Othello

It’s almost odd how I dislike Othello.  It almost has so many of my favorite things: Cyprus (there are some rattling tales to be told about those wars), battles, and galleons (at least I think they were, though they aren’t shown).

As it does fall out, it has a tantalizing background whilst a psycho-drama plays out in the foreground.  Then, too, there is rather more of coarse language in this play; drinking too, and a rather memorable drunk.  I somehow feel that this won’t go over well with many people; and after all, everyone knows, these days, that Falstaff is the funniest and most memorable toper that the Bard ever created.

Therefore, if you were only going to pick one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, I wouldn’t recommend this one; even Laurence Olivier’s version is dreadful.

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The Actors Are Come Hither

This second essay, or dollop of prattle (as you like it!) about Shakespeare is about …

Hamlet

Hamlet is my favorite of the tragedies.  Oh, I can scarcely explain why I enjoy it so— whether it’s because the speeches stick in my head so that I can spout poetry at the drop of a hat, or because parts of it make me laugh, or because Hamlet is so really, truly, utterly, entirely real…

And you’ve simply no idea how many of our everyday sayings come out of Hamlet. “The play’s the  thing”  “More honored in the breach than the observance”  “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” are but the barest sampling; you’d be quite surprised how many more gems are contained therein.

Also, somehow, Hamlet seems more satisfying than the other tragedies.  I cannot tell why; perhaps because I can more easily sympathize with Hamlet and comprehend his reasoning more than I can, say, with Othello, or King Lear.  (Certainly more than with Iago!)  Or perhaps it’s a trick of the atmosphere- perhaps I prefer the dark, mouldering castle to the bright, sunlit street where Mercutio sinks dying into the dust.  Less paradoxical, you see.

Enjoy!

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Mastering the Master; or, Five Weeks in a Wooden O

The newest series on Literary Profferings shall consist of discussions of or essays on each of Shakespeare’s plays; that is, those in the accepted canon (First Folio plays &c).  The order of these shall be tragical, comical, historical, pastoral … I mean tragedies, comedies, and then histories.

MACBETH

A drum! A drum! Macbeth doth come!

The paradox inherent in the situation, as the prophecies of Macbeth’s own actions drawing him on to perform these actions, begs one to find the intended catalyst of the play.  That is to say, did the Bard intend to imply that fate drives us?  I instantly discard this theory (please disregard my pedantic voice here), as you can see Macbeth see-sawing back and forth as he makes his (bad) decisions.

Dusty determinism debates aside, Macbeth is really a frightening play.  The three weird sisters, the murders piling up; I have found that even Titus Andronicus is less overpowering.

The ambiguous ending, where Fleance doesn’t become king (nor is this anywhere explained) is quite irritating, though if you look it up (I tried Wikipedia), you see that it was a reference to King James’ bloodlines; hence the “king” bit.

It’s certainly well worth the watching, of course, and what I recommend is having a look on Amazon’s website to see which DVD version looks best to you; or asking the librarian for help.  Then I would try getting the version of your choice through inter-library loan if your library doesn’t have it— and if you like it, then buy it.  Cheaper that way…

And, if you want to read it, there was no free Kindle version last time I looked; however, used-book bookstores should have a cheap copy if you don’t mind wear and tear.

Enjoy!

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Basic Economics

To tangle anyone’s brain up is an unworthy thing; and economics do tangle one up dreadfully (just look at those Soviet economists).  To conclude these long sentences, Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics is an excellent resource.  I’m not over-fond of economics myself, but I have read (and will read) all of Sowell’s books that come to hand.

Basic Economics discusses, among other things (I here quote the table of contents), “Prices and Markets, Industry and Commerce, Work and Pay”.  It also briefly touches governmental health care, food, and electricity (again, among many other things).

Enjoy!

 

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Wuthering Heights

Today’s suggestion is Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë.

It is rather a slow read.  But, like so many good books, its content wholly makes up for that.  Flawed it is, too, and some sentences made no sense to me; and some words meant to reflect a local dialect were absolutely undecipherable.  A good tale, though, and an excellent book.

This is free on the Kindle, and my library keeps throwing out battered copies (worth asking about at yours), and used-book bookstores will probably have it at a good price too.

Oh, and there is a black-and-white movie edition with Laurence Olivier in it; I haven’t seen it, but I intend to, and review it afterwards.

Enjoy!

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