Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book Week Four - The Drama of it all!


Oh...The Drama of it all!


When you think of drama, do you think it is "Much Ado About Nothing" or perhaps "The Comedy of Errors."  Does Drama create "the Tempest" or a long "Winter's Tale?"    Are you thinking "The Taming of the Shrew" or "Love's Labour's Lost" while the drama continues without fail.   Or perhaps you meet the drama "Measure for Measure" or wait it out and when the drama is over "All's Well that Ends Well"  In your mind Is all the drama a tragedy or a comedy.  



All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. 

From As You Like It by William Shakespeare
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word drama?  A woman swooning, sword play, a tragedy, masks, soliloquies,  a comedy, descending into the depths or flying to the heights, court rooms, death or life.    Do you think of Shakespeare of Aristophanes; Jean Paul Sartre or Tennessee Williams?

We have a book - The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works.    I bought it years ago for my husband's mother who was English and as a teenager acted in plays.  She knew all of Shakespeare's work by heart.   We inherited the book when she passed away.   Even now, I can mention a play and hubby will be able to give me a line or two from the play.  




It's huge and cumbersome, but easy to read and the illustrations are beautiful






We introduced our son to Shakespeare this year with the children's book The Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema. The book wet his appetite for more, so we will be picking out stories from The Globe.  And if it is too difficult for us to follow, we will back it up with Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare which fortunately we can read online thanks to The Baldwin Project.  There is a wonderful post "What is so Great about Shakespeare" by Lindafay of Higher Up and Further In about why we should read Shakespeare not only for ourselves but to our children and how to make it child friendly.  Plus she has a list of Shakespeare movies that are family friendly.  

Sink your teeth into a Drama this year.  You just may discover "All's Well That Ends Well."


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3 comments:

  1. If you'd like to learn a bit more about Isaac Newton, but don't want to have to worry about a bunch of math and physics, check out James Gleick's biography titled, appropriately enough, "Isaac Newton". This short book will give you an idea of the times in which Newton lived and the scope and import of his work.

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  2. You know, I've made it a goal in past years to finish reading the Shakespeare plays that I never got to while in school, yet I've never actually done it. Maybe this year I'll have to read - if not all of the rest of them - one or two more.

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  3. Oops! Finished my book on time, wrote my blog post, but forgot to link it here. Then I accidently posted it with last weeks title. Sorry about that. Robin, can you kill link 35, which says Hemingway when it really points to Emerson? Thanks!

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