J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog
Luanne at A Bookworm's World
Alyce at At Home With Books
Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Feel free to ignore the tag if you have already done this meme, or don't do memes, or are behind on memes... On the flip side, if I didn't tag you and you want to participate go for it! When you post, leave a link back to your answers in the comments!
Now that that's taken care of, let's get on to the fun part...
1. What was your first introduction to William Shakespeare? Was it love or hate?
I don't know how many of you watched Wishbone on PBS, but I was a 90's kid and I grew up with the cute little terrier who thought he was Rip Van Winkle, Ivanhoe, Oliver Twist, and of course, Romeo. Wishbone got me started reading many of the classics and gave me my first taste of Shakespeare.
My first introduction to real Shakespeare (i.e. none of the characters were being played by a spotted dog) was in middle school. The Shenandoah Shakespeare company performed at a nearby university and I went with one of my classes to see Macbeth. They performed with minimal costumes and almost no set. They also didn't turn down the house lights, explaining that Shakespeare's plays were lit by the sun and the theater would never have been dark. Their motto was "We do it with the lights on" (and yes, we all bought the t-shirts). That was when I really began to enjoy Shakespeare and appreciate how beautifully written his works are.
For all those who missed out on the magic of Wishbone... and if you do know the song, feel free to sing along, I did!
2. Which Shakespeare plays have you been required to read?
- In middle school we read A Midsummer Night's Dream and acted out an abridged version of the Tempest.
- In high school I remember reading Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth. I also saw the drama group's production of As You Like It.
- In college I took a class on Shakespeare's comedies where we read The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, All's Well that Ends Well and The Winter's Tale
3. Do you think Shakespeare is important? Do you feel you are a “better” person for having read the bard?
I don't think I'm "better" for having read Shakespeare. I really don't like reading Shakespeare, and don't get much out of it. Now seeing Shakespeare is a different story. I think everyone should see at least one of the comedies and one of the tragedies performed by a good acting troupe.
4.Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?
I have a hard time choosing between Hamlet and Macbeth, probably because I've seen good performances of both.
5. How do you feel about contemporary takes on Shakespeare? Adaptations of Shakespeare's works with a more modern feel? (For example, the new line of Manga Shakespeare graphic novels, or novels like Something Rotten, Something Wicked, Enter Three Witches, Ophelia, etc.) Do you have a favorite you'd recommend?
I recommend Wishbone's Rosie Oh! Rosie Oh! (Romeo and Juliet) If anyone finds a link to it please let me know! I also really enjoyed Shakespeare in Love (another Romeo and Juliet-esque story). You could even count the Lion King in the list, as it seems to be loosely based on Hamlet! I don't think Shakespeare is sacred, not by a long shot. If an adaptation means a new generation will enjoy Shakespeare's works, then have at it!
"Will Shakespeare is having a bad year..." (Shakespeare in Love trailer)
6. What's your favorite movie version of a Shakespeare play?
I really enjoyed Mel Gibson as Hamlet. Here, Hamlet meets his father's ghost, who tells Hamlet his uncle is a murder:
Sorry to include so many video links, but this sort of meme just naturally turns up so much good material! So what's your take on the famous bard? Leave a comment and let me know!