Friday, June 22, 2012

The Tempest

Shakespeare is good at confusing plays. I just felt like I was floundering a little in this one. It's easily summarized as: the former Duke of Milan is mad that his brother has taken his dukedom and he and his daughter have been stranded on an island, so he comes up with a plot to gain back his dukedom by shipwrecking his brother and the King of Naples on the island. Yeah. Now stretch that to five acts.

It wasn't a horrible play. I was able to read it well enough, but it just has these confusing elements, particularly the spirits that Prospero calls to do his dirty work. And let's be honest, they do all of his dirty work. He just sits back and calls upon one in particular (Ariel) to go and either wrangle or confuse the characters that have been shipwrecked.

It was all very confusing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Merchant of Venice

I'm not quite sure about this play. The way it began made me feel as if I was being thrust into the middle of a story and I had missed the important things in the beginning. It didn't improve as it felt that there were two rather conflicting stories that were being forced to be one.

Granted, it was a comedy, and there were some funny moments. But it's rather anti-Semitic in nature, and I found the tension between the Jewish character Shylock and the Christian character Antonio to be rather cruel. It felt as if Shylock was acting the way he did solely because he was Jewish and Antonio Christian.

I don't know. I didn't love this play, but I have a fondness for William Shakespeare, so I liked reading it. It was a play I'd never read or really experienced, so I did enjoy that.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare. While I wouldn't say it's laugh out loud funny, it definitely has quite a humorous tilt to it.

The way that Petruchio tames Katherina (the shrew) was so funny to me. He basically took her catty, cruel ways and turned them back on her. She was basically forced a taste of her own medicine and she found she did not like it. But he was doing it in a way to make her a calmer and more obedient wife. He did not want her to be completely silent, but he wanted her to be less contrary.

The only part I didn't enjoy of this play was the very beginning. I didn't understand the point of having this be a play that was presented to another set of characters. The whole introductory act was something that I could easily see cut out of this and it wouldn't affect the humor of the play. But that's just me.