Sunday, May 24, 2009


I love the movie "Shakespeare in Love."

Not just because of Joseph Fiennes (although I think he is simply adorable) - not because of the recurring "I don't know - it's a mystery" line by Geoffrey Rush (who I think is hysterical).

Not even Gwyneth Paltrow (who is perfect) and Colin Firth (as the bad guy, for once).

I love that it makes Shakespeare comprehensible to the unwashed, illiterate American masses.

Wait a minute, that wasn't very nice, was it?

Shakespeare intimidates people. Especially high school students with old-lady English teachers who diagrammed irregular past participles sentences on the blackboard and made the class read Richard II instead of Romeo and Juliet.

And reading Shakespeare by yourself can be... well, it can be daunting. And even dull at times.

So movies like "In Love" and "Rosencrantz and Guildestein Are Dead" (another movie I adore - one of the same writers, also - Tom Stoppard - and a very, very young Gary Oldman), can sneak in with the dialogue and the action the wording, the phrasing, that on print scares the crap out of us.

And withOUT cheapening it - I'm thinking Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes here.

I was fortunate to be introduced to serious Shakespearean from (drum roll here) the drama coach at Kansas State University.

While I was pregnant.

Extremely pregnant.

The class was original in that we were looking at Shakespeare from the play director's point of view - how to set up the scene, how the actors delivered their lines, movement on stage....

It was a great deal of fun.

However, 85% of the class was in a panic that somehow, that in the middle of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, Scene II, I would go into labor and have the baby right there while we were all on stage.

Think that's why I got an "A" in the class?


Annette said...

I've never seen Shakespeare in love...I will have to check that one out. Love your blog!