Tuesday, August 09, 2005

That's Entertainment

I've got another one for you. If I'm ever asked which play is my favorite, I have a hard time answering. My answer goes somthing like, "Hamlet. Well, it depends, Lear and Macbeth have some cool bits as well...and Iago's a great villain..." and then I realize that I'm naming all the great tragedies and add, "But for the comedies, Taming of the Shrew is very funny..." and before I know it I've named a dozen plays :).

So, here's my question. Which play is the most *entertaining* to you? Not which one you feel is the best literature, and no special limitations on the question (best plot, best tragedy, etc...). You've got a chance to sit in the audience for the performance of one of Shakespeare's plays. Which one do you pick?

I think I may go with Romeo and Juliet. Something of a populist choice. I think it's got a good blend of comedy (hello, Nurse), supporting characters (Mercutio!), action, plot, and tragedy. I may love Hamlet to death, but as I mentioned somewhere else, there are parts that make me want to fall asleep. I love Macbeth mostly for the ending, I get confused by much of what goes on. And so on.

Who's next?

3 comments:

bardolph said...

"So, here's my question. Which play is the most *entertaining* to you?"

I feel bad for posting this, but what I find most entertaining changes from time to time based on many factors. But, because you want just one, I find The Tempest most entertaining. Like you I would be inclinded to list a dozen or so plays. The Tempest is the one longest in my memory. When I see a staged production I can pick out the nuances of interpretation that arise. I love Hamlet, and all the others, for the same reason. But The Tempest is the one most about redemption. Winter's Tale is similar, but nobody dies in The Tempest.

Duane said...

I do love the Tempest, for many reasons. It's an excellent fairytale, which I've spoken of elsewhere. To be truthful, though, I do find it just a little boring. Not only does nothing really happen (drunken Stephano tries a poor attempt at taking over the island, big deal) but it has an entirely happy ending anyway. As far as watching it for entertainment value, there's just not much there for me.
It's been made into a movie (some would say butchered) many times, but I don't think I've seen even one yet.

Let me rephrase the question. You're taking a date to a performance of Shakespeare. A date who has no particular love of or experience with the bard. Which play do you choose that you feel will be most entertaining to your friend?
That's where my original R&J vote was really motivated.

bardolph said...

That certainly is a different question. It's been almost 24 years since my wife has allowed me to go on any dates, so I'm out of practice even thinking about it. But I'm not so old that I don't remember all the objectives one might have with a date. I would want whatever play would stimulate the most discussion with my date. I'm guessing that would be Hamlet. But I'm not going to give up on The Tempest that quickly. The policital back story is classic Shakespeare. Cal, Steph and Trinc bring some true comedy. And every young woman identifies herself as an emerging Miranda, cultured but inexperienced, intelligent but innocent. And in defense of the play, I think of Prospero as wrestles with his mind about what is to be done until near the end. But that's another discussion. I'd have to say that I'd consider MSND as well. "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, such shaping fantasies.." That's very quotable stuff for an after date discussion. (If I remember correctly)