lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #26: Your favourite couple

Beatrice and Benedick have to be up here. She gives as good as she gets, and vice versa. And you really do get the impression that they actually enjoy one another's company and that the love that apparently comes out of nowhere probably does have some sort of foundation.

On the tragic side, I have to go with Humphrey of Gloucester and Eleanor Cobham. Because, really, you can tell this is a couple who love one another. I sort of think of them as a much older Hotspur and Kate Percy, where they squabble and snipe regularly but really do love one another. And it may be that I am reading too much into the text but it seems to me that Eleanor's fall from grace just breaks Humphrey. He protests when the King demands that he step down as protector, but there's no force behind it. And that is probably because he lost the only person he could truly trust.

Day #27: Your favourite couplet

I am just going to go with the first line that comes to mind:

Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
--3 Henry VI, Act III, Scene II

You wouldn't think the word 'Tut' could make or break the end of a scene, but in this case, it TOTALLY does. It embodies so many different significations -- Richard's pride, his ambition, his utterly shameless confidence in his ability to deceive. And it's this brilliantly executed conspiracy between him and the audience -- we want to see if he can do it, how far he can go. So much, to rest on one little word.

Ron Cook in the BBC 3 Henry VI (1983) - He is charming and utterly adorable. And he nails this couplet.
Andrew Jarvis in the ESC Henry VI, 'House of York' (1990) (speech starts around 3:25; also featuring Ann Penfold as a wonderfully clever and snarky Elizabeth)

I'm out of town this weekend to go to my cousin's wedding in New York, so I will hopefully finish off the meme next week.

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Well, as [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 reminded me, this is 30 Days of Shakespeare, not necessarily 30 Consecutive Days of Shakespeare. So, back to it.

It's really hard to define 'dialogue', as I discovered while trying to come up with answers for this day. Is it literally a piece of dialogue -- two lines, maybe three or four in total? Or can it encompass most of what we would think of as a scene even if it's not listed as such in the text?

Day #18: Your favourite dialogue - Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet

Much as I adore the stichomythic exchanges peppered throughout the First Tetralogy (including [livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain's answer, which is one of my absolute favourites), I expect everyone is thoroughly sick of hearing about those plays, so a bit of variety wouldn't go amiss. Three selections here, in no particular order.

Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV, Scene I, the final section.

[livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain has pinpointed everything I love about this scene, so I will just refer you all to her entry, which is wonderful and detailed and says everything I would have wanted to say only better :)

I love how many unexpected turns this particular dialogue takes -- Beatrice is grieving, she's furious, she's moved by Benedick's declaration but so very -- rightfully -- angry when he refuses to back it up with action. Much like Juliet, she has no interest in pretty words. The man she loves will rise to the occasion and defend a wronged woman even against his closest friends. But what makes me happiest is that Benedick does it.

Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene IV

This exchange between Mercutio and Romeo, when played properly, is hysterically funny because they are both such utter dorks who love puns and bad sex jokes. Also, unexpectedly poignant, I think, but that is because I, like any sensible person, believe Mercutio fancies Romeo, and that Romeo is either completely oblivious or aware of it but unsure of what to do, especially now that Juliet has entered the picture.

Also, it is far more fun when Mercutio actually tries to bite Romeo on 'I will bite thee by the ear for that jest', which he did in the production I directed.

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

I love the exchange here between Hamlet and Polonius at least in part because of the RSC production that had me nearly falling out of my seat from laughter. It's also one of the few instances where I like the Q1 placement; having this exchange right after 'To be or not to be' and Hamlet's rejection of Ophelia (which Polonius has already seen) makes the entire thing both completely laughable and far, far creepier. Also, Hamlet is kind of a jerk, but we knew that already.

I can think of half a dozen other bits of dialogue that I love probably as much as these, but I will stop now. :)

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #12: Your favourite scene

Damn you, meme, how dare you make me choose? I will arbitrarily narrow it down to...five. Okay, five. In no particular order.

In which we find a representative sampling )

ETA: So, [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 had the brilliant idea of posting bits from various productions that are up on YouTube. I am attempting to edit this post accordingly, so watch this space if you're interested!

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #8: Your favourite comedy - Much Ado About Nothing

Twelfth Night is one of my favourite memories from undergrad -- it was my first big role and the cast had this really amazing rapport that lasted long after the production ended. Possibly I only feel this way because I was seventeen years old and life had been extremely boring before that point. ;)

That being said, my favourite Shakespearean comedy probably has to be Much Ado About Nothing. I could honestly watch Benedick and Beatrice forever. The year after Twelfth Night, I played Don Pedro in a gender-blind production and I must admit it still stings a bit that I never managed to play Beatrice. I don't know if I'd be any good, but she's just such a wonderful role and such a gift to an actress. And she and Benedick are such an easy couple to root for.

But the play has its darker aspects too, and that is part of what I love about it. The entire Hero-Claudio-Don John plotline reads like a test scenario for Iago's machinations in Othello, only in this case, the coincidences align just enough that things don't end in blood. One of the things I loved about the National Theatre's production that I saw in early 2008 was that they included this lovely, wordless moment between Hero and Leonato as Claudio is praying over her supposed grave where she watches him and, at the very end, gives this little nod to her father. Even if it's hard to necessarily believe in any great depth of affection between Hero and Claudio, considering they've known one another for a few days at most, there was something reassuring in that. (Of course, the absolutely best thing about that production was the chemistry between Simon Russell Beale as Benedick and Zoë Wanamaker as Beatrice, who were both just amazing.)

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #4: Your favourite heroine

Again, more than one. Because this is me.

Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. I love how she is simultaneously mature and immature, I love how she doesn't take Romeo's bullshit in the balcony scene, and this is one of the most gorgeous speeches of all time. I love Mercutio's raw wit and Benvolio's sweetness and how Friar Laurence is an adorable failbot, but Juliet is, to me, the play's heart and emotional core. And it's her lines on waking up to find Romeo dead that made me cry buckets the first time I encountered this play.

Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. How can you not love Beatrice? She's clever, witty, independent, and fiercely loyal. The scene between her and Benedick after Hero's failed wedding gets me every single time. I would eat his heart in the market-place. There is nothing about Beatrice that doesn't just make me happy.

Full List of Questions )

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