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text 2017-09-17 14:19
Reading progress update: I've read 1187 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

The Folio edition of Lear represents the results of adaptation from the Quarto version, in response to performance, according to the editors, and is printed separately and in full. Overall it is shorter and the cuts had the effect of making Lear's descent into madness less convincing to me.

 

Cymbeline, next. Beginning to feel finishing line fever but there's still three whole plays to go!

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text 2017-09-16 12:47
Reading progress update: I've read 1180 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

Oh noes! Cordelia and Lear have been captured!

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text 2017-09-15 12:29
Reading progress update: I've read 1179 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

In Act 4 everything gets very complicated, very fast, with betrayals, deaths and changes of heart. We also see a brief return to the kind of sadistic cruelty not seen in a Shakespeare play since Titus Andronicus.

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review 2017-09-12 11:37
Literature as a Strengthener of Character: "The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare" by Emma Smith
The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare (Cambridge Introductions to Literature) by Dr Emma Smith (2007-04-09) - Dr Emma Smith

Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus!

 

The thing about drama is that everybody has to put effort in to learn their part, then they have to work together to make the play happen. Putting on a successful performance is very hard work but the buzz children get from the performance is huge and they learn that hard work is worthwhile. The play won't work without Titania, Bottom or Puck or all the more minor parts or the person who does the lighting, the scenery, the costumes. They compete for parts but work collaboratively to achieve a result and are proud of what they achieve. What better life lessons could children learn? There is bound to be a positive knock-on effect on other subjects.  Any good play, or musical, will do this but Shakespeare has huge scope and, generally, a large cast. This is a wonderful initiative. We owe it to our pupils to open up to their imaginations a world beyond our own shores and time. The 'Metamorphoses' speak to us about the fluidity of identity and have so much to offer to teenagers confronting this issue in their own lives. They can be read with Jeffrey Eugenides' 'Middlesex' as effectively as with Shakespeare. Emma Smith is right to point to the importance of the Philomela story for 'Titus Andronicus', but the many rape narratives in the 'Metamorphoses' present serious ethical challenges in the classroom. In teaching teenagers (and not only) respect for others, you are teaching them respect for themselves. That's the main point of school and home; in their rapidly-changing world (i.e. their intellect, their bodies) these are mainstays. These are what enable them to contextualise the attacks of commerce on their minds. And anybody who thinks that good literature and art aren't great strengtheners of character is missing the point; of course, they are, because they improve human intelligence.

 

 

If you're into Shakespeare, read on.

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text 2017-09-09 09:53
Reading progress update: I've read 1172 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

Lear waxes rhetorically forceful as he rages against the storm. Act 3 sees the first really significant changes from the History to the Tragedy (Quarto to Folio text).

 

A mad King, a fool, an exile, a wronged child and his father enter a hovel...sounds like the set up for a bad joke - and indeed it turns into a Tragedy.

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