atypicalreview

Shakespeare

If there’s a book equivalent of DVDs, it’s these awesome Shakespeare books. And I don’t mean those lame, large-format blue ones we had at school. I’m talking the ‘Arden Shakespeare’ series. My copy of King Lear has 22 illustrations, a 151 page introduction, at least half a page of explanatory footnotes per page, marks showing where a piece of script was only present in the Folio or Quarto editions, two appendices, and an index.

Absolutely PACKED with extras, basically. The play’s not bad so far, either, although it’s pretty damn long. I reckon I could read the whole of Macbeth in the time it took me to read the first act. I was always put off by the stupid-seeming beginning, where Lear splits his kingdom into three to give to his sisters. But things have only improved since then.

In this age of remakes, I’m surprised that Romeo + Juliet was the only modernised version of a Shakespeare play done recently. By which I mean, keeping the language intact. Not that I scoff on 10 Things I Hate About You, but I quite like listening to the old-fashioned dialogue in a modern context. Damn, Romeo + Juliet was cool.