Tag Archive: William Shakespeare

Dec 27 2014

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

This play was much more serious than I remembered it being. It is certainly not a play about nothing. The verbal fencing between Benedick and Beatrice is priceless, but there is much more to the play than that, and there is more dark subject matter than light comedy in it. Thankfully the evil is thwarted …

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Dec 24 2014

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

I always thought this play was pretty silly, but this time around I appreciated what good fun it is. “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” The seeming randomness of the direction love’s arrows take works mayhem in a way that is all too real even with the element of magic thrown in, but since this …

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Dec 15 2014

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Some people come away from this play with the impression that it is anti-semitic, but Shakespeare puts such eloquent defenses and rebuttals in the mouth of Shylock, on behalf of himself and his people, that for me the charge does not ring true.  The more serious theme of this drama is the balance, at times …

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Apr 19 2012

King John by William Shakespeare

This play is surprisingly good for one of Shakespeare’s lesser known works. It is a story of shifting alliances and treachery in a world that is constantly uncertain. Surprisingly, a character known simply as “the Bastard,” who is surely fictional, is the central and most sympathetic character in the story, proving himself a pole of …

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Oct 22 2010

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

The title character is that rare example of a man who is honorable to the point where his honor is insufferable. He distinguishes himeself in war–no small thing among the naturally warlike Romans–but cannot abide lowering himself to curry favor with the public. The story features some memorable passages from both the popular and the …

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Apr 24 2010

Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare

Never has misanthropy been so eloquently expressed. Timon’s reversal of fortune serves as a cautionary admonition to our craving for material prosperity, as well as a cynical lesson on the fickle nature of men. The cynic Apemantus emerges as the wisest character in this story of riches to rags, yet even he is not spared …

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Mar 14 2009

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

I found this play strangely moving and thought-provoking. The legally enforced sexual morality that the plot hinges on seems incomprehensible to us today, but more interesting was the way in which Shakespeare pushes the issue of justice vs. mercy. Mercy wins in the end, but only after some improbable twists that suggest that justice in …

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Nov 14 2008

The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

When I took Shakespeare in college the professor dismissed this play as silly, but he can’t have been reading the same play. The love story is touching, not just the romantic courtship between the gentlemen and the ladies, but also the friendship between the two gentlemen, and the play is only saved from being a …

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