Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge 01

BookThe Tragedy of Hamlet:  Prince of Denmark.
 
Author: William Shakespeare

Info: Copyright 1958:  New York:  Simon and Schuster

Where acquired: Audio library checkout.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #

What it's about:  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, sinks into a tragic depression and desperate actions as he plots to avenge his father's murder.

Favorite Quotes

"O, there has been much throwing about of brains."

"Frailty, thy name is woman!"

"Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here
stands the man; good; if the man go to this water,
and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, he
goes,--mark you that; but if the water come to him
and drown him, he drowns not himself: argal, he
that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life."

This passage:

HAMLET : How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?

First Clown : I' faith, if he be not rotten before he die--as we
have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce
hold the laying in--he will last you some eight year
or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.

HAMLET: Why he more than another?

First Clown:  Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that
he will keep out water a great while; and your water
is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.

What I Liked:
  • The narrator did not simply "read" the play; he spoke with proper emphasis and diversity of characters.  His English accent also helped.
  • Like The Tragedy of MacBeth, this play included a section of comic relief; the clowns in the graveyard.  Yes, it's a tragedy, but all tragedy needs some comedy to keep it from being completely droll.
What I didn’t like: 
  • A few sections were hard to follow.  For example, I didn't get the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (which sounds like a law firm)Why were they killed? How?
  • What happened to Bernardo and Francisco (whose names kept changing in the play from what I could tell)?  They seemed to simply vanish.
To sum up:  For several years, I wanted to get back to reading Shakespeare (I'd read a couple of his plays in high school).  The opportunity arose when a professor friend of mine invited me to his lecture on Hamlet.  I thought, "well, I'd better read it so I'll know what's going on."  I enjoyed the read and look forward to more chances to read from Shakespeare, and hopefully, to see a play in action.

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