WordPress does a course to help you blog, which I have signed up for, and which involves them setting various tasks for you to fulfil. They start with the most basic – an introduction – which I didn’t really do when I set this up, my Prologue merely setting out the rules of engagement.
But since this blog is more about Shakespeare than me, I’ll introduce myself through what I love most about him. And maybe I’ll review it over time, and see how I change over time, and over the course of the canon.
For enjoyment – Much Ado About Nothing. You had probably guessed that much by now! And that’s despite the disturbing Aesop in Claudio and Hero’s tale. Given how often Shakespeare explores the ideas of infidelity/jealousy, and women pretending to be dead, I do wonder if it was something he felt he never quite got right too. Or if it was just the Elizabethan equivalent of a Trapped In A Lift moment – ooh, this is going to be the bit where she pretends to be dead and he realises he did love her after all!
For brilliance – if the ones I have seen so far, Macbeth. It is compelling, sinister and deeply believable. As well as endlessly quotable. We’ll start with “when shall we three meet again?” – the very first line – and just go on from there shall we?
You all probably think I’m going to say Beatrice or Benedick, but I’m not. Aha! My favourite character in Much Ado is actually the solemn Don Pedro. I’m a sucker for unrequited love. “Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife!”
And after The Winter’s Tale, I also worship at the feet of the fabulously feisty Paulina. Who is called “A mankind witch” and “A most intelligencing bawd” for speaking the truth to her King, but continues to do so until (many years later) he comes to his senses. That’s my kind of woman.
There are two by which I live my life – “though she be but little, she is fierce” and “have we no wine here?” seem to cover most necessary eventualities…
Please feel free to add your own thoughts!