Bard Talk: The Shakespeare Thread:

Total posts: [113]
1 2 3 4
5
Though with Cinna the poet (Pannic is an idiot and got it confused with Casca) it was a One-Scene Wonder who appeared in that one scene solely to get lynched by the mob. Bit of black comedy there.

Also, can't forget Falstaff. He's mentioned in Henry V has having died, so he died somewhere in the space between Henry IV and Henry V.

edited 7th Oct '12 7:07:44 PM by Pannic

Cleric of Banjo
Depending on how much the performance plays out their comic aspects, Rodrigo in Othello and Polonius in Hamlet are fairly comical characters, and their getting killed off is what underscores that the work in which they appear is a tragedy.
Edit, edit, edit, edit the wiki
103 kalel948th Apr 2013 11:49:28 AM from Dragonstone
Rascal King
[up] Same goes for Mercutio in R and J.
The last hurrah? Nah, I'd do it again.
Editor of Posts
I've often heard that Romeo and Juliet are horny morons who get punished for their own stupidity, and it's an interpretation I really, really dislike. (As a sidenote; I've heard that the poem by Arthur Brooke, which Shakespeare used for inspiration, really was meant as a cautionary tale against the dangers of pre-marital love, but that Shakespeare in his adaptation decided to side with the lovers instead and make them much more sympathetic.)

Despite their recklessness and shallowness when it comes to romance, Romeo and Juliet are actually among the saner members of the cast. The entire city of Verona is occupied in this pointless feud that's been going on for so long that no one even knows what it's about anymore. Romeo and Juliet are among the few characters who learn to see the other family as something else than simply an object irrational hatred, and the two of them breaking away from this mindset is what finally ends the conflict and exposes just how ridiculous it all is. People point out that they only knew each other for a couple of days, but that is because of the feud keeping them separated from each other before the masquerade and then leading to their deaths after the masquerade. People complain that they choose to die because of their romance but seem to forget how absurd it is that they even had to face such a decision. People say they are reckless due to how they risk getting caught, but doesn't seem to care about why they have to worry about getting caught simply talking to each other in the first place. As people so often point out, they simply had a shallow teenage crush, in any sane world this would not have to be such a big secret. It's true that their deaths are a punishment for foolishness, but not for their own foolishenss, but rather for the foolishness of their parents (this is explicitly stated in the very last scene of the play). While I agree that they are very reckless and foolish, the truth is that if they didn't live in a world even more insane than they are, their tragic fates would likely have been avoided.

TL;DR: I think that Romeo and Juliet makes more sense as a story about the pointlessness of hate rather than a story about the Power of Love (although The Power of Love still plays an important part in exposing said pointlessness).
105 lancesolous133rd May 2014 04:47:12 PM from California , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
[up]That's the same way most of us felt when my school put on Romeo and Juliet. I really have never seen it as a Love Story at its basics; but a story that is meant to show how BOTH Love and Hate can lead to a destructive outcome. Funny enough, the actors who played R+J didn't feel the same and saw it as a love story.

Also, I see it as a Love Triangle between Juliet/Romeo/Mercutio and I think the text really agrees with it at a number of points. "A PLAGUE ON BOTH OF YOUR HOUSES!" and what stops the letter to Romeo from reaching him? A plague. Additionally, Mercutio's dialogue is peppered with innuendo of all kinds; I think its such a waste to not add a new level to them by adding some truth to his words.

edited 3rd May '14 4:47:41 PM by lancesolous13

I'm a critical person but I'm a nice guy when you get to know me. Now, I should be writing.
Editor of Posts
I don't even like Romeo and Juliet that much, I just get annoyed when people try to turn the play's victims into its villains.
Cleric of Banjo
[up] and [up][up][up][awesome]

Thank-you. I think that idea has become popular as sort of an anti-Twilight kind of thing directed against teen romances, but as you indicate, a big part of the play is the idea that these are people that could/should have met and fallen in love under better circumstances, but things went wrong because of the stupid feud between their families. Seriously, the play itself makes that clear, especially because (as you noted) Shakespeare's source does blame the tragedy on disobeying one's parents, whereas Shakespeare's work doesn't (Juliet's parents actually come off in a fairly unsympathetic light).

Also, glad to see posts in this thread. I recently attended a reading/production of Alls Well That Ends Well and found it very enjoyable.

edited 6th May '14 11:25:14 AM by Hodor

Edit, edit, edit, edit the wiki
Editor of Posts
If anyone's interested, Kyle Kallgren of That Guy with the Glasses has recently completed his Shakespeare Month, in which he's reviewed seven different Shakespeare movies, including that 1996 Romeo + Juliet movie that is set in the Nineties, the 1995 Richard III movie that turns the title character into the British Hitler, a porno named A Midsummer Night's Cream and more. He concludes it all with an Anti-Stratfordian movie by Roland Emmerich, treating it just as you hope he will. If this sounds interesting to you, just follow the link I posted and watch everything from "Shakespeare Month: Intro" to "Anonymous".

edited 28th May '14 1:39:35 PM by Druplesnubb

109 TheHandle28th Jan 2015 05:31:28 AM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
So I've been watching The Tempest. So many quotables in just one scene:

"The rounder legs." "Swear by this bottle." "I'm the man in the moon."

If it should be a modern setting, then the drink should be replaced by reefer pot. The two are dudes, they're stoners through and through.

In Los Angeles, Shakespeare in the Park tries to do a production of a Shakespeare play in a more or less modern setting every summer

So that's what Tony Stark had joked about.

edited 28th Jan '15 5:40:38 AM by TheHandle

It takes guts to learn anatomy.
110 HisInfernalMajesty7th Feb 2015 04:09:30 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Hellblazer
[up] I was fortunate enough to play Caliban in a high school production of The Tempest. It's my favorite shakespearean role, and I had some really cool makeup and such. The dialogue for everyone was fairly updated except for the "supernatural" characters such as Caliban and Ariel, who spoke in the original verse.

Unfortunately, my castmates sort of ruined the experience for me by just finding the whole thing boring, which I guess I can't blame them for. Tempest is much more focused on themes than the story or characters, but even so, it's one of my favorites.
I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness.
111 TheHandle8th Feb 2015 02:32:24 AM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
I loved when they tried to off the king, only for him to wake up.
It takes guts to learn anatomy.
The Wolf of Wolf Hall
Something these last posts made me think of (in conjunction with this Shakespeare Uncovered series on PBS)- It's interesting how various productions choose the costume/"setting" of the plays. Like besides the histories, it seems like Taming of the Shrew and The Merry Wives of Windsor are the plays that are most commonly staged in Renaissance attire (probably due to the kind of bawdy "Renaissance-faire aspect"). I guess Romeo and Juliet too- probably because it has often been depicted in art and is thus identifiable with that time period.

I've also heard of productions of Shrewand Two Gentleman of Verona which have the setting of those parts of Northern Italy in the 1950s- with the feel of La Dolce Vita. I think that might have to do with an interesting thing wherein the setting Shakespeare gave to the play means something to a modern audience. Like similarly, Scandinavians are stereotypically moody and introspective, which matches perfectly with the character of Hamlet.

Not sure why but Shrew also has a lot of Western stagings. Not sure if that is true of any other Shakespeare play.

RE the question of using Elizabethan dress, I'd expect that this is done the least with Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra- Not as familiar with stagings of the latter, but my guess is that both have actors in togas with relative frequency. I saw one production in either the late 1990s or early 2000s that had everyone dressed like then-current political figures in Washington. I've also seen advertised a more recent production which borrowed from House of Cards.
113 HisInfernalMajesty12th Feb 2015 11:15:43 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Hellblazer
[up] I did a production of Romeo and Juliet that was set we set in "Verona, Mississippi," in the 1950s that worked surprisingly well. The Shakesperean language actually sounds natural in the southern accents we used (and the fact that it's one of the easier plays to understand for a common audience helped). We almost casted it so that it was a biracial relationship that caused the whole conflict, but we ended up with the Montagues being classless greasers and the Capulets being snobbish southern aristocrats. The only really weird standout was the Apothecary who was portrayed as like...a voodoo priestess, but even that was kinda cool. The year before that we did Midsummer set in the psychedelic 60s, appropriately enough.

So I think the themes play a big part in when modern productions set things, and updating things to something more recognizable makes everything a lot more accessible and fun as an actor - because you have a historical context to apply to your character in addition to whatever context the play alone gives you.
I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Total posts: 113
1 2 3 4
5