So being British we did a lot of Shakespeare in school. We did Macbeth a lot, to the point I low key can’t stand it. Macbeth is so quotable though! I swear after doing it for years I couldn’t stop quoting it, it’s also fun to act. I also did The Tempest in school and we got our teacher to let us do Romeo and Juliet.
I shan’t be talking about those three plays as they’re not my favourites. They annoyed me. Well The Tempest not so much but Romeo and Juliet … urgh! There’s so much that I don’t like about the play or rather about the way it’s been received as a great love story. It ain’t boo boo!
Moving on, I can write about Romeo and Juliet in another post, this post is about my favourite plays that I never did in school but that I read in my free time because I was that weird kid who LOVED Shakespeare. I still do, I still have many plays to read to be honest. I may come back one day with additions to this list.
So here are my favourite plays so far…
Much Ado About Nothing
I love this play, I feel it’s so underrated. It’s hilarious, serious and has the best love story.
My favourite characters are Beatrice and Benedick. They have this love hate relationship going. They love to argue and get on each others nerves. It’s seen as merry arguing but then Beatrice actually hurts his feelings at a masquerade ball. But you know how people say there’s a line between love and hate? This couple encapsulates that.
With the help of Don Pedro and Hero, they find their way to each other and they become the sweetest couple! I love how Beatrice is strong, witty and not afraid to say her opinion and she doesn’t lose that when with Benedick, in fact he loves it.
The thing I didn’t like about this play was the Hero and Claudio story line. Like justice for Hero!
Don John plots to humiliate Don Pedro and Claudio and does so by insinuating that Hero has been unfaithful and isn’t a virgin. Lies! Which Claudio believes and then decides to humiliate her on their wedding day!
I was so mad. SO MAD!
So naturally they fake Hero’s death to find out what actually happened. And they do that. But you know I wanted them to make Claudio sweat a little bit more. I was like Beatrice, how dare he do my girl Hero like that? No boo. Nu uh.
I still love the play. It’s my favourite. It has everything, humour, love, betrayal and justice!
Twelfth Night/ What You Will
When I found out that She’s The Man was based on Twelfth Night I had to read it! I was so curious as to the original and how Shakespeare had done it.
It’s largely the same as the movie only not modern (duh).
So Viola and Sebastian are separated by a shipwreck. Viola pretends to be a man, Cesario as she sets about to live in this place she’s shipwrecked, Illyria. She, as Cesario, is in the service of Duke Orsino who is in love with Olivia. Similar to the movie right, except no football, and Viola pretends to be her twin in the movie. Like the movie Olivia then falls in love with Cesario (Viola) who was trying to express Orsino’s love for her. And there’s more humour in the play to do with tormenting Marvolio.
Then Sebastian shows up, he ain’t dead woo hoo!, and Olivia thinking it’s Cesario (Viola) proposes and they get married (what?!). Then Viola and Sebastian are reunited and everything comes out and then Orsino marries Viola… what?
In the movie it makes more sense, as Duke actually fell in love with Viola but in the play it doesn’t, like did he love her or was Shakespeare just tying loose ends? But then it’s been a while since I’ve read it. *research break* I’m back. Hmm, it’s interesting. The play explores other subjects, like Viola doesn’t really stop pretending to be a man, I mean the truth comes out but yeah. Yes, read it and watch it.
It was funny and I remember that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
This one is weird and wacky!
I did a monologue for this in theatre studies, I was Helena, and it was great. It’s such a good play and I don’t know why they don’t do it more in schools. There are so many themes to explore. Maybe they do now, it’s been a while since I was in Secondary School.
This one has a complex plot. Or rather one that would take a while to summarise as many plots are intertwined. There are fairies, it’s set in Athens and there are love squares and men turning into donkey’s, love potions and a wedding between a man, Duke Theseus, and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta. Which now looking back I find odd, why would the Amazon Queen marry a man? *thinking face*
Plus all the chaos is caused by Oberon because Titania wouldn’t give him what he wanted, an Indian changeling as his knight. *Side eye*. I kind of wish Titania would have won but nope, no she didn’t.
On the other hand though, his and Puck’s interference helped sort out the love square of Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena. I related to Helena, hence the monologue, she deserved to be loved. She was so relatable amongst the chaos of the play.
It’s a chaotic play but it’s fun to read. I haven’t watched it but I imagine that would be fun too. Although I think it’d really suit an onscreen adaptation. Has that been done already?
So those are my favourite plays. What are yours?
Feel free to comment below!
Ps: I was also curious about The Taming of the Shrew as 10 Things I hate About You is based off that play but then when I realised what the play was about I wasn’t so keen. It sounded to me like a comic play about putting women in their place. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me but yeah, I wasn’t into it.
This is a repost as I have deleted my secondary site. I am slowing releasing the posts I liked from there here. It’d be much for me and you if I just dumped them here all at once.