Fickle Proteus

I will say this for ol’ Bill, his stories move fast. We go from a very simple setup in Act I to a fairly complicated plot in Act II. Valentine is revealed to be just as susceptible to love as the friend he derided at the start of the play. Proteus is proven to beContinue reading “Fickle Proteus”

Shrew tamed

The fourth act of The Taming of the Shrew was troubling for me. Katharina finds herself married to a pretty terrible guy who is using psychological and physical torture to break her of her independent will. I may be viewing this play from modern eyes, making it difficult to see the humor in Petruchio’s abusiveContinue reading “Shrew tamed”

Is Katharina the worst?

The first act proper of The Taming of the Shrew is nearly as complicated as the last comedy I read, only this time it’s not quite so exasperating. I like that some of the characters are a little likeable this time around, giving us a point of focus in this rather complex plot. The titularContinue reading “Is Katharina the worst?”

So, what’s an Induction?

When sitting down to read The Taming of the Shrew, I assumed it would follow the same five act structure as all the other plays thus far. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the play and instead there was an Induction before the first act. In fact, in the Dramatis Personae, there is aContinue reading “So, what’s an Induction?”

As bad as it gets

I can’t say I’m surprised at the dark ending Titus Andronicus treated me to, but that didn’t make it any less disturbing. Here at the end, we have a very poor attempt at subterfuge, the most unrepentant villain I have ever seen, and murders heaped upon murders. The act starts with Lucius hanging out withContinue reading “As bad as it gets”

The Goths are coming!

The Andronici begin to get back on their feet here in Act IV. I’m all for death and misery in a tragedy, but I was starting to wonder what else could go wrong for Titus without actually killing him. Turns out the destruction of his family and the betrayal of the country he has servedContinue reading “The Goths are coming!”

Surely this is rock bottom

Titus Andronicus continues to decline through the third act. More hands come off and now we add some heads to boot. The Andronici find themselves in deepest mourning and yet, I have the feeling that things can still get worse. Act III is only two scenes and the first one is a doozy. The youngContinue reading “Surely this is rock bottom”

A dark turn

To be fair, I never expected a Shakespearean tragedy to be a barrel of laughs, but Act II of Titus Andronicus went places I was not expecting. I was not overly surprised that there was rape and murder, but I was thrown by the cruelty displayed by some of the characters and even though justContinue reading “A dark turn”

Two weddings and two funerals

Titus Andronicus starts off with a bang and gives us life, death, politics, and betrayal all in one big scene before the Capitol in Rome. The play opens with Saturninus and Bassianus, sons to the recently deceased emperor, arguing over who gets the throne now. Marcus Andronicus, brother to the titular Andronicus, says to waitContinue reading “Two weddings and two funerals”

I read The Comedy of Errors (so you wouldn’t have to)

Wow. I don’t know what to say beyond what’s already been said. The Comedy of Errors was an absolute mess. From the flat characters to the ridiculous setup then right down to all’s well that end’s well final act, I felt nothing so much as confused and irritated. When I began this project, I knewContinue reading “I read The Comedy of Errors (so you wouldn’t have to)”