classics

Author Alert: William Shakespeare

Posted on Updated on

As part of our Author Alert series, we’re now on our fourth week and I’ve completed 500 reviews on the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog site. This week, I’ve selected… William Shakespeare!

 

______________________________________________________________________________

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) wrote 37 plays and 157 sonnets. You can find more about him on Goodreads or Wikipedia.

shakes.jpg

He married Anne Hathaway and had 3 children. She looks great for being nearly 500 years old, but given she’s an actress, she probably has tons of people taking care of her! Oh… that’s right, it’s a different Anne Hathaway. Silly me. I get them confused a lot… probably because I’ve read at least 21 out Shakespeare’s 37 plays. See below for links to all the reviews. I should probably keep on reading…. which one…. feel free to suggest a good one I’ve missed. It’s been a while and although a re-read might work, something “new” is even better.

  1. Sonnets (1590 – 1610)
  2. Richard III (1591)
  3. The Taming of the Shrew (1593)
  4. Comedy of Errors (1594)
  5. Romeo & Juliet (1595)
  6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595) — would love to do a re-read some day
  7. Richard II (1595)
  8. The Merchant of Venice (1596)
  9. Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
  10. As You Like It (1599)
  11. Julius Caesar (1599)
  12. Hamlet (1600) — favorite tragedy
  13. The Winter’s Tale (1600) — least favorite of all!
  14. Twelfth Night (1601) — favorite comedy
  15. Measure For Measure (1603)
  16. Othello (1603)
  17. King Lear (1603)
  18. Macbeth (1606)
  19. Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
  20. The Tempest (1610)
  21. Cymbeline (1611)
  22. Henry VIII (1613)

 

I adore Shakespeare and took a 4 month course on him in college (many years ago). Saturday mornings 9 to 12… some days, I wasn’t sober enough to have a lot of input, and I think my grade showed it. It was the only class where I didn’t have at least an A-. Very disappointed in myself. Now you probably are too!

I also love the movie Shakespeare in Love. Have you ever seen it? I wonder if that is representative of who he really was… I might have fallen in love myself. And then there’s Shakespeare in the Park.

To see the actual author page and all the reviews, click here. All 20+ reviews I’ve completed are there…

The Cat Who series I adore has a book with Shakespeare in the title by Lilian Jackson Braun.

What’s your favorite thing about Shakespeare? What other things have you seen / read about Shakespeare that weren’t actually his own writing?

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Advertisements

Review: Jane Eyre

Posted on Updated on

Jane EyreBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars to Jane Eyre, a wonderful novel written in 1847 by Charlotte Brontë. I read this book on Spring break just prior to my 21st birthday, perhaps not the best time to take this beauty on. At 21, being a guy, and English major and forced to read a few books I didn’t think I’d like, this came at a time where although I liked it, I wasn’t as in love with as most others are… hence the 3+ rating. I believe if I read it today, it’d be a 4+. But I have 1200 books on my TBR and simply can’t afford to take on any re-reads without losing my mind. Perhaps I should watch a TV or Film version to renew my interest? It has all the right parts… young woman suffering at the hands of the conventions of time and family (two things I enjoy in books)… the love of a ‘good’ man (meaning you see a relationship grow high and low)… and drama (will she escape it all?). Society was harsh nearly 200 years ago. I would not have survived. I am not vocal about my opinions of people’s behavior or societal limitations, but I believe anyone should be able to do anything they want without hurting someone else or the world we live in. If you want to marry your cousin, go ahead… not my business. If you want to sleep with a new man or woman every night, more power to you. Doesn’t affect me. If you want to wear revealing clothing… go look your best — just don’t do it where someone may cause an accident as a result! 🙂 Point being…. I struggle sometimes with books that cover these conventions because I want everything to be free and open. And when it isn’t, I can enjoy the battle to get there, but it’s a bit difficult when I combine it with 200 year old setting and guides. That said… I adore Jane. I empathize with her. I could be her on some levels. The words and language are great. It should be read. But know what you’re getting into!



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Posted on Updated on

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Review
4+ out of 5 stars for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a classic novel written in 1876 by Mark Twain. Another book where there are likely tons of reviews, each covering the plot, summary, characters, writing and themes. I’ll try not to do that, but instead a few quick hits on what made me like this one so much. An author’s job is difficult. You undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas and images swimming around inside your head. You may want to try to correct a wrong in society. You could be highlighting all the things that people should be aware of. It might be an opportunity to share a dream or wild imagination with readers. Mark Twain is all of those things tied together with a big, beautiful bow. He understands how to write. He knows how people read. He doesn’t care about either enough to worry what he does in his novels. And I don’t mean that in a critical or accusatory way. I mean that it all just pours out of him regardless of his audience, as he just naturally builds a wonderful story full of memories. With a setting like the Mississippi River, characters like Tom and Huck, messages like “how do you grow up to be a good man” threaded throughout the story, it couldn’t possibly fail. I’m not even covering the themes around slavery and freedom, men and women, skin color, age, relationships… it’s purely a theory on how to live your life so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and how to react. So much more I could say… but the best I could leave you with is… this is the kinda book everyone needs to read as we will all take something very different from it. Sometimes we will be angry that Twain didn’t do enough, considering how brilliant he was, to help support the causes going on at the time he wrote this. Others praise him for shining a light on what was happening. It’s controversial, diverse and thought-provoking. That’s why to read it — to engage in a discourse where you can feel free to share your opinion and understand every else’s feelings, too.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger’s Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling

Posted on Updated on

Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger's Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling Book Review
3 of 5 stars to Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger’s Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling by Cyril Tourneur. I read these plays in an English course in college and have resurrected excerpts from a paper and my notes. I enjoyed the play. Language and style was a little stilted. But it’s very plot and character-heavy, which I always enjoy.

There are three basic families in this play: The Duke’s family, the Duchess’ family, and Gratiana’s family. The Duke has two sons: Lussurioso, the eldest, and Spurio, the bastard son. The Duchess has three children: Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and her Youngest Son. Gratiana also has three children: Vindice (Piato), Hippolito (Carlo), and her daughter Castiza. Recently, the Old Duke was poisoned. When this Duke died, a new Duke, who was the one who murdered him, replaced him. The Duke and the Duchess have recently married, and their family is quite a corrupt bunch. The Duchess’ Youngest Son has raped Lord Antonio’s wife. Vindice is out for revenge against the Duke and his family because the Duke killed Vindice’s lover Gloriana. He now carries around her skull, and often talks to it. Spurio is angry because he is an illegitimate child. He seeks revenge against his family also. In this play, everyone seems to be against everyone else. By the end though, they all end up in jail, or dead.

Dramatic Action:
[I.i] – Vindice tells us that the old duke was poisoned and the new duke has two sons. One is illegitimate (bastard) and now the Duke has remarried. The Duchess also has three sons, and together they are all a corrupt and vile family. Vindice, Castiza, and Hippolito discuss with their mother Gratiana how the Duchess’ Youngest Son raped Lord Antonio’s wife. Hippolito works in the Court and will help Vindice disguise himself to get revenge on the Duke.

[I.ii] – The Youngest Son is in Court. Spurio secretly wants his stepbrother dead. The Duke and Lussurioso do nothing at first about the Youngest Son’s trial. Then the Duke stops the hearing until they meet again. The Duchess wants to kill her husband the Duke because he is doing nothing. She and Spurio are having an affair. Spurio hates his father and his stepmother, but he is sleeping with her to get revenge.

[I.iii] – Vindice is disguised as Piato. He becomes Lussorioso’s attendant with Hippolito’s help. Piato pretends to be very worldly and Lussurioso loves him. They talk about their disgust with women’s lack of trust. Lussurioso wants the virgin Castiza, and asks Piato to get her for him (this is Vindice’s sister). Vindice leaves angry.

[I.iv] – Antonio learns that his wife has died because she didn’t want to be dirty after the rape. Piato and Hippolito agree to get revenge on the Youngest Son for the rape.

[II.i] – Lussurioso sends gifts to Castiza through Piato. She will not accept them, and does not recognize her brother in his disguise. Piato tries to convince Gratiana to get Castiza to accept Lussurioso. Gratiana and Castiza talk about her virginity, and Gratiana asks her daughter to prostitute herself to Lussurioso for money. Gratiana has fallen at this point. Castiza doesn’t believe that Gratiana is really her mother with the way that she is talking. Gratiana tries, but is unsuccessful. Piato leaves.

[II.ii] – Lussurioso thanks Hippolito for Piato. Piato tells him that Castiza hasn’t decided yet. Lussurioso plans to visit her that night. Vindice wants to kill him. The news of Spurio/Duchess affair reaches Hippolito and Vindice. They overhear Spurio talk about how Gratiana lead the Duke to think Castiza was unchaste so he could have her. Hippolito and Vindice talk about cuckolds. Piato tells Lussurioso about the Duchess/Spurio affair, and the plot to kill the Duke. Lussurioso is shocked.

[II.iii] – Lussurioso runs into the Duke and Duchess in their bedroom, but he thinks it is Spurio and the Duchess. He tries to kill him, but the guards come in. He can’t say that he thought it was Spurio though, so he goes to prison. Vindice sneaks out so that he doesn’t get caught. Spurio shows up and wants to kill the intruder. Supervacuo and Ambitioso plead their stepbrother’s case not knowing what was really going on. Lussurioso will be released, but no one knows this yet.

[III.i] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso talk about killing the Duke as well. They plot to do it.

[III.ii] – Lussurioso wants to be released. He does not know yet that he has been pardoned.

[III.iii] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso try to trick the guards into killing Lussurioso by saying that the Duke wants it done.

[III.iv] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso visit their younger brother, and talk about how they want their brother killed, meaning Lussurioso.

[III.v] – Vindice and Hippolito talk about the Duchess/Spurio affair. Vindice carries around the skull and talks to his beloved Gloriana. He has dressed her up. He also poisons the mouth. The Duke arrives and sees the skull. He kisses the mouth when no one is around. The Duke realizes that Hippolito has betrayed him, and that he is dying. Vindice and Hippolito ridicule and torture him. Vindice then kills him.

[III.vi] – Ambitioso and Supervacuo talk about letting their brother die, but they also talk about getting their other brother, the Youngest Son, out of jail. Lussurioso, the formerly jailed brother arrives. They think that he was killed already, so they leave to find out what happened. They realize that the guards killed the wrong brother (the Youngest Son!).

[IV.i] – Lussurioso is with Hippolito and they talk about Piato and the Duchess/Spurio affair. Lussurioso wants revenge on Piato for lying to him about the affair. It really happened, but Lussurioso thinks Piato is lying. Lussurioso learns that Hippolito has a brother named Vindice (who is really Piato). He asks to have Vindice made his attendant as well to kill Piato. Now, he has to kill himself. Lussurioso learns that his father, the Duke, is missing.

[IV.ii] – Hippolito and Vindice, now out of disguise, talk about the Duke being dead. Vindice will dress the Duke up in Piato’s clothing, and then become himself again. Then, they will pretend to kill Piato, when they really killing the body of the dead Duke. Vindice promises to become Lussurioso’s attendant and goes off to kill Piato for him. Hippolito and Vindice go off to find their mother.

[IV.iii] – Spurio and the Duchess are together. Ambitioso and Supervacuo want to kill him.

[IV.iv] – Hippolito and Vindice see their mother. They learn how she has fallen and tried to get her daughter Castiza to pretend she is not a virgin. Gratiana begs forgiveness, and they do forgive her. Castiza then comes in and agrees to prostitute herself to Lussurioso. Gratiana has now changed her mind and begs her not to do it. Castiza says to her mother that she was only kidding – it was a test to see if her mother was still crazy. She would never have done it anyway. She is too pure.

[V.i] – The dead Duke is disguised as Piato. Hippolito and Vindice talk. Lussurioso arrives and Vindice stabs the dead corpse. Lussurioso then says that he knows it was the dead Duke. Vindice and Hippolito are scared that he knew their plan. However, Lussurioso says that he knows Piato did this, and that he has escaped. He says that he knows that Vindice and Hippolito did not know it was really the Duke, even though they did. All learn of the Duke’s death at this point. The Duchess knows that Spurio is not happy any more with the actions around the house. Lussurioso is now proclaimed the Duke, and he banishes the Duchess for having the affair. Supervacuo and Ambitioso then want to kill Spurio for what he did to their mother.

[V.ii] – Vindice and Hippolito talk with Lord Piero about the sinful dukedom.

[V.iii] – Lussurioso is made Duke. Lussurioso then wants Spurio the bastard killed. He also wants Ambitioso and Supervacuo killed. Vindice and Hippolito are the ones who will do it. This is when a Revenger’s dance is put on as well as a dumb show pretending to kill people, but they are really killed. They talk about the treason going on. Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and Spurio are all slain. They try to blame it on another Lord in the room who was not even part of the action, but he won’t take the blame. Lussurioso is then killed. Antonio is happy because everyone that has been evil has been killed or banished. His late wife’s rape has been avenged. However, then Vindice and Hippolito step forward and tell him everything that has happened. They confess to murdering the Duke. Antonio is angry, and he has the guards take them away to be killed. Antonio hopes that all the treason and evil is over finally.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Rise of Silas Lapham

Posted on Updated on

The Rise of Silas Lapham Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells. Most of the works of literature that made up the canon during the late nineteenth century were classified as realistic literature. These realistic works resembled life as realistically as possible, ranging from youthful adventures in the South, to small town gossip of a few central families and to morals vs. business in Bostonian society. In Howell’s novel The Rise of Silas Lapham, Silas and his family moved from their farm in Vermont to the city of Boston where Silas hoped to continue making it big in the paint business. Throughout the time that he was earning all of his money and trying to settle in the elitist class of Boston society, Silas continually lost his morals and ethics. While Silas’ loss of morals was parallel with his rise in wealth, his gain in morals was parallel with his loss of wealth. All of these aspects of American life at this time were “infused with a moral purpose which transformed society, sometimes for good, but also for evil.” The moral purpose/guide in Silas’ case was his wife, Persis Lapham, who constantly reminded her husband that his greed was overcoming him. Persis wisely said to Silas, “No; you had better face the truth, Silas. It was no chance at all. You crowded him out. A man that had saved you! No, you had got greedy, Silas. You had made your paint your god, and you couldn’t bear to let anybody else share in its blessings” (IV, 47). Silas’ moral decline and Persis’ recognition of this was evident amongst people of similar nature in society of the late nineteenth century. Society at this time was sometimes holistic, but it was also dirty. When society was preserved, the baser aspects of human life were overcome with reason.” Yet, it was not uncommon for morals to come and go during this time, better known as the Gilded Age. It may have seemed all golden and wonderful on the outside amongst the people (Silas’ wealth in The Rise of Silas Lapham), but on the inside (Silas’ wasn’t really accepted into Brahmin society) it was a cheap version of the truth; every aspect of human life was corrupted, and reason was lost without the establishment of an honest society. Silas’ greed is a representation of the life and times of the many [wo]men who lived in the realistic period. Everything was about keeping up appearances, but there was never anything to back up the facade that was put on. There was no straight black and white; shades of gray and murky ethics dominated during this period of realism known historically as The Gilded Age.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: King Lear

Posted on Updated on

King Lear Book Review
3 of 5 stars to King Lear, a tragic play by William Shakespeare, published in 1603. I enjoyed the play and then watched a few film versions. My review will cover both the book and the film I saw — with a bit of sarcasm and humor (just to be different than all the other ones! LOL)

Lear is an absolutely ridiculous character who belongs in the looney bin in my opinion. He has lost all control over his life, his family, and his kingdom. He is foolish, blind, and stubborn. When reading the play, I thought Lear was some old king who couldn’t take care of anything. He was just plain ineffective. After watching a few film versions, I whole heartedly agree. Lear is still a vain, crotchety old man. However, I did see some humor in him that I didn’t notice in the first reading of the play. He was definitely not likable on a first read; however, when I started to watch the video clips, I found myself saying that I could tolerate him. All of a sudden, I classified him as likable human. Even when you just want to kill him, he is still kind of funny and tolerable.

Lear was somewhat like a grandfather in my opinion. Not one of those everyday grandfathers though. He reminded me of the much older, funny grandfather who laughs at everything, but doesn’t realize what he’s doing. In fact, I actually thought of him as a Santa Claus figure. It sounds weird, but the looks automatically qualify him to be Santa Claus. His attitude could be a problem though. He might have been a really nice guy when he was younger and not so stubborn. As for Lear’s daughters… I see Lear’s daughters as all being from 25 to 40 – no more than that, though. Gonerill though did make Lear’s anger appear believable to me. I see how much she had to say and then I realize how he can be so upset with Cordelia’s response. Cordelia seems a little too weak to be his daughter. I picture her as being stronger and able to handle herself against him. It was hard to picture three daughters surrounding their old, aging father Lear. Having each daughter one by one go to their father to say how they loved him was powerful. I watched the characters grow and then leap off the page.

The play is a good one to read, to see the life of parents and children, royalty and order of succession. It’s a great commentary on how we behave and treat our elders, especially both as parents and as humans. And on the flip side, you also see what happens when you make rash decisions, not realizing the impact down the line… and how much you want to fix them, but sometimes you cannot.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Death of a Salesman

Posted on Updated on

Death of a SalesmanBook Review
Arthur Miller is a fantastic writer. 4 of 5 stars to one his most known works, Death of a Salesman, written in 1949. Most Americans read this in middle school as a required book for their English courses. I am not positive when I read this, but I re-read it as part of my English degree in college. I enjoyed it more the second-time around, but it is still a very rough book to read. Not in terms of bad writing, but in terms of topics and emotions.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It focuses on the Loman family. The patriarch has been a salesman for over 30 years, most of his adult life. But eventually, it ends, and he’s forced to face the reality of a 60+ year old man in the mid 20th century between the two world wars, where everything was not so cozy in America. The play touches on themes of mental illness, depression, parenting, suicide, life’s purpose, the role of a father and husband, etc. I’m not fond of the main character, nor will most readers be. He’s quite tragic and unable to really do the right thing for everyone else. But it’s not entirely his fault; this was a bit of an issue in society at the time.

Miller’s talent is top notch. He clearly can capture the mental state of his characters, who each struggle with things we all struggle with. They take it to a newer and higher level, but it’s still something we can all relate to in our lives, whether it’s a teacher, father, uncle, grandfather, or another person in our lives, we have seen this happen. And it’s not pretty. The various passages and speeches by each of the characters are quite strong, pushing you as a reader to think about what society has done to us. But then again… we all have choices and should know better. The book makes you think… a lot… and for that, it does an excellent job at being one we should all read, or at least watch the play acted out.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews