Thursday, 29 August 2013

Much Ado About Nothing: Basically A Lot of Fun

This play is sometimes categorized not as a comedy, but as something called “problem play.” The play involves two main threads of story, namely Benedick/Beatrice match and Claudio/Hero love tale.

It all started when Leonato and his family heard about the coming of Don Pedro, who had just come back from war against his half-brother Don John. Don Pedro forgave his brother and brought him also to Leonato, who received them very well. In his war, Don Pedro was accompanied by his courtiers and friends, Benedick and Claudio. Claudio, although young and inexperienced, had don “in the likeness of a lamb, the feats of a lion” and was given so much honour.

It turned out that Claudio and Hero, Leonato's daughter shared a mutual love while there was a “merry war” between Benedick and the disdainful Beatrice (Leonato's niece). Both Benedick and Beatrice swore never to marry and it seemed that they were serious about it. However, after quite a major though funny argument between them, Don Pedro swore to be their matchmaker, and asked Leonato, Hero and Claudio for assistance in accomplishing his plans.

Don John had another plan. He was determined to take his revenge upon Don Pedro and Claudio. So after Borachio's advice, Don John and his men set a plan to slander the young lady Hero and made as if she had an affair with Borachio and thus unfit for marriage.

David Tennant as Benedick
After several awkward moments in Benedick/Beatirce relationship, the cancellation of Claudio/Hero's marriage finally urged those two to confess their love to each other – still in an awkward way. Beatrice forced Benedick into breaking his friendship both with the Prince and Claudio and even challenged “Mr. Lackbeard” to a duel.

But even though the play is a problem play, well, it's still a comedy, so everything ended up fine. How? I guess it's our privilege to check it ourselves.

This play is so much more interesting on stage than on pages. Really. If Claudio and Hero along with all the Don John I-am-bad drama give a little bit of darkness to the play, once you see Benedick/Beatrice on stage, everything becomes light and fun again. And who can miss the watchmen's innocent folly? It's just so interesting.

There are so many interesting things in the play that I love. The lines and phrases are truly witty and smart. Some phrases like “better better'd expectations” and “he's all mirth” and the menacing “eat his heart in the market-place” just stick in my mind. (I actually told some of my friends about the heart-eating in the market-place part and now they remember Shakespeare by that phrase. My bad.) Overall, this comedy is so good that it has become maybe my favourite Shakespeare comedy of fun.  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

LRP August Meme: Favourite Scene

“One speech in it I
chiefly loved: 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido; and
thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of
Priam's slaughter.” - Hamlet, Shakespeare
Right, this month we're stuck again with the Old Billy. Good news is, this month's theme is comedy. So no thinking too much about philosophical words the playwright smartly put between the lines to amaze the less witty people in the audience, nor crying too hard for the misery of his fictional characters.

This month's meme will be easy: Which one is your favourite scene in the play? If you read As You Like It, it might be anything with Jacques or Touchstone in it. Or maybe you're a romantic person, so you love Orlando kissing Rosalind in man's garment? If your choice is Love's Labour's Lost, well, what is more hilarious than the friends hiding their love only to know later that they have been overheard? It's just fantastic.

Usually I put some leading questions for inspiration. But this time, I think the question, “What is your favourite scene?” will be enough. You can answer long or short, it's up to you. You can even put more than one scene. After all, one cannot have “too much of a good thing.”

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Classic's Club Spin #3: Let's Do It

It is very possible that I won't be able to touch my beloved laptop again until Monday. This month I've been strangely busy even though I have finished everything related to school. I guess I'm not a school person.

It doesn't mean that I will miss this third Classic Club Spin. It's way too interesting. So I take this short time to list my chosen books. Here we go:

  1. Pushkin - Eugine Onegin
  2. Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  3. Spencer - Faerie Queen
  4. Queen – The Chinese Orange Mystery
  5. Conrad - Secret Agent
  6. Dickens - Tale of Two Cities
  7. Sabatini - Scaramouche
  8. Shakespeare – Lucrece
  9. Verne - 20000 Under the Sea
  10. Dickens - Christmas Carol
  11. Dumas Jr. - Camille
  12. Shakespeare - Sonnets
  13. Voltaire - Candide
  14. Doyle - The White Company
  15. Wilde - An Ideal Husband
  16. LeBlanc - The Crystal Stopper
  17. Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing
  18. Verne - From the Earth to the Moon
  19. Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
  20. Queen - Adventures of Ellery Queen
Great! I guess now I can leave my laptop in peace and cross my fingers. May the best book be chosen.