Monday, June 8, 2009

Shakespeare and Teenagers

I love Shakespeare. A few months ago, a couple of my friends and I went to see Hamlet at the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta. It was amazing. If you've never seen Hamlet live you don't know what you're missing. Sure reading it is great - especially if you're studying it to know what everything means. Even watching the movie version is cool. However, there is something about seeing it live, about seeing a small stage that acts as every setting that is just indescribable. I am ashamed to say I've only seen two Shakespeare plays live: Hamlet as well as Antony and Cleopatra. Both were amazing.

When it comes to Shakespeare plays, I have a hard time picking my favorite tragedy. I would probably pick Othello, just because the end of Hamlet is so ridiculous. As serious as it is, when everyone on the stage dies its just a little laughable. Othello is so much more moving when Iago totally uses Othello's own insecurities against him. My favorite comedy is not so hard to pick. Hands down its Twelfth Night.

When Shakespeare in Love was on FX the other day I was reminded of my love of Twelfth Night. The movie ends with Shakespeare beginning to write Twelfth Night. It made me want to watch a the movie version of the play, which I do not own. My sister, fortunately, owns the next best thing: She's the Man.

For those of you who don't know, the Amanda Bynes' movie, She's the Man, is based off of Shakespeare's comedy, just like 10 Things I Hate About You is based off of The Taming of the Shrew. It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly the ridiculousness of a Shakespeare comedy fits in the world of teenagers.

If you've never seen either movie, you don't know what you're missing. I suggest you go out right now and buy them both, because they are both great. There are little differences, of course, but for the most part they are very close to the original. She's the Man is great simply because of the true comedy of the situation. It has the same comedic moments as the play. How can it not be ridiculous when a girl pretends to be a guy, that guy likes another girl, this other girl falls in love with the girl whose pretending be a guy, while the girl whose pretending to be a guy likes the guy?! Are you confused, because that's what makes the play and the movie fantastic.

I really have nothing else to say, other than take an afternoon and have a date with Shakespeare, whether its reading a play, watching the movie, watching it live, or watching Shakespeare set in a high school.

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