lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
[personal profile] lareinenoire
Day #3: Your favourite hero


Which is clearly distinct from my favourite character, so that's handy to know. Anyway. Before you ask, no, Richard III is still a villain so you'll have to wait for Day 5 to hear me squee about him. ;)

I suppose one must start with the question of what constitutes heroism. One of the things I love about Shakespeare is how fluid the answer to that question can be. Is Hamlet heroic? I'm not altogether sure -- yes, he's the hero of the play in the classical sense, in that all the action revolves around him, but I don't think he's heroic in the sense that we now take the word. He's incredibly compelling and quite likeable (when he's not accidentally killing people or being awful to his girlfriend). But is he really acting in the service of any greater good? I don't know. I get the impression Claudius was a better king than Fortinbras ends up being, but possibly I am underestimating the latter. I think I appreciate Hamlet as an intellectual construct, but would probably want to hit him with the nearest blunt object if he were anywhere near me.

[livejournal.com profile] angevin2 chose Edgar from King Lear, which is in itself incredibly interesting. Edgar in a number of ways reminds me of Hamlet -- he uses madness both as a tool and as an escape -- but Edgar's distance from the court and courtly machinations seems to me to contribute to his ultimate survival. Goneril and Regan would have eaten him for lunch if he'd stayed. And we do get the impression, by the end of the play, that Edgar would be the sort of king required to put Lear's shattered realm back together.

And [livejournal.com profile] munditia chose Othello, who really is a basically decent person who makes the one fatal mistake of trusting Iago too much and Desdemona -- whom he professes to love beyond all reason -- too little. The more I think about it, the more horrible sense it makes. As I said in the comment to [livejournal.com profile] munditia's post, although I want to blame Othello for not trusting his wife (the wife who went before the Doge and countermanded her own father at the age of, what? Sixteen? Eighteen, maybe?), the play and its larger cultural milieu are conspiring to make him distrust her. What chance does Desdemona have against ingrained beliefs that a) a Moor is not worthy of love and b) women themselves are basically fickle, flirtations, false beings? I suppose here, Hamlet does have it right -- Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.

And, I suppose that, in the end, although I think Hamlet is a brilliantly crafted character and I think Edgar is one of the few lights in the overwhelming darkness that is King Lear, it is Othello whose tragedy really resonates with me the most.



Day #1: Your favourite play - Othello and Richard III
Day #2: Your favourite character - Lady Elizabeth Grey in 3 Henry VI and Richard III
Day #3: Your favourite hero - Othello
Day #4: Your favourite heroine
Day #5: Your favorite villain
Day #6: Your favourite villainess female villain
Day #7: Your favourite clown
Day #8: Your favourite comedy
Day #9: Your favourite tragedy
Day #10: Your favourite history
Day #11: Your least favourite play
Day #12: Your favourite scene
Day #13: Your favourite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favourite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favourite speech
Day #18: Your favourite dialogue
Day #19: Your favourite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favourite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favourite couple
Day #27: Your favourite couplet
Day #28: Your favourite joke
Day #29: Your favourite sonnet
Day #30: Your favourite single line

Date: 2010-07-22 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likeadeuce.livejournal.com
Well said!

I'm wondering if anybody has a favorite hero from a comedy?

Date: 2010-07-22 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuunsaiki.livejournal.com
I'm going to, but that's because I know I'll confuse myself for days if I think *too* deeply about how protagonist =/= (necessarily) hero, and the rather safe answer I came up with satisfies me enough that I don't really mind how safe it is. :3 You can start guessing if you care that much, or you can wait until tomorrow for confirmation. :3

Date: 2010-07-23 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angevin2.livejournal.com
I saw one post about Benedick, yeah...

Date: 2010-07-23 08:18 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
My favourite - and given that I haven't read all that many plays, nor do I study Shakespeare for a living (sadly!), this is probably a strange answer or something, I don't know - is Kent/Caius from King Lear. I'm not sure if he counts as a hero, though.

Date: 2010-07-26 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lareinenoire.livejournal.com
Oh, I think Kent/Caius qualifies, in much the same way Edgar does. The only difference is that you don't get as much of an arc with Kent as you do with Edgar, and one of the implications I've always read into the word 'hero' is that there should be some kind of arc involved.

Date: 2010-07-27 04:07 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
You're making me want to re-read it so that I can properly appreciate all the characters' various arcs again! I haven't read or seen the play in such a long time, which is a shame, because I really do love it.

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October 2010

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