bardic_lady: (couples-wash/zoe)
Day 01 - A Show That Should Never Have Been Cancelled
Yeah, it's the obvious one, the one everyone talks about, but... It's also the good answer. Firefly. It was funny and smart and perfectly cast. It had an interesting story and engaging characters, the world was well-fleshed out... It was an awesome awesome show. And maybe it would've suffered from second season slump and gotten unfunny, like Serenity and Joss would've killed off the characters everyone loved just because he could. But... we'll never know now. And that, I think, is the major tragedy.

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bardic_lady: (epilogue)
Day #30: Your Favorite Single Line
Last day! Tune in tomorrow as I begin the 30 Days of TV meme! (Because posting every day is actually good for me.

Meantime, though, my favourite single line of Shakespeare. Which is a hard question, because there are so many many brilliant glorious gorgeous lines in Shakespeare. Lines to make you laugh, lines to make you cry, lines for every occasion in the whole world. All the world's a stage... Let your indulgence set me free... Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous... O for a muse of fire... Beautiful things. But ultimately, at least today, my favourite...

To die, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream...

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bardic_lady: (envy)
Day #29: Your Favorite Sonnet
Y'know, I was composing a whole long post about how I like 18 ("Shall I compare thee...") and 23 ("As an unperfect actor on the stage...") and 14 ("Not from the stars...") and 38 ("How can my Muse want...") and the language and all, before coming around to my actual favourite, 121. And then a combination of the Edo fiasco and deep frustration at this season of Eureka kind of took away my interest in the delicate sonnets for the moment and leaves me with this.

'Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,
When not to be, receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost, which is so deemed,
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing.
For why should others' false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No, I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses, reckon up their own,
I may be straight though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts, my deeds must not be shown
Unless this general evil they maintain,
All men are bad and in their badness reign.

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bardic_lady: (shakespeare lives)
Day #28: Your Favorite Joke
I confess, I have spent all day thinking about this prompt and I am coming up resolutely blank. It's not that I don't find Shakespeare funny, or witty, it's just... I don't think of him writing jokes as such. Ergo, I have decided on a Shakespeare anecdote which is a particular favourite of mine.

The company was performing Richard III, with Richard Burbage in the title role. A certain lady was deeply enamoured of his portrayal and requested by private communication that Burbage visit her in the evening, arrayed as the crippled king. Shakespeare himself intercepted the missive and decided to take action on his own. Burbage came to her apartments, as requested, only to discover that Shakespeare was already there. He was dismissed because "William the Conqueror comes before Richard III"

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bardic_lady: (midsummer - take pains)
Day #27: Your favorite couplet
Honestly, my favourite couplet is from the end of Sonnet 121.
Unless this general evil they maintain
All men are bad and in their badness reign

I have no excuse.

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bardic_lady: (couples-much ado)
Picking up where I left off before my epic weekend of Shakespeare...
Day #26: Your Favorite Couple
This one's a gimme. Beatrice and Benedick, one of the rare Shakespeare couples I actually feel have a chance in hell. Also, they're smart and snarky and don't put up with each other's bull.

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bardic_lady: (lee - piece of work)
Day #24: An Actor or Actress You Would Love to See in a Particular Role
Okay, I was actually discussing this with [ profile] ladybretagne. I want to see (here read: WORK ON) Hamlet with Jamie Bamber as Hamlet and Douglas Sills as Claudius/Ghost of Hamlet Sr. It would be the most awesome thing ever and I would curl up in my Shakespeare happy place forever and ever. I would also be interested in Henry IV I & II with Jamie as Hal and Doug as Falstaff, though I think Jamie is getting a trifle old for Hal.

Day #25: Sooner or Later, Everyone Has to Choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Which leads directly into this question, which may be the easiest question of the month. HAL. I don't like Falstaff, I don't find him or his methods funny, I will pick Hal every day of the world. However, if the question was Hal or Hotspur, then it would be hard. Because I adore Hotspur in Henry IV I and then I'm completely on Hal's side by Henry V, what can I say? I'm fickle.

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bardic_lady: (envy)
Day #23: A Role You've Never Played But Would Love to Play
There are three big ones. Beatrice - Much Ado About Nothing (which is never gonna happen, because fat girls don't get Shakespeare leads), Paulina - Winter's Tale (could happen. The snarky wise woman is sometimes an option), and the Chorus - Henry V. I would be ecstatic to play the Chorus. It's a smallish part, or at least not a huge part, but so many gorgeous words... *sigh*

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bardic_lady: (dreams)
Day #22: An Underrated Play
I consider most of the so-called "Problem Plays" less out and out problematic than several of the more regularly canonized plays (see yesterday re: Merchant and Othello) In particular, I think Winter's Tale is quite underdone, as well as Troilus & Cressida.

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bardic_lady: (midsummer - take pains)
Day #21: An Overrated Play
It's hard for me to say that any Shakespeare play is overrated. From an educational standpoint, I think Lear taught in high school is taught too early. I find it very odd that Merchant of Venice and Othello are among the most taught plays, they're such issue plays. But that's just me.

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bardic_lady: (text fucking)
Day #20: Your Favorite Movie Adaptation of a Play
I'm assuming, based on yesterday's question, that this means a camouflaged Shakespeare. In which case, obviously, 10 Things I Hate About You. I love the ways that little things from the play are worked into the plot, especially the tutoring bit. As a film on its own, I think it's adorable, especially tiny Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Krumholtz. And Heath Ledger. The "Just Too Good to Be True" sequence is absolutely a favourite of mine. I finally got the movie on DVD a couple months ago. I should watch it. Possibly right now.

::edit:: And then I did.

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bardic_lady: (couples-much ado)
Day #19: Your Favorite Movie Version of a Play
If you haven't already guessed this, you haven't been paying attention. Yes, Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. (Followed by Branagh's Henry V and Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost, which I know no one likes, but I like it. It's frothy and decadent and silly and I love the way he set it and yes, I think he cast it fairly badly, but there's still a lot to love. Like Nathan Lane! Who doesn't love Nathan Lane? Anyway... Yes. I like the way Branagh directs a Shakespeare on film. I even liked his full four hour Hamlet.)
So yes. Returning to the actual favourite movie. It's gorgeous. The setting is stunning. Ken and Emma are delicious as Beatrice and Benedick and it makes me so ANGRY that he left her for freakin' Helena Bonham Carter what kind of an idiot does that?! Kate Beckinsale is adorable and shy and precious as Hero. Robert Sean Leonard... Can I just say that I loved him before he was House's boyfriend? I fell for him SO HARD in this movie. (Yes, I know now that Claudio is kind of a big old jerkface, but RSL is so lovely, especially in the young awkward lovers bits) Brian Blessed is brilliant and blustery. Derek Jacobi's boyfriend whose name escapes me at the moment (Richard Clifford) is perfectly sneery as Conrad. Michael Keaton is utterly fantastically ridiculous as Dogberry (This was my first experience with Michael Keaton and it warped me completely. I can't watch him as Batman without going "Dogberry as Batman? What?") Denzel Washington is so regal and lovely, even if he too is a bit of an ass. Richard Briers is so beautifully dignified and then totally undignified as Leonato. And I even almost don't care that Keanu is Keanu. Oh! And Emma's mum is wildly wonderful as Ursula and tiny adorable Imelda Staunton as Margaret! Who knew she would grow up to be Dolores Umbridge? Seriously, this movie is on my list of things that everyone ever should see. Also Patrick Doyle's score is fantastic, it has these soaring peaks of joy and then the dark somber trauma that just... I love Patrick Doyle scores. I'm delighted he got tangled up with Ken and Emma's pictures. (Though Gosford Park is actually my all time favourite Doyle score.) Hey nonny nonny!

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bardic_lady: (couples-much ado)
Day #18: Your Favourite Dialogue
Sort of already answered this in my favourite scene. Beatrice and Benedick's first interchange in Much Ado.

I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick )

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bardic_lady: (midsummer - take pains)
Day #17: Your favorite speech

Damn, and I thought the early questions were hard. There are so many choices...

The first act chorus from Henry V? "His mother was a votaress of my order" from Midsummer? The epilogue or "Our revels are now ended" from Tempest? "What studied torments tyrant hast for me" from Winter's Tale? "I have of late but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth" from Hamlet? The Queen Mab speech from R&J? "Now is the winter of our discontent" from Richard III? "Go not to these wars" from Henry IV 2?

All speeches I love. (Yes, several are VERY well known. Turns out, there's a reason some Shakespeare is very well known) But ultimately it comes down to a tie between two speeches.
Which are under the cut )

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bardic_lady: (epilogue)
Working on research proposals apparently saps my will to meme. Playing catchup:

Day #15: The first play you read
It's a close thing but I'm fairly certain that the first play I read was Comedy of Errors. It could easily have been Midsummer, I read them in the same Spring. Comedy of Errors was in preparation to play Dromio of Syracuse, Midsummer in preparation to see it live at Theatricum Botanicum. Where I also had a walk on as a fairy, narrowly edging Comedy of Errors as my first time onstage in Shakespeare. (3rd grade, for those wondering)

Day #16: The First Play You Saw
Hard to say. I suppose, technically, because I was IN that Midsummer, I didn't see it per se. But by that logic... um... Tempest! I saw a traveling English production of Tempest in 5th grade. (After that, the next Shakespeare I wasn't working on would be high school, which just seems silly)

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bardic_lady: (proud and insolent)
Day #14: Your Favorite Fight Scene
I am a traditionalist. I like the mano a mano swordfights, especially Mercutio and Tybalt in R&J and Hamlet and Laertes in Hamlet. I like duels with a little bit of wit thrown in, but mostly, I just really like the fights between a pair of accomplished swordspersons with some flashiness and a lot of serious skill.

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bardic_lady: (couples-much ado)
Day #13: Your Favorite Romantic Scene
Much Ado, 5.2. "Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably." It's a meeting of equals in a way that most Shakespearean "love scenes" aren't. She makes her own choices. He makes his own choices. They respect each other, they know each other well enough to be able to tease and joke and still convey the fact that they care deeply about each other. It's a great scene.

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bardic_lady: (midsummer - take pains)
Day #12: Your Favorite Scene
Favourite Shakespeare scenes are like potato chips, you can't have just one. I have several including:

Beatrice and Benedick's first meeting in Much Ado. The wit is so sharp. She's so smart and he's so smart and together they are awesome. And it's a scene that I have actually played at a college party with a guy who was annoying me. (Yes, [ profile] loblolly, that's how I fell for Dewey.)

The wooing scene in Shrew. Yes, Petruchio is a dick. Yes, the play has major issues for a feminist. But that first skirmish of wit is brilliant. If they play went differently, they would be Beatrice and Benedick.

Paulina's scathing diatribe against Leontes in Winter's Tale. You go girl.

Hotspur and Kate Percy at home in Henry IV 1. I love that he's being a dick and she calls him on it and threatens to break his dick if he doesn't shape up.

Midsummer, 2.1 The first introduction of the fairies. I love the First Fairy, I love Puck, I love Titania's reminisces of her lost votaress, I love "Set your heart at rest, the fairyland buys not the child of me" and Titania storming off.

(I like the strong women, did you know?)

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bardic_lady: (purity of English)
Day #11: Your least favorite play
Interesting question. I have a certain amount of hesitation attached to calling any of Shakespeare not good. There are problems in a lot of the plays. There are issues that scholars spend lots of time digging around in. But my actual LEAST FAVOURITE SHAKESPEARE... is probably Merry Wives of Windsor. I don't like Falstaff much in the Henry IVs and I see no reason to give him his own play.

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bardic_lady: (starbuck - harfleurs)
Day #10 - Your Favourite History
As previously mentioned, Henry V is my favourite history. I know he wasn't actually the greatest king and there's a lot wrong with history of it, but none of the histories are really that long on history. I adore the Chorus, I love "we happy few", I love "upon this charge cry god for Harry, England, and St. George". Oh, and I dearly love Ken Branagh's version, though I'm not a huge fan of his take on the Chorus, but Patrick Doyle's music is stunning, breathtaking.

Tomorrow, a question I haven't inadvertently already answered!

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January 2015



I Cannot Hide What I Am

I must be sad when I have cause and smile
at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait
for no man's leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and
tend on no man's business, laugh when I am merry and
claw no man in his humour...
I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with
a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and
seek not to alter me.

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