william shakespeare

Author Alert: William Shakespeare

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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!

 

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

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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.

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Review: The Comedy of Errors

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The Comedy of Errors
The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


4 out of 5 stars to The Comedy of Errors, a comedy (seriously, did you think with that title it was one of his tragedies… oh my) published in 1594 by William Shakespeare. So… who knew Shakespeare invented the humor of mistaken identity? Wow! Think of this as a cross between any daytime television soap opera, “Dumb and Dumber” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

And if you don’t know what that clip is from, you have no watched the right kinds of movies. So go figure it out and come back to chat. That said… this is definitely one of the funniest plays he’s written, as you’d expect. But it’s not just a single set of twins, there are two pairs. And no one knows who is who. Sometimes you might get lost too. But that’s what I’ve learned to love when reading Shakespeare. If it’s a historical play or a tragedy, make it serious. If it’s a comedy, then do whatever you’d like. I’ll make up my own interpretation.

And that’s what I did with this one. And when finished, I talked about it with some fellow students. We all agreed… I had the most interesting interpretation. And then when we got into class, the professor talked about what he thought it was about. And what do you know… I had the closest version. Woo Hoo! I’m good for something, I remember thinking to myself. On a serious note, this is worth a read if you want to get into more Shakespeare. Don’t make it your first one tho… you’ll regret it.



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: Antony and Cleopatra

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Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Book Review


4 out of 5 stars to Antony and Cleopatra, a play published in 1606 by William Shakespeare.This is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, partially for some of the reality on which it is based. Some know the full story, others know bits and pieces. Cleopatra, famous in her own right, is the Queen of Egypt. Caeser is conquering the world. Antony rules Rome for a while. The love affair between these three, plus a former wife and the sister, Octavia, create such a beautiful and tragic story. Misunderstood messages. Betrayal. Hatred. Anger. Love. It’s a reflection on all the human emotions, wondering why we are tested at so many points in our lives. Where does a man’s heart lie? How honest is the woman he loves? Can you trust your own staff? Time-tested questions we’ve faced for nearly 400 years since this was written, but also the thousands of years before it. This one had a bit of everything and was one of the more easily understood plays. It tugs a little at your emotions while pushing you to root for the right people. And if you are a history buff, it makes it all that much more enjoyable.



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: Cymbeline

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Cymbeline
Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


3 out of 5 stars to Cymbeline, a play written in 1611 by William Shakespeare. I read this during a Shakespeare course in college and then watched a film version. My review covers both. There seems to be a very dark aura surrounding the characters and the setting. All of the characters seem to be angry with each other, as though they do not like each other. Cymbeline didn’t get along with his wife nor with his daughter. Cymbeline as suppose to be an anxious and frustrated man, yet he appeared to be sickly and weak instead. The forces in the play were controlled by some other figure, instead of how they were in the actual words of the play. The set was mostly back with gold trim and the characters were often in silhouette. This darkness about the set and characters made the emotions and psychology of the play seem dark also.
Moshinsky (director) wanted the characters to appear as though they were alone. I definitely got this impression. When Imogen was locked in her room trying to find her bracelet, the camera went back and forth between her and Cloten serenading her. They weren’t in the same room, yet there was a divider between them. Neither seemed close to anyone. They were separate entities. The psychological interpretation of these behaviors, as directed by Moshinsky, was somewhat confusing. It seemed as though the director was focusing on optimism — as in the death songs of Imogen. I suppose the behaviors then would be forgiveness and helpfulness and kindness. All three are evident in the play and shown in the film we saw. The unraveling scene at the end showed the forgiveness of Iachimo, etc. It was light-hearted by that point.
As for the meaning of the play – it was definitely challenging to me, especially after watching the video and seeing a different interpretation than I thought it was. When I saw Cloten’s bloody head dripping and Imogen lying next to the bloody body, bathing herself in it, etc. I then saw the dark emotions of death and it’s repercussions. However, within the death, it was portrayed as though it was nothing. The psychology here could be shown as the director believing that the play was very dark, when in my opinion it was more light and happy. The only horrible part was the death of Cloten. In the text it seemed bloody, but not disgusting. In the video, it was horrific. So, it was more of a murky version than what I expected it to be. I was thrown by these dark emotional scenes which was the opposite of how I interpreted the play.



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: Measure for Measure

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Measure for Measure Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to Measure for Measure, written in 1603 by William Shakespeare. When I think of reasons why people find Shakespeare difficult to read or understand, this is the play that most comes to mind. It’s a good play. But you won’t get much from it on a single read. And if you’re not a fan of classic literature, or easily able to understand language differences from 400 years ago, it will be even harder to digest this one. Part of me believes this isn’t all that different from some of the popular ones, but because it’s often less read, copied or produced on TV or Film, it’s much less understood. The plot is clever: a man gives up his position of power to the next in command and watches from afar to see what happens. He’s got personal reasons for abandoning his role, but he also doesn’t quite leave it. You’re left with a quandary both in plot and in persona, which makes it harder to easily grasp on the first round. I basically understood it but didn’t find it all that appealing. On a second read, it was better. I may go for a third this summer. Who’s in??? LOL

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: Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Twelfth Night, a comedy written in 1601 by William Shakespeare. There are more reviews written about Shakespeare than either of us know what to do with, on, over or about. So you’re not getting a review from me. What I will say is the following: Love him or not, the man can create brilliant plots and characters. Twins. Mistaken identities. Tomfoolery. Witchcraft. A chain of “who’s on first” when it comes to which character is in love with which other character. Confusion knows no bounds here. But I love it. It’s hilarious. If you’re not used to Shakespeare’s style and rhythm, this wouldn’t be the first play of his I’d recommend. Or if you really want to read this one, you might want to watch a film version first, just to get the plot down — as it’s more convoluted than any soap opera out there. And I should know, I’ve watched nearly all of them. It’s got a little bit of everything, but if you can see it happen first, then read it… it’ll come across even better as you can concentrate on the words and images that come to mind, rather than trying to comprehend which person is in which disguise when they are talking. I have to imagine he talked to himself a lot when writing this one, adding voices and different character attributes to even be sure he understood what he had going on!

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: Henry VIII

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Henry VIII Book Review
3 of 5 stars to Henry VIII, a play written in 1613 by William Shakespeare. This play originally had a different title and there is also some suspicion that it was co-written with another person at the time. It was towards the end of Shakespeare’s career where while his brilliance had grown quite impressive, his fame and fortune was also being thrust more and more into the spotlight to the point of being accused of some level of crimes against the government. Similarly, the battles between the different churches of England were in full swing. When you read this play, you sense a bit of disconnect. It’s not a comedy or a tragedy in my opinion. It’s about reality, i.e. what King Henry VIII had been previously going through with this divorces, six wives, etc. The focus is on Katherine of Aragon and the church’s position on Henry’s request to re-marry. There are lots of good lines and passages in the play, but it isn’t one of his better plays. I’m also not one for propaganda-type literature, instead preferring something to take me away from reality.

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