So, as of 10 May 2015, I could proudly say that I read all of William Shakespeare’s plays. It’s pretty intense, the bulk of his works having been read in the last two years starting with the reading challenge I hosted in 2014 and wrapping up this year with the rest of his plays. You can read all of my reviews in the author tag. I just wanted to reflect a little bit on reading all of his plays, note my favourites from the batch (because there were so I loved, some I liked, and some I didn’t like (and some perhaps I need to re-read at some point)) 🙂
- Twelfth Night (review) — Always and forever, my number one favourite comedy from Shakespeare. Twins lost at sea, mistaken identities, love triangles and squares, yellow stockings…What’s not to love? 😀
- Much Ado About Nothing (review) — It took a second read for me to really enjoy the play (in my first read, I found the main storyline with Claudio and Hero extremely problematic and not terribly satisfying), but it’s really all because of Beatrice and Benedick 😀
- As You Like It (review) — Such a sweet, lovely play. A little weird at times with things being decided upon out of th blue but whatever, it works. Rosalind and Orlando are so cute too xP
- The Merchant of Venice (review) — I have a soft spot for this play because it was the first play I studied in school. It’s still an interesting play to read, and Shylock’s storyline continues to compel me more so than the main storyline with Bassiano, Portia, et al.
- Hamlet (review) — I always liked this play but it took a re-read earlier this year to truly appreciate the finer aspects of this play and the themes and elements that were running through Hamlet over the course of the play. It’s dark and introspective and just fascinating.
- Titus Andronicus (review) — Definitely one of those plays that prompted a more physical response as I was reading it (“Should I be weeping or screaming right about now?”), I couldn’t quite tear away from it even when it went bad to worse D= It had some great lines, not to mention an interesting take on, err, revenge
- Othello (review) — Another one of those plays that left me all flailing and reacting a bt more out loud (“OMG, Othello, don’t trust him!”), it was quite the page turner.
- Macbeth (review) — In retrospect, I do wish this play was a bit longer, but it’s pretty intriguing and tragic and thought-provoking all the same.
- Richard II (review) — It took a second read for me to love and really appreciate this play, both story-wise, characterisation-wise, and structurally as a play. It’s just so finely written, and there’s so much going thematically and these characters…
- Richard III (review) — Fell in love with this play the first time I read it. Richard III is such a bastard in this play and yet it’s quite a page-turner, it’s compelling, you’re left wondering how things will ultimately turn out for him (hint: not so well).
- Julius Caesar (review) — Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Lend me your ear…I enjoyed reading this play, but Mark Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral bumped it up to a favourite 😛
The Honourable Mentions
Because they stayed with me even though I may not have loved them completely (so that means I liked it…right?)…
- All’s Well That Ends Well (review) — Everything problematic about this play stems from Bertram, but I can’t help but like the play anyhow.
- Measure For Measure (review) — Again, problematic with the two leads here and Angelo’s actions later in the play are like WTF, NO!, but it’s a very interesting play with some contrasts and mirror issues similar to Richard II (at least in my mind 😛 ).
- The Tempest (review) — For the sheer amount of quotables in this play, yeah, it gets an honourable mention 😉
And those are my favourites! I suppose I’ll be moving along to Shakespeare’s other contemporaries now that I finished his works and Christopher Marlowe’s (see tag) and maybe a few of the more modern playwrights (been meaning to re-visit Arthur Miller). What do you think of the list? Which plays by Shakespeare are your favourites? That you want to read? Favourite playwrights/plays in general?