“All is Well” and “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

We're wrapped up with Shakespeare at last! I suppose it's possible to get burned out on Shakespeare in a year, and maybe it's just been an awful two months, but I just couldn't get into these last two plays at all. But I'll give you some basics to work on in case you've heard of … Continue reading “All is Well” and “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“Cymbeline,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

Cymbeline is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to stories about royalty, war, family, and marriage. I felt a lot like I was reading the first draft of several Disney fairy tale scripts, and/or a recycled mish-mash of Shakespeare's own earlier plays regarding fantasy and coincidence. There are some visuals in this … Continue reading “Cymbeline,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“The Winter’s Tale,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

I'd heard a lot about The Winter's Tale, but don't know anybody offhand that's read it, and haven't seen it advertised as being on stage in a while. For a fantasy romance, I suppose it works, and it's definitely far-fetched with the way family is split and reunited and all that stuff (hey, when the … Continue reading “The Winter’s Tale,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“The Tragedy of Coriolanus,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

I think Coriolanus has the longest Act 1 I've read so far, but the long setup is useful--and needed--in setting up the characters and the situation in a dwindling Rome. Coriolanus begins with citizens griping about the recent famine and grain stores of the wealthy which are full. They call one of them out, Martius … Continue reading “The Tragedy of Coriolanus,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“Pericles (A Reconstructed Text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre),” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

NOTE: We're nearing the end of the book--just a few more plays to go. My water heater suddenly started pouring water out of an element panel and it took a few days for the cleanup, electrical tests, and replacement to be finished. I figured I'd play catch up to get the book reviews finished, but … Continue reading “Pericles (A Reconstructed Text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre),” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“All’s Well That Ends Well,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

I know I've griped about "mistaken identity" comedies in several Shakespeare posts by now, but this one's definitely different than the rest. The motives are simple and the need for identity swap is more intelligent than I think I've seen in the other Shakespearean comedies. The biggest draw has to be the heroine, Helen. She's … Continue reading “All’s Well That Ends Well,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

I suppose we can chalk the negativity you're about to read to some kind of "law of higher expectations." I expected to like this play, because I love history and I've read and heard a lot about Cleopatra and Marc Antony since I was young. Yes, everything was contradictory between fiction and non-fiction, and sources … Continue reading “The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

“Macbeth,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare

Ah, definitely one of my favorite plays, if only for its intense mockability and length. Oh, and should I say "the Scottish play" instead? I already asked what the hell that was about in this question post, but for the sake of fun, read and feel free to watch that Blackadder segment I linked to … Continue reading “Macbeth,” from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, by W. Shakespeare