Printer-friendly copy Email this topic to a friend
Lobby Pass The Popcorn topic #229285

Subject: "Let's talk about Shakespeare." This topic is locked.
Previous topic | Next topic
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:35 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
"Let's talk about Shakespeare."


  

          

Having studied Shakespeare extensively, and being familiar with the majority of his body of work, I'll discuss any Shakespeare topic with you at length and in detail here. Questions? Ask em. Opinions? Spread em. Criticisms? Air em out.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top


Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Favorite character?
Nov 09th 2006
1
Welles' Falstaff/Chimes At Midnight
Nov 09th 2006
3
Yeah man, I think it's his best performance...
Nov 09th 2006
5
      RE: Yeah man, I think it's his best performance...
Nov 10th 2006
22
I wrote a 20-page paper on Falstaff, so I'm somewhat burned out, LOL
Nov 09th 2006
6
Caliban is dope, Iago is my favorite villain, Shylock is interesting
Nov 10th 2006
26
      Yeah, Iago is hardcore.
Nov 10th 2006
31
           Fuck Malvolio -- that dude is a Herb
Nov 10th 2006
32
Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet is the best Hamlet film
Nov 09th 2006
2
I've seen that version of "Lear"...
Nov 09th 2006
4
**filled with envy**
Nov 10th 2006
23
King Lear
Mar 23rd 2007
40
we all know what Hamlet movie I think is the best
Nov 09th 2006
9
      Branagh's is like a dope high school production
Nov 10th 2006
24
      Agreed. Branaugh's Hamlet drips with overproduction and ego.
Nov 10th 2006
25
           Charlton Heston tore some shit up, though....
Nov 11th 2006
35
      uh, I don't.
Nov 11th 2006
36
Favorite scene?
Nov 09th 2006
7
loser
Nov 09th 2006
8
How'd Brady work out for you last weekend?
Nov 09th 2006
11
      about as good as Caliban in The Tempest
Nov 09th 2006
13
           Caliban would've thrown fewer INTs. *ASIATIC TRUMPET CALL*
Nov 09th 2006
20
I am convinced he lurks here.
Nov 09th 2006
10
TITUS ANDRONICUS! HE GOOD! MMMMMMMMMMHUH!!
Nov 09th 2006
12
Was he a Catholic?
Nov 09th 2006
14
Nah, Scientologist
Nov 09th 2006
15
I say he was certainly raised that way.
Nov 09th 2006
17
      RE: I say he was certainly raised that way.
Nov 09th 2006
21
The history plays are my favorite.
Nov 09th 2006
16
all those Henrys and Johns and Richards? which ones...?
Nov 09th 2006
18
      My favorites are the Richards, bar none.
Nov 09th 2006
19
           RE: My favorites are the Richards, bar none.
Nov 10th 2006
28
                I have seen this, and I agree.
Nov 10th 2006
29
                     RE: I have seen this, and I agree.
Nov 10th 2006
34
                          yo, you know what you need to find, if you can?
Nov 11th 2006
37
                          But this is revisionist history.
Nov 11th 2006
38
                               I agree with Frank here -- pro-jew lens is a modern phenomenon
Nov 12th 2006
39
Romeo + Juliet -- romance or satire? I vote satire.
Nov 10th 2006
27
Overall? Nah, I'd say romance.
Nov 10th 2006
30
      That's a good response, it's tough to say
Nov 10th 2006
33
I saw a guy in the Prose Before Hoes t shirt yesterday
Mar 23rd 2007
41

FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:43 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
1. "Favorite character?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...I'm gonna go with Falstaff.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:52 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
3. "Welles' Falstaff/Chimes At Midnight"
In response to Reply # 1


          

is fabulous.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:54 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
5. "Yeah man, I think it's his best performance..."
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

...and probably his best movie as well.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 04:26 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
22. "RE: Yeah man, I think it's his best performance..."
In response to Reply # 5


          

>...and probably his best movie as well.

It's the only Welles film that really moved me emotionally because of the story and characters. His other films moved me emotionally via his mastery and visual prowess. Then again, emotional connection to characters isn't that important to me, but when I am moved in such manner then that movie has a little more value for me.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 03:23 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
6. "I wrote a 20-page paper on Falstaff, so I'm somewhat burned out, LOL"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

I do think he's one of the greats though.

I've always been partial to Bottom from A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well.

And Caliban from The Tempest.

And Richard III from Richard III.











I suck at this.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
celery77
Member since Aug 04th 2005
25307 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 04:41 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
26. "Caliban is dope, Iago is my favorite villain, Shylock is interesting"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

Shylock is mainly interesting for the way his character has been re-interpreted. Well, the same for Caliban but in Caliban's case I don't think the re-interpretations are reaching very far at all, and really critics had just been misinterpreting him for a long time.

Iago is just cold, cold and manipulative. He has no real purpose or will besides evil. I like him (except for when Josh Hartnett plays him in 'O' I mean holy shit that was bad).

___________

HOPE!
https://vine.co/v/i7JjIBL3Qix
https://vine.co/v/i7JtqEFwxDu

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 05:53 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
31. "Yeah, Iago is hardcore."
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

Easily the best Shakespeare villain. Or at least the coldest. Claudius is really cool too (the best part of Branagh's Hamlet was casting Jacobi as Claudius).

I like Malvolio too, but he's not really a villain as much as he is someone who tries to force a chaotic world into order.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
celery77
Member since Aug 04th 2005
25307 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 10:58 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
32. "Fuck Malvolio -- that dude is a Herb"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

>I like Malvolio too, but he's not really a villain as much as
>he is someone who tries to force a chaotic world into order.

He's just a pain in the ass. I don't like him at all. Iago's interesting because he has NO motivation at all. There is absolutely nothing that drives him. Once you think you know what winds him up, he contradicts it a little while later.

Malvolio, on the other hand, is a stupid herb. For one, Iago would NEVER get tricked into being put into an asylum or none of that shit. Iago would be cold RUNNIN the insane asylum, fuck sittin in it. Meanwhile, Malvolio is just a goddamn square living in a transgendered world. There's not a single thing you can tell me to convince me that Malvolio is anything besides a comedic foil. Iago is interesting, elusive, Malvolio is just a plain loser who Shakespeare never liked at all.

___________

HOPE!
https://vine.co/v/i7JjIBL3Qix
https://vine.co/v/i7JtqEFwxDu

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:49 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
2. "Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet is the best Hamlet film"
In response to Reply # 0


          

For what it's worth, Olivier thought so as well.

I'm waiting to see Kozintsev's "King Lear" which some consider the greatest Shakespeare film.

They both have Shostakovich scores, too.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:53 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
4. "I've seen that version of "Lear"..."
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

...and it fucking RULES! Everything about it, the adaptation, the acting, the black and white, the symbolism. It can't be fucked with. I'd love to see it again.

I've never seen the "Hamlet" though.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 04:28 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
23. "**filled with envy**"
In response to Reply # 4
Fri Nov-10-06 04:32 AM by Sponge

          

>...and it fucking RULES! Everything about it, the
>adaptation, the acting, the black and white, the symbolism.
>It can't be fucked with. I'd love to see it again.

Damn! Big screen or DVD?

>I've never seen the "Hamlet" though.

Right now, to me, it's the best Shakespeare film I've seen yet and not just that, cracks top 20 overall probably.

My mistake above, Olivier (I think) gave props to Kozintsev's King Lear not Hamlet. So...still, it's f*in great.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Fri Mar-23-07 06:13 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
40. "King Lear"
In response to Reply # 4


          

Saw this earlier this week, now, this is probably the best Shakespeare film I've seen yet.

The mise-en-scene (LOL, whatever, it's an efficient umbrella term) and cinematography evokes hopelessness and tragedy like no other. Great use of the aspect ratio -- all those vast spaces.

The battle scene is an exemplary one.

Wow.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:17 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
9. "we all know what Hamlet movie I think is the best"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

But I do have to plead ignorance on the Grigori Kozintsev version. I don't think I've ever seen it.

"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Sponge
Charter member
6595 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 04:31 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
24. "Branagh's is like a dope high school production"
In response to Reply # 9
Fri Nov-10-06 04:33 AM by Sponge

          

Kozintsev's is top-notch world class cinema. Check for it, f'real!

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 03:59 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
25. "Agreed. Branaugh's Hamlet drips with overproduction and ego."
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

It's like the whole time he's shouting "Mine is the best! Look at the celebrities! Look at how often the camera is on me screaming at myself! You can't beat me, nanny nanny boo boo!"

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Sat Nov-11-06 03:54 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
35. "Charlton Heston tore some shit up, though...."
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

...I thought he was fucking beautiful as the Player King.

Julie Christie was a nice choice for Gertrude, I dug it.

And as far as I'm concerned, Derek Jacoby now owns the role of Claudius.


I liked watching it. I'll watch it again some day.

Plus it's nice to see an uncut version. That rarely happens even in the Theatre.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Sat Nov-11-06 03:58 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
36. "uh, I don't."
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

Which?

Mel Gibson a la Zeffirelli?


I think it's a pretty good take on it, in a Hamlet-as-action-hero sort of way. Which, you know, was the point.

Pretty cool cast, too.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:14 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
7. "Favorite scene?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I'm in love with the Gravedigger scene in Hamlet.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

cereffusion
Charter member
29598 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:17 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
8. "loser"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


---
2004- Okayblowhards Champion
---

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:22 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
11. "How'd Brady work out for you last weekend?"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
cereffusion
Charter member
29598 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:24 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy listClick to send message via AOL IM
13. "about as good as Caliban in The Tempest"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          


---
2004- Okayblowhards Champion
---

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 05:02 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
20. "Caliban would've thrown fewer INTs. *ASIATIC TRUMPET CALL*"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

buckshot defunct
Member since May 02nd 2003
26345 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:21 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
10. "I am convinced he lurks here."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


-----------------------------
http://talestosuffice.com/
@kennykeil

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 12:23 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
12. "TITUS ANDRONICUS! HE GOOD! MMMMMMMMMMHUH!!"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Walleye
Charter member
15288 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 01:22 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
14. "Was he a Catholic?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

My heart says yes, but King Lear's terrifying Calvinism says no. What does Frank Longo say?

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
dr invisible
Member since Sep 19th 2002
3467 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 02:45 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
15. "Nah, Scientologist"
In response to Reply # 14


          

The Tempest is a prophecy.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 04:28 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
17. "I say he was certainly raised that way."
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

I think it can be proven historically that he was raised Catholic-- certainly the area in which he was raised was predominantly Catholic. However, England during the time when he was writing still had a cloud of anti-Catholicism (particularly in the aftermath of Bloody Mary and her raging lunacy), and although Elizabeth had brought religious conflict to a semblance of peace, you still couldn't just go out and be Catholic, straight up.

Since we know he was raised that way, I think it's safe to say it heavily influences his work, particularly Hamlet, Richard II, and The Tempest. And since his Catholic background influences him all the way up to his final play, I think it's safe to say he kept the ideals of Catholicism close to his heart, even if he wasn't a truly devout Catholic and he incorporated elements in his plays that might dwell outside of the realm of Catholic belief.

However, in terms of King Lear, I'd say that it's less Calvinism and more heavily influenced by the passing of Elizabeth. Shakespeare was almost certainly acquainted with Elizabeth, and I would say felt a certain fondness for her-- she was after all his most famous fan, and she was the queen during Shakespeare's entire life up to that point. There is a notable shift in Shakespeare's stylistic choices, and it's around this time that he wrote the great tragedies. He shows a certain contempt for royalty for a period while Elizabeth was dying and after her death when James took the throne. I'd say especially in King Lear, this helplessness that can certainly be interpreted as a type of Calvinism is a result of the changing of the throne and the general uncertainty in the air if England could be run as smoothly as it did under Elizabeth (note that three of the four great tragedies deal heavily with succession of kingship and the problems that come with it).

Long story short...yes, I think he was Catholic. LOL. But I doubt he was a strict Catholic, or even a Catholic who intentionally tried to put his religious beliefs into his plays, since he probably would have known better regarding the country's feelings towards Catholics at the time.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Walleye
Charter member
15288 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 05:39 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
21. "RE: I say he was certainly raised that way."
In response to Reply # 17


          

>However, in terms of King Lear, I'd say that it's less
>Calvinism and more heavily influenced by the passing of
>Elizabeth. Shakespeare was almost certainly acquainted with
>Elizabeth, and I would say felt a certain fondness for her--
>she was after all his most famous fan, and she was the queen
>during Shakespeare's entire life up to that point. There is a
>notable shift in Shakespeare's stylistic choices, and it's
>around this time that he wrote the great tragedies. He shows a
>certain contempt for royalty for a period while Elizabeth was
>dying and after her death when James took the throne. I'd say
>especially in King Lear, this helplessness that can certainly
>be interpreted as a type of Calvinism is a result of the
>changing of the throne and the general uncertainty in the air
>if England could be run as smoothly as it did under Elizabeth
>(note that three of the four great tragedies deal heavily with
>succession of kingship and the problems that come with it).

Maybe I'm sitting too far out on the "it's *always* about God" branch, but if I want (roughly) contemporary examples of apprehension over political uncertainty, I can look at Montaigne and, to a lesser degree, Don Quijote. King Lear seems like a wholly different level of fretting than those two.

What I see in Lear is terror on a slightly grander scale. I guess it's not really appropriate for me to call it Calvinism, but he walks the line between God's sovreignty and God's hiddenness in so much the same way as Calvin does in "The Institutes". It's the examples in nature - that God's will is *actively* holding the physical universe together and that his will (in Lear's pre-Christian setting at least. for Calvin that's a whole different bag of marbles) is utterly inscrutable.

But... I don't know. I know you're right about succession. But it seems sort of neurotic to apply such cosmic tragedy to something relatively benign like political succession. I realize that it was a totally different sort of event in early modern Europe than it is now, but it's all still a bit much.

You certainly arrived at the right conclusion, though. I'll score another one for the papists.

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

shephrd
Charter member
1038 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 03:41 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
16. "The history plays are my favorite."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


"All in the game yo, all in the game." -Omar

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 04:29 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
18. "all those Henrys and Johns and Richards? which ones...?"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

...I haven't read them all cuz I find a few of them tedious. I like Henry IV 1 and 2 and Henry V is kinda fun. Richard III is cool as hell, but that's as far as I've gone.

People say King John is cool, but honestly, there's 10 million other things out there I gotta read first.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Thu Nov-09-06 05:01 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
19. "My favorites are the Richards, bar none."
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Falstaff is great, and there are a few classic characters in the Henrys, but they do tend to drag more than the Richards.

My friend was in Henry IV Part 2 once. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Richard II is fantastic, and Richard III is fucking great since you get to revel in the dark side for a while.

I highly recommend to those who haven't seen them both Olivier's FANTASTIC Richard III, which I think very well could be his best Shakespeare adaptation, and Al Pacino's really great documentary Looking For Richard-- while the acting is a bit shaky, it's insanely fascinating.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

            
King_Friday
Member since Nov 22nd 2002
3087 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 05:35 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
28. "RE: My favorites are the Richards, bar none."
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

>Al Pacino's really
>great documentary Looking For Richard-- while the acting is a
>bit shaky, it's insanely fascinating.

I liked this movie. Very good.

Speaking of Al Pacino and Shakespeare, have you seen Michael Radford's "The Merchant Of Venice" with Pacino as Shylock? I loved it. Pacino gives his best performance in years, probably his best in decades.

Also Lynn Collins was incredible in the role of Portia. Easily one of my most favorite performances by any actress in the last several years.


  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 05:42 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
29. "I have seen this, and I agree."
In response to Reply # 28


  

          


>Speaking of Al Pacino and Shakespeare, have you seen Michael
>Radford's "The Merchant Of Venice" with Pacino as Shylock? I
>loved it. Pacino gives his best performance in years,
>probably his best in decades.
>
>Also Lynn Collins was incredible in the role of Portia.
>Easily one of my most favorite performances by any actress in
>the last several years.

I don't know about decades, but he was quite good, lol.

My only problem is the revisionist history in it. I mean, yes, the anti-Semitism has to be dealt with, but in the original play, Shylock is one bad dude. He's not unlike Magneto-- yes, you have a reason for being pissed, but you gots to chill. I thought in the film they downplayed a lot of Shylock's more villainesque dialogue and played up the anti-Semitism.

Granted, that's really the only way you can do Merchant of Venice now in a PC world. But that doesn't really make it ring true for me.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                    
prins777
Member since Jan 29th 2005
126 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 11:46 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
34. "RE: I have seen this, and I agree."
In response to Reply # 29


  

          

>
>>Speaking of Al Pacino and Shakespeare, have you seen Michael
>>Radford's "The Merchant Of Venice" with Pacino as Shylock?
>I
>>loved it. Pacino gives his best performance in years,
>>probably his best in decades.
>>
>>Also Lynn Collins was incredible in the role of Portia.
>>Easily one of my most favorite performances by any actress
>in
>>the last several years.
>
>I don't know about decades, but he was quite good, lol.
>
>My only problem is the revisionist history in it. I mean, yes,
>the anti-Semitism has to be dealt with, but in the original
>play, Shylock is one bad dude. He's not unlike Magneto-- yes,
>you have a reason for being pissed, but you gots to chill. I
>thought in the film they downplayed a lot of Shylock's more
>villainesque dialogue and played up the anti-Semitism.
>
>Granted, that's really the only way you can do Merchant of
>Venice now in a PC world. But that doesn't really make it ring
>true for me.

I am actually going to be teaching a course in the spring on Law and literature, and the Merchant of Venice is one of the books we will be reading. I have been looking into the various interpretations of Shylock and come to the conclusion that Shakespeare has purposely left him ambiguous. Is he a villain or a victim? We know that he has a reason to be pissed, but given the conditions in which Jews were forced to live and the indignities that they had to endure, can we truly say that Shylock's stance at the end of the play is villainesque? For example, would a slave who finally had the upper hand on his master be a villain if he tried to extract a little revenge under a lawful and binding agreement? Remember, Shylock initially set the parameters of the loan, not to be unreasonable, but in an effort to extend friendship. He knew that Christians looked down upon collecting interest, so instead of lending the money subject to interest, Shylock proposes that if the debt is not repaid he will take a pound of flesh. This is said in a facetious manner, given that Shylock had no reason to believe the debt would not be paid on time. It is not until he suffers the ultimate indignity of losing his daughter and his treasures that he demands the contract be executed literally.

Check the site www.onfumes.com Old School Hip Hop vids and exclusive content

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                        
FrankEinstein
Member since Dec 03rd 2003
3758 posts
Sat Nov-11-06 04:07 AM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
37. "yo, you know what you need to find, if you can?"
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

...the John Barton Royal Shakespeare Company's BBC version of "Playing Shakespeare".

There is one episode featuring David Suchet and Patrick Stewart showing their different interpretations of Shylock. Stewart does one scene, then Suchet does the same scene, back and forth.

It's fucking amazing, and it hits on exactly what you're talking about.

I was lucky enough to have a teacher that owned the series on VHS and let me watch them. I haven't been able to find it on my own, though. Not that I've really tried terribly hard, but it was some great stuff.

There's a book that's basically just an abridged transcript, if that floats your boat, too.

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                        
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Sat Nov-11-06 07:44 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
38. "But this is revisionist history."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          


>I am actually going to be teaching a course in the spring on
>Law and literature, and the Merchant of Venice is one of the
>books we will be reading. I have been looking into the various
>interpretations of Shylock and come to the conclusion that
>Shakespeare has purposely left him ambiguous. Is he a villain
>or a victim? We know that he has a reason to be pissed, but
>given the conditions in which Jews were forced to live and the
>indignities that they had to endure, can we truly say that
>Shylock's stance at the end of the play is villainesque? For
>example, would a slave who finally had the upper hand on his
>master be a villain if he tried to extract a little revenge
>under a lawful and binding agreement? Remember, Shylock
>initially set the parameters of the loan, not to be
>unreasonable, but in an effort to extend friendship. He knew
>that Christians looked down upon collecting interest, so
>instead of lending the money subject to interest, Shylock
>proposes that if the debt is not repaid he will take a pound
>of flesh. This is said in a facetious manner, given that
>Shylock had no reason to believe the debt would not be paid on
>time. It is not until he suffers the ultimate indignity of
>losing his daughter and his treasures that he demands the
>contract be executed literally.

It's easy to say now in a day and age where Jewish people suffer far less discrimination than they did in, say, 1600 in England. But there are multiple instances in Shakespeare (not just Merchant of Venice) where a character says something vaguely or blatantly anti-Semitic. I don't think we can safely say that Shakespeare was sympathetic toward the plight of Jewish people.

I do think he wanted to point out how a Jew would end up being so cold-hearted, and give him a bit more characterization. But I don't think that he intended at all on this excusing the callousness of Shylock's actions.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

                            
celery77
Member since Aug 04th 2005
25307 posts
Sun Nov-12-06 02:01 AM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
39. "I agree with Frank here -- pro-jew lens is a modern phenomenon"
In response to Reply # 38


  

          

>It's easy to say now in a day and age where Jewish people
>suffer far less discrimination than they did in, say, 1600 in
>England. But there are multiple instances in Shakespeare (not
>just Merchant of Venice) where a character says something
>vaguely or blatantly anti-Semitic. I don't think we can safely
>say that Shakespeare was sympathetic toward the plight of
>Jewish people.
>
>I do think he wanted to point out how a Jew would end up being
>so cold-hearted, and give him a bit more characterization. But
>I don't think that he intended at all on this excusing the
>callousness of Shylock's actions.

Shakespeare wrote a compelling play for whatever reason. Maybe even he knew that giving some sympathy to the villain just sucks the audience in that much more, because they really don't know who's going to win, but as far as how Billy really felt about Shylock, I think it's pretty clear he thought he was a vulgar Jew.

___________

HOPE!
https://vine.co/v/i7JjIBL3Qix
https://vine.co/v/i7JtqEFwxDu

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

celery77
Member since Aug 04th 2005
25307 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 04:44 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
27. "Romeo + Juliet -- romance or satire? I vote satire."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It kinda sucks as a romance, let's be real.

___________

HOPE!
https://vine.co/v/i7JjIBL3Qix
https://vine.co/v/i7JtqEFwxDu

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

    
Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
85545 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 05:51 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
30. "Overall? Nah, I'd say romance."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

It's far too poetic and Petrarchian with the language for it to be strictly satirical. Yes, the youth of the characters make it funny, but then what are they satirizing? The impetuous nature of young love?

I think some of the language in Romeo and Juliet is gorgeous, and that the romance is very effective, as long as it's not played in that cliched faux-Renaissance "I am acting Shakespeare" kind of way. I think one could even go far as to say the scenes between them are very sexy.

There are certainly satiric elements, and Mercutio is a voice of satire. But he dies halfway through the play, and for a reason. The comedy, the fun, the satire...it's all gone once Mercutio dies.

So while I see where you're coming from, I'd hesitate to let your personal opinion on a romance blind you from the fact that millions and millions of people find the romance very effective, lol.

I'd say the thing that people fail to realize about Romeo and Juliet is how difficult it is to make it work on stage, not just because of how overplayed it is, but how difficult it is to balance that line between impetuous youth, teen lust, rebels in an oppressive world...there's a LOT going on that has to all be present simultaneously. It's an easy play to make into a boring production, but it's a very difficult play to make into a stimulating production.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

        
celery77
Member since Aug 04th 2005
25307 posts
Fri Nov-10-06 11:02 PM

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
33. "That's a good response, it's tough to say"
In response to Reply # 30


  

          

I dunno, I think it *sucks* as a romance, and maybe that is just because I'm living in a culture that has 400 years of romance filtered through that play, but I'm not feeling it. As an attack on teen love, that's funny. That works for me.

You're also right that it's nearly impossible to overcome the cultural baggage of the play, and that productions are a chore. I don't really know where you're going with Mercutio dying, I've never really looked into his character too strongly, I just know the romance seems trivial to me. Especially for a writer who seems to have such a different outlook in his sonnets, it seems impossible that he would write a play that's so purely trite.

But you know -- maybe it is just my cultural baggage, who knows...

___________

HOPE!
https://vine.co/v/i7JjIBL3Qix
https://vine.co/v/i7JtqEFwxDu

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

janey
Charter member
123120 posts
Fri Mar-23-07 06:36 PM

Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
41. "I saw a guy in the Prose Before Hoes t shirt yesterday"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I thought about saying something but didn't


~~~~~

It is painful in the extreme to live with questions rather than with answers, but that is the only honorable intellectual course. (c) Norman Mailer

  

Printer-friendly copy | Top

Lobby Pass The Popcorn topic #229285 Previous topic | Next topic
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.25
Copyright © DCScripts.com