August favourites #4: Shakespeare

August 4, 2018

When I was teaching, my students used often to ask which was my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays, and my honest answer was almost always that it depended on what I was teaching at the time. For some reason, I never liked Hamlet enormously. King Lear I studied at A level myself, and I cannot watch it without tears at the end, so powerful is it. Othello, for the power of passion and the torment at having one’s love destroyed, as well as the sheer evil of Iago, was always one of my favourites, but I think now that my preference has settled on Antony and Cleopatra, as a picture of the power of love in later life, and how that emotion wins out over everything else in a person, even though that entails the loss of everything. For me, that means that there is something great in being a human. Antony has ‘kissed away kingdoms’: what a marvellous line! And Cleopatra, in the final act, is matchless…

I’m doing something different for the holiday month of August, writing about some of my favourites: poems, plays, music, art and other things, a short piece on a different topic each day. The categories are random, as are the choices within them, meaning that’s my favourite that day, and is subject to change… And I will try and explain why each choice is special for me. As always, I look forward to your comments.

 

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2 Responses to “August favourites #4: Shakespeare”

  1. The Reading Bug Says:

    Favourite Shakespeare. Now that is a tough one. You’ve chosen one of the few of his plays i don’t know well. My choice if I had to choose would probably be Henry V, but it’s a virtually impossible choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • litgaz Says:

      You’re certainly right in that one’s preferences depend on how well one knows a play; though I’ve read Henry V a few times, I’ve never studied or taught it. And as my students realised, it’s impossible to have a favourite, really.

      Liked by 1 person


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