Head of a Lady in Medieval Costume (detail), Lucien Victor Guirand de Scevola, 1900
As you may know, yesterday was Shakespeare’s 450th birthday! And to pay homage, I bought a couple of Shakespeare plays that I’ve been wanting to read forever. Here’s a picture of me with the babies:
However, to do more, I’d like to also answer the questions about Shakespeare done by these lovely people at Jules and Monty (a vlog style adaptation of Romeo and Juliet which is absolutely stellar, highly recommended watch, Shakespearean or not!) and by my friend here!
I’ve only read seven Shakespeare plays in full, and I’m working on my eighth so I’m going to be working with a limited selection, nevertheless, here we go:
i. favorite moment in a play
Wow, this is actually pretty hard, because my experience with Shakespeare is just that. A string of favourite moments I’ve lived. So I want to say either Mercutio’s Lady Lady Lady scene, or Richard III’s ghost scene, or Hamlet’s “Get thee to a nunnery” scene, or Lady Macbeth’s monologue (Out Damned Spot!), or anything from Othello.
Ok, I’m going to go with Othello. That scene in Othello where Desdemona and Emilia are talking in her final hours and Desdemona sings, and she’s dismissing Emilia and no by this heavenly light, etc. I saw a stage production of it which pretty much made my life. I’ve never been able to shake that scene.
ii. favorite role played in a shakespearean production
I’ve never been in a full Shakespearean play because my elementary school decided to do Grease, middle school didn’t have a play, and I never bothered with drama in high school. However, I’ve played roles i various scenes performed in English classes.
My favourite role in that case would be Margaret of Anjou in Richard III, her initial curses are a monologue I don’t think I’ll ever get out of my head! Thou slander of thy mother’s heavy womb! Thou loathed issue of thy father’s loins! Let my curses pierce heaven, etc. It’s all gold.
iii. dream role
It has to be Iago (with runners up being Othello, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Mercutio, Hamlet, Polonius.)
iv. favorite shakespearean quote
I really like Shakespeare quotes in bits and pieces, so I love the line “Mad as the sea and wind when both contend” Hamlet IV. i. 8 and I also love so many couplets from Romeo and Juliet, and Richard III. I don’t have a favourite large quote or piece of writing just yet, but I love quoting random bits when they apply in context.
v. top three plays
Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing
Plato, Republic, BOOK II
epigraph to The Secret History by Donna Tartt, 1992