Shakespeare reviews Structured.

Is it enjoyable ? Surely if the characters are happy ie it turns out good everyone gets married it feels good, if all the characters die you enjoy the play less so Lear King Richard III are depressing.
Title Taming of the Shrew King Lear Titus Andronicus Henry V Macbeth The Tempest Midsummer Nights Dream As You Like It
Version Film by Zefferelli
- also musical Kiss me Kate
Film in Russian modern US director's film
Julie Taymor
- Laurence Oliviers film - Throne of Blood - Japanese version - Urmqui - KL National Teatre - 1935 Hollywood - Kenneth Branagh's
Rating It's quite a watchable
The musical is Hollywood tat
confusing, not enjoyable A Dark, violent & difficult play 1944 huge budget and special effects. The old films are so much better than the old Nowhere near as good as other Macbeth productions. OK set in Bali, but kept to text was worth watching from a cultural historical perspective on film making like a recipe where you start with great ingredients and end up with a mediocre results
comments light, easy to understand film. Richard Burton plays the P part quite well as a boistrous drunk who thinks intelligently. Elizabeth Taylor seems expert at pulling facial expressions. They kept mostly to the original text.

musical - Like modern American films it's filled with action, but the story doesn't fit together. Filled with sexuality legs shown to the thigh, men wearing tights with socks stuffed inside. The Cole Porter songs are not classics the lyrics are awkward. Maybe he didn't have to finish them.

not as good as the text, the play is confusing, but this film was even more so. Like when the characters are in disguise it's not clear who they are & some intricacies of the plot are lost Like a modern Hollywood film it was full of special effects and symbolism, but the story doesn't make sense. Did Shakespeare really write it that way ? It wasn't the normal amazing Shakespeare experience. A lot of violence & nosense of refinement. The film begins in very Shakespeare way as it's in the Globe theatre they are showing the play then it metamorphises to be on location. It doesn't stick to the original text as it was filmed in 1944 to encourage the war effort Some people raved about this film, good job of transferring to a Japanese setting Paul tried to argue that it was OK that Kagosawa doesn't use the original text, cos he creates the image with the camera, but I disagree it loses so much. No talk of none born ofwoman" , nor the gatekeepers comedy scene. Instead we get Minimalistic lacking depth of other Macbeth prods cos so many parts missing. theatre is better than film

- Film - 1935 Midsummer Nights Dream - OK it failed to bring out the full depth and magic of Shakespeare, nor was it that entertaining, but it was worth watching from a cultural historical perspective on film making.

- It must of been mega- production in it's time a huge huge performance, many ways technically brilliant from the titles to special effects and clever camerawork.

- set it in medieval Japan.
- Some bad acting. One ploy Shakespeare uses is the princess disguised as a youth meets her lover and since he doesn't recognize her, she uses this to question him and persuades him to test his wooing on her (the youth), but in this movie the disguise is so crap it's implausible to believe that he doesn't recognize her.

- As usual going for Hollywood type things like adding a mission impossible beginning squeezes out the magic of the Shakespeare dialogue.
- the BBC animated tales, is a much better version

to get along in life, you have to go along with people even when you disagree with them. You can win by flattery more than aggressiveness

I am not sure I agree with this as it means being lying and manipulative.

don't trust flattery
but don't be too abrasive Don't be arrogant (lear)
- don't be nasty it will come back at you
- don’t stick by poor leaders
it seems to be all about Tamoras revenge
- Of you are related to the current King Shakes will write a kind play - don't be tempted into do a bad thing, you'll dig yourself deeper & deeper bide you time, ready & study and you can win the end - True love for some, others stick with what you can get,
the God's/fairies can make mistakes

"The course of true love never did run smooth"

love is good, good conquers evil, all works out well, love at first sight is strong, some have to compromise.
What did you learn
Synopsis pretending to be someone else, Funny, he gives her own medicine, she learns to comply
happy happy
good but naive people, evil cunning people, good wins,
but almost everyone dies
Good but naive people, evil cunning people, good wins,
but almost everyone dies
Henry wins the battle and marries the French princess, good wins, a; lot of people die anyway Good people become evil , good wins,
but almost everyone dies
evil people have the advantage, but Prospero uses time & skill good wins,
no one dies

Is Prospero really Shakespeare ? He has read books and aquired skill, therefore he is able to conjure up strange worlds and control them.

-Justice Prevails

- happy ending

- multiple marriages

-Justice Prevails

- happy ending

- multiple marriages

Everyone ends up happy except the character I most indentify with Jaques the traveller ends up with no love, but abandons the party to be a miserable hermit. Unless this is also Shakespeare aswell.

Sun- Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight (Henry IV & Merry Wives of Windsor)

- The reviews said it is fantastic, but I didn't like it.
- interesting character, interesting moviemaking, but failing to bring out the magic dialogue of Shakespeare. And rather clumsy.

- The part at the end Henry's change of character to become more austere like his father could have been better done; it seemed rushed.

- Synopsis Falstaff is a fat, jolly, drunken rogue, leading a gang of men. Among his men is the King's son Hal.
- Falstaff is a chancer continually fibbing to get advantage in money or ego.

- the Robbers robbing robbers episode. The robbers hang out at a jolly tavern/bordello the madam is always chasing Falstaff for his bills, though she likes him really; so eventually to get money Falstaff decides that they'll go to the forest and rob pilgrims as they pass through. As soon as Falstaff's men stage the robbery Hal and his pal in disguise ride up wave their swords and collect the loot as Falstaffs incompetent group flee in terror. Back at the tavern Falstaff boastfully tells Hal how he fought off 7,9 , 13 men etc.

- the war episode - Welsh rebels have kidnapped a noble and his brother N petitions the King for help. The austere king Henry IV refuses to pay the ransom - unwise since now none of the other nobles trust him to help if they have trouble. Seems the reason why Henry won't pay the ransom is it convenient to have the kidnapped guy out of the picture cos he has a stronger claim to the crown than Henry. Eventually the brother and other nobles raise a big enough force likely to beat the king.
- When the King's men come to the tavern to look for Hal, Falstaff helps him hide, but later Hal realises his father really needs him this time so goes back to the castle to help his father.

- the recruitment episode - F escapes arrest by arranging his gang of men to fight on the kings side. So he walks straight past the Sheriffs. At the JP's house F enjoys hospitality & requests men and then immediately takes bribes off the men so they can avoid going to war.

- the breaking the rope episode - being craned onto his horse F is so heavy the rope breaks and he falls to the ground. Conveniently he is left walkng at the back of the men so hides in the bushes.

- Hal and N battle, Hal just wins and acknowledges N to be gallant and his cause just.
- F then emerges and drags N's body to the king to claim credit for killing him. Off the fame of this he goes off to claim more hospitality off the JP running up debts of ?000.

- Henry - seems to have lots of people hung.

- the crown episode - Thinking his father dead Hal grabs the crown from the pillow. When the king wakes he angrily calls someone has stolen the crown, and Hal walks in wearing it, this stress actually causes the king to die.

- the transformation of Hal episode. When Hal actually does become king F turns up drunk at the coronation creating a disturbance Hal now suddenly turned austere like his father banishes F. Next thing we know F has died broken hearted.... we are supposed to be sad .. but I wasn't.

Brando in Julius Caesar @KLPAC

- with Rana from Iran to see Julius Caesar. Good to see they used the original text, though I did fall asleep at one point

- Famous for Brando actually acting properly.

- I would suspect that Sh is just using it as a vehicle to talk about more contemporary events .. I note Mark Antony's many mentions of the other side as honorable men .. the MPs are always referred to as "honorable"

- synopsis
1. C is being honured for winning a battle.. we learn later it was against the old leader of the country Pompey so actually the country has gained nothing by this.
2. Cas & Brutus the senators point out the folly to the proletariat
3. C has already offended the Senators and they feel he will turn into a terrible tyrant and this will be damage Rome so they hatch a plan to kill (get rid of him)
4. C refuses the crown 3 times, but is this just a technique to get more support ?
5. The soothsayer warns C, superstious C's wife tries to keep him from the senate he first agrees, but is then converted by a clever reinterpretation by Brutus
6. They all stab him
7. Cass explains to the crowd & gets a favourable reaction
8. Mark Antony Caesar's right hand man gives a clever speech at first seeming to support the senators, but then cleverly turning the crowd against them.
9. The senators flee and there is a purge against them.
10. There is to be a big battle , but before it Brutus sees Caesar's ghost predicting his own depth
11. Mark Antony defeats Cass and Brutus in battle, but surprisingly now understands what they did and has great sympathy. Rome is left peaceful, but severely weakened.

- Eternal Messages - Great tyrannic leaders will emerge and damage their own countries.
- If opposition to the tyrant is not united then the country could be worse off cos of the fighting afterward.
- Shakepeare's message could be " if you want to get rid of a tyrant include everyone in the plot otherwise it'll end up a mess". Is it a warning to politicians who think James I is like Caesar ?

- right hand man
- rendEr to Caesar what is Caesar's

Henry V : A Brief Synopsis

As indicated at the close of Henry IV, Part II, King Henry V is planning on entering into a war with France over some disputed lands and titles. He has instructed the Archbishop to be sure that his claims are valid. When the play opens, the Archbishop explains to his Bishop how he plans to convince the king to enter into a war with France, thus protecting the church's property, which might otherwise be placed in the hands of the state rather than left in the church's control.

After the king is convinced of the validity of his claims, an ambassador from France arrives with a rejection of the claims; he also delivers an insulting barrel of tennis balls from the French Dauphin, who still considers King Henry to be the silly and rowdy Prince Hal.

As they are on the verge of leaving for France, King Henry is tending to some business—releasing a prisoner for a minor offense—and then he turns to three of his trusted advisors and has them executed for conspiring with the French to assassinate him. Meanwhile, in the French court, no one seems to take Henry seriously. The entire court is contemptuous of his claims and of his abilities. They are so overconfident that they do not send help to the town of Harfleur, which Henry easily conquers. After this victory, Henry gives strict instructions that all the citizens are to be treated with mercy and that his soldiers are not to loot, rob, or insult the native population. However, a companion from Hal's youth, Bardolph, an inveterate thief, steals a small communion plate, and, as a result, he is executed.

In spite of the English victory, the French still do not express concern, even though the Princess Katharine is involved; if Henry is victorious, she will become Queen of England; as a result, she feels the necessity to learn the English language, and so she begins taking instructions in that language. Meanwhile, the reports that the English are sick and tattered allow the French to prepare for the battle with complete confidence, especially since they outnumber the English 60,000 to 12,000 troops.

Just before the crucial Battle of Agincourt, an emissary once again approaches King Henry with demands that he immediately surrender his person. His demands are rejected, and King Henry, in a patriotic speech, urges his troops to fight for "Harry, England, and St. George." By miraculous means, the English are victorious and the French are shamed into submission. At the end of the play, King Henry's demands are granted, and he is seen wooing and winning Princess Katharine as his future queen.


Opening with "O for a Muse of fire" the Chorus explains the chain of events leading up the Henry V's reign as king, as chronicled in Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Ely urge Henry V to lay claim to France (tracing the claim back to Edward III) and to fight for it if necessary. Canterbury even promises that the Church will help fund a war. An ambassador from the French Prince (the Dauphin) brings a case of tennis balls to mock Henry V who quickly vows to attack France. Nym, Pistol and Bardolph agree to go to France with Henry V to help fight. Falstaff, sick and depressed, cannot. On his way to France, Henry V discovers that Richard Earl of Cambridge, Henry Lord Scroop of Marsham, and Sir Thomas Grey, knight of Northumberland have been paid by the French to murder Henry V. Though they repent, Henry V has the three executed. Falstaff dies in bed and Pistol's wife Mistress Quickly says goodbye to Nym, Pistol, Bardolph and Falstaff's boy as they leave for battle. The Dauphin tells the English ambassador the Duke of Exeter (Henry V's uncle, Thomas Beaufort) that he wishes to battle with Henry V, though the King of France (Charles VI) is considering appeasement. Henry attacks the French city of Harfleur and wins. During the battle the boy, disgusted by their cowardly and criminal behaviour, leaves Bardolph, Pistol and Nym. The French nobles convince the King of France to fight Henry V, but the king won't let his son (the Dauphin) fight even though his son wants to.

Bardolph steals money from a church and Pistol reports the crime, whereby Bardolph and Nym are executed. The French ambassador Montjoy brings threats from the King of France to Henry V to which Henry vows to continue to fight. On the eve of the battle the French nobles are very eager to fight and stay up all night, arming at 02:00; the Dauphin arms at midnight. Henry V goes around his cap, disguised as a commoner, trying to raise his soldiers' spirits, though it is hard, since they are all tired and sickly, yet still brave. Before battle, Westmoreland wishes "we had more men" but Henry V quickly responds saying the fewer men, the more honour per person when the battle is won. In battle, Pistol captures a Frenchman for ransom, and the boy (Falstaff's servant) returns to the unguarded camp. The Earl of Suffolk and Edward the Duke of York (Henry V's cousin) both die in battle. The French, losing the battle, defy the Law of Arms and kill all of the boys in the English camp. In retaliation, Henry V has all of the French prisoners killed. The English win the Battle of Agincourt (on Saint Crispin/Crispian's Day) with minimal losses: 5 English nobles die plus "five-and-twenty" other English men compared to 10,000 dead Frenchmen. Pistol's wife Nell quickly dies and Pistol, in despair, vows to return to England to live the life of a thief.

Henry V meets with Katherine (King of France's daughter) while Exeter, the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester (Henry V's brothers), the Earl of Warwick, and Huntingdon iron out a peace settlement. The King of France agrees to the settlement, including Henry V's marriage to Katherine and Henry's control of France.
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