So, recently, I’ve read classics and I don’t think that they warrant a full review where I analyze them in depth. When I read classics for myself, I don’t do that unless there’s really a theme or plot that stands out to me. I read them for entertainment, like any other book. I’m not the sort who always has to analyze fiction. I’ll do it when I feel called to, but other than that it’s all based on fun.
This means that I have three books that I’ve got to review and I decided to just have a bulk review of the classics I’ve got on my dock.
First up is Hamlet!
I seriously have a love-hate relationship with this play. It was my first ever Shakespeare. I saw a cover of a young dude holding a skull, showed it to my mom, she said that I wouldn’t like it, so I bought it anyways. When I read it in eighth grade, I literally understood nothing of the play but it was still my first. Then, there was AP Lit where I had to analyze it. That was how I figured out that I hate analyzing Shakespearean plays. It sucks.
The plot in this is totally ridiculous. It’s so over the top and dramatic that, when it’s supposed to be hard-hitting, I found myself laughing. Hamlet is also hilarious where he’s supposed to be this moody, upset “youth”. (I put that in quotations since Hamlet isn’t that young. He’s probably 30.) He annoyed me. I found the villains far more compelling. Mainly Gertrude, really.
My final thoughts: Entertaining, but not exactly for the right reason.
Next is Shakespeare again. This shouldn’t be surprising, but oh well.
The first time I ever had a brush with this was through Dead Poets Society. It’s a major subplot of the movie and it’s super depressing. Whenever I think of this play, I think of that movie and how brilliant it is. (And one day I will get Chantel to watch it with me. Even though I always choose depressing movies.) Anyways, it got me interested.
This play is mainly a full out ridiculous, magical ride. There are faeries, love, transformations, mistaken identities, magic, potions, etc. It’s basically classic Shakespeare tossing in all of his plots and it must have been so much fun to write this. Puck is amazing. He’s alternately hilarious and absolutely terrifying.
Final thoughts: All for a live action movie of this with epic special effects.
This one, I had to read for analysis. My rough theme is that men’s honor rests on controlling women’s sexuality. Now, I won’t bore you further about my paper (especially since it’s not written yet and I haven’t even started weeding through my annotations). Even though I had to analyze it, it was still entertaining as hell.
Mainly, it’s hilarious from a 21st-century standpoint. I hurt my stomach from laughing over it. All the knights seem to have superpowers in the play. Arrow through the thigh? Give him a week and he’ll be defending the queen. Almost died in a fight? Give him a few hours and he’ll be just like new. Get some of your skull knocked off? Eh, he’ll walk off the field.
Another hilarious part is Arthur’s flat out denial of Lancelot and Guinevere’s affair. (For those not familiar with Arthurian legend, Guienevere is King Arthur’s wife. Lancelot is Arthur’s best knight who has an affair with Guienevere.) He had to be told, like 12 times, to believe it. Hell, he didn’t believe it even after he saw some art Lancelot made depicting the affair. I’m not joking. This is in the book. And don’t get me started on when Lancelot and Guienevere finally got caught. They locked a fucking wooden door and a bunch of knights, who have superpowers, could not knock it down. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life.
Final thoughts: A classic I implore you all to read, especially James Cable’s translation.