lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
[personal profile] lareinenoire
Day #6: Your favourite villainess female villain

[ profile] angevin2 made a great post on the general awesome that is Joan la Pucelle, and at the risk of basically repeating everything she said, I would pretty much agree with her assessment. :) Although I don't like Joan as much as Margaret, I don't necessarily believe Margaret is a villain. What seems to set Joan apart from everybody else is that she is always taking on significations that are diametrically opposed to what the audience is meant to see as Good. Whether it is her foreignness, or that she's female, or that she wears armour and kills people, or that she's completely suborned the Dauphin, or that she summons demons in her spare time, everything about Joan is meant to imply that she overturns the Natural Order of Things.

(Of course, this is fascinating when you put Joan next to Elizabeth I, but Shakespeare does seem to go out of his way to point out that YES, BUT SHE IS FRENCH, LA LA LA, CAN'T HEAR YOU.)

It's a simplistic designation, but there's nothing in the play that even hints otherwise. That being said, the RSC actually succeeded in making her final scenes incredibly harrowing, so this is clearly something that can be manipulated in the context of performance.

What I like about Joan, though, is that she's very conscious of the role she is playing -- much like Richard later on -- and she plays it to the hilt. And her scenes are just so much fun. Really. The Monty Python Taunting Frenchmen jokes just write themselves.

All that being said, Tamora from Titus Andronicus is a very close second.

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 - Juliet from Romeo and Juliet and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing
Day #5: Your favorite villain - Richard of Gloucester
Day #6: Your favourite villainess female villain - Joan la Pucelle
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: 2010-07-25 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't remember Tamora. What does she do that's villainous, and why do you like her?

Date: 2010-07-25 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tamora is the Queen of the Goths and one of the primary antagonists in Titus (along with her co-conspirator Aaron the Moor). She enters as a prisoner of Titus Andronicus, who has just succeeded in defeating the Goths, and, after he executes her eldest son, she swears to avenge his death by destroying Titus' family. She is one of those responsible for the rape and mutilation of Titus' daughter Lavinia; the others being Aaron, and her two remaining sons Chiron and Demetrius.

Essentially, Tamora is a 'villain' much in the vein of Joan, though she arguably begins as a more sympathetic character, a mother begging for the life of her son. She's not particularly charming or funny, and she's guilty of basically everything horrible that any one person could do (obviously, her treatment of Lavinia; also, she marries the emperor Saturninus while having an affair with Aaron and giving birth to his child, and she and Aaron engineer the deaths of two more of Titus' sons). In the end, she gets her comeuppance after Titus captures Chiron and Demetrius, kills them, bakes them into a pie, and serves said pie to Lavinia and Saturninus. After the big reveal, he kills Tamora; Saturninus kills him, and Titus' one remaining son kills Saturninus. Cheerful play, innit?

So I suppose I don't especially like her. But in terms of villains who turn everybody into the play into a morally culpable criminal of sorts, she is an excellent example.

Date: 2010-07-25 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, if it weren't for Tamora, we wouldn't have the ABSOLUTE BEST LINES OF SHAKESPEARE EVER:

DEMETRIUS Villain, what hast thou done?
AARON That which thou canst not undo.
CHIRON Thou hast undone our mother.
AARON Villain, I have done thy mother.

... ooh, and now I know what I'm posting for day 18! Huzzah! Thank you! :D

Date: 2010-07-26 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
HEE. I'd forgotten that bit, actually, so thanks for reminding me! Aaron is just so deliciously awful.

Date: 2010-07-26 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cheerful play, innit?

It sounds like the Elizabethan version of an action movie. Lots of people die in horrible ways, and almost everyone is deadly (because if they weren't, they wouldn't last five minutes), but hey, that's the genre. The only things lacking are fiery explosions and a bomb set to go off at a critical moment.

Date: 2010-07-26 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is precisely what it is. No surprise, I'm sure, that it's one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, from around the same time as the Henry VIs, which are similarly violent. He does love a good spectacle from time to time. ;)

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