Elizabethan… Continue reading Quick Link: Shakespeare’s Pronunciation
If I had to pick a theme song for the first two history plays I've read so far, it would be "Another One Bites the Dust." The play begins with a king who has blood on his hands. Once Henry deposes Richard, we see a new king with the same old problem. He's guilty as well, and his hands are not clean.
One of my long-term goals is to read through all of Shakespeare's works. Last year I started on his history plays, which was a larger undertaking than I realized. I only managed to read one--Richard II-- during 2014. This year, I'm determined to finish three more by January 1. I thought I'd share the process here… Continue reading Shakespeare’s Histories