henry iv part 1 and part 2

Practical Shakespeare Quotes

Do you want to quote more Shakespeare in your life but never find opportunities to say “brevity is the soul of wit”? Do you rarely hang below balconies exchanging love vows with the daughter of your enemy? This is just the list for you.

“What an ass am I!”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

“I am not a slut,”
As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 3
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,”
The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2

“Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways,”
Henry IV Part 2, Act 4, Scene 5

“This is the excellent foppery of the world,”

King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2

“Making the beast with two backs,”
Othello, Act 1, Scene 1

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool,”
As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 1

“To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee,”
Henry VI Part 3, Act 3, Scene 2
(Works great for courting hot widows.)

“I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me,”
Much Ado About Nothing, Act 1, Scene 1

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me,”
Richard II, Act 5, Scene 5

“Marry, sir, in her buttocks.”
A Comedy of Errors, Act 2, Scene 5
(No judgement here.)

“My horse is my mistress,”
Henry V, Act 3, Scene 7
(Uh, there might be something wrong with that.)

“Thou dost infect my eyes,”
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 2

“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit,”
Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5
(“Wit” is Shakespearean slang for penis.)

“[Wine] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance,”
Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3

“I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmill, far, than feed on cates and have him talk to me in any summer-house in Christendom,”
Henry IV Part 2, Act 4 Scene 1

“Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”
King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2

“Villain, I have done thy mother!”
Titus Andronicus, Act 4, Scene 2
(This means exactly what you think it does.)

“And thou unfit for any place but hell,”
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 2

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,”
Henry VI Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2

“Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.”
Othello, Act 4, Scene 2

“Out, dunghill!”
King John, Act 4, Scene 3

“This is too long.”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

MBTI as Shakespeare Insults

(The ones they would use, anyway.)

ENTJ - “Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows” Troilus and Cressida (Act 2, Scene I)

INTJ - “If thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.”  Hamlet (Act 3, Scene I)

ESFP - “Thine face is not worth sunburning.” Henry V (Act 5, Scene II)

ISFP - “The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.”  The Comedy of Errors (Act 5, Scene IV)

ESTJ - “A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”  All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 3, Scene VI)

ISTJ - “Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon” Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene III)

ENTP - “If you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.” The Two Gentlemen of Verona - (Act 2, Scene IV)

INTP - “Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.” As You Like It (Act 2, Scene VII)

ESFJ - “I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands” Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene III)

ISFJ - “I scorn you, scurvy companion.” Henry IV Part II (Act 2, Scene IV)

ENFJ - “I must tell you friendly in your ear, sell when you can, you are not for all markets.” As You Like It (Act 3, Scene V)

INFJ - “Thou art unfit for any place but hell.” Richard III (Act 1, Scene II)

ESTP - “Villain, I have done thy mother” Titus Andronicus (Act 4,  Scene II)

ISTP - “More of your conversation would infect my brain.”  The Comedy of Errors (Act 2, Scene I)

ENFP - “You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene I)

INFP - “Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee”  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 2, Scene I)


David Tennant as Romeo in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet (2000) - Part 3

Excerpts from a Scotland on Sunday article on David at the RSC in 2000

“He is perfect casting, because of the intensity he brings to his work,“ Michael Boyd says.  While Tennant’s great friend and former landlady, the comic performer and author of Does My Bum Look Big in This?, Arabella Weir, says: "He’s astonishingly focused for his age and amazingly straightforward and honest. He’s trustworthy and he’s honourable.”

There is still something uncynical and unspoilt about him, though. He confesses that being with the RSC can be scary. “Not only because you are in the home of ‘world class classical theatre’ (as all the brochures tell you), but these big Shakespearean roles come with a lot of historical baggage attached. People tell you how romantic Ian McKellen was as Romeo, or how masculine Sean Bean was, or how marvellous Laurence Olivier was. You feel the weight of all those ghosts, those performances that have taken on a mystical resonance. And because it’s Shakespeare, you feel it’s hard to make it believable, because it is so beautiful.  With this play, everyone has so many ideas about it, that you almost want to play against the beauty. We did the balcony scene the other day and I was doing: 'But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!’ And I was going: 'How can I say that?’ It is beyond parody, but all you can do is be personal with it and make it your own, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I know that’s how Alex [who plays Juliet] feels about famous lines like, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow’.”   

The intensity of the rollercoaster he is on is overwhelming. Stratford is a grueling, sometimes stifling, hothouse. Rehearsal followed by show, followed by rehearsal, in one long punishing schedule. After one-and-a-half hours in the rehearsal room, there is just time for a snack  before voice warm-ups for the matinee of The Rivals. There, Tennant’s rapier-thin young blade gets involved in sword fights and various cunning derring-do disguises, then he is off again for lunch. And back on again, for The Comedy of Errors. A short show, but a physical one, as Tennant slides down those banisters, executes pratfalls and turns in a brilliantly funny double act with Ian Hughes, who plays his manservant, Dromio. He also does the neatly witty trick of lighting two post-coital cigarettes after seducing his long lost twin’s wife and then buries his head in Nina Conti’s cleavage.

Later Tennant is in his dressing-room, stripped to the waist, slapping Simple moisturizer onto his face, swigging pints of mineral water, and packing up his make-up box, an old-fashioned leather bowling case. As we leave, we trip up over a bloody but unbowed Hotspur, about to go on stage and die in Henry IV, Part 1. Falstaff is plumped in the corner and wishes us a courteous good night, while various make-up girls daub elderly knights. “It’s like this every night at this time,” says Tennant. “You can’t move for men in armour and there’s blood everywhere.”    

Photo credits include:  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, photostage.co.uk, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and more 

Other parts of this Romeo photoset [ Part 1 ]  [ Part 2 ]

The Rory Gilmore Reading Checklist

Reading List

  1. √ 1984 – George Orwell
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  3. √ Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
  5. An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
  6. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  7. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  8. √ Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  9. Archidamian War – Donald Kagen
  10. The Art of Fiction  - Henry James
  11. The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  12. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  13. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  14. Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy
  15. √ Babe – Dick King-Smith
  16. Backlash – Susan Faludi
  17. Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie
  18. √ The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  19. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  20. Beowulf – Seamus Heaney
  21. The Bhagava Gita
  22. The Bielski Brothers – Peter Duffy
  23. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women – Elizabeth Wurtzel
  24. A Bolt From the Blue & other Essays – Mary McCarthy
  25. Brick Lane – Monica Ali
  26. Brigadoon – Alan Jay Lerner
  27. Candide – Voltaire
  28. The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer
  29. √ Carrie –Stephen King
  30. √ Catch – 22 – Joseph Heller
  31. √ The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  32. √ Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  33. The Children’s Hour – Lilian Hellman
  34. Christine – Stephen King
  35. √ A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  36. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  37. The Code of the Woosters – PG Wodehouse
  38. The Collected Short Stories – Eudora Welty
  39. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
  40. A Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
  41. Complete Novels – Dawn Powell
  42. The Complete Poems – Anne Sexton
  43. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  44. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  45. Cousin Bette – Honore de Balzac
  46. Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  47. The Crimson Petal & the White – Michael Faber
  48. √ The Crucible – Arthur Miller
  49. Cujo – Stephen King
  50. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – Mark Haddon
  51. Daughter of Fortune – Isabel Allende
  52. David and Lisa – Dr. Theodore Issac Rubin
  53. David Coperfield – Charles Dickens
  54. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  55. Deal Souls – Nikolai Gogol (Season 3, episode 3)
  56. Demons – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  57. √ Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
  58. √ Deenie – Judy Blume
  59. The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
  60. The Dirt – Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mark, & Nikki Sixx
  61. The Divine Comedy – Dante
  62. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
  63. √ Don Quijote – Cervantes
  64. Driving Miss Daisy – Alfred Uhrv
  65. DrJekyll & Mr. Hyde ­– Robert Louis Stevenson
  66. √ Complete Tales & Poems – Edgar Allan Poe
  67. Eleanor Roosevelt – Blanche Wiesen Cook
  68. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
  69. Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn
  70. √ Eloise – Kay Thompson
  71. Emily the Strange – Roger Reger
  72. Emma – Jane Austen
  73. Empire Falls – Richard Russo
  74. √ Encyclopedia Brown – Donald J. Sobol
  75. √ Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
  76. Ethics – Spinoza
  77. Eva Luna – Isabel Allende
  78. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathon Safran Foer
  79. Extravagance – Gary Kist
  80. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  81. Fahrenheit 911 – Michael Moore
  82. The Fall of the Athenian Empire – Donald Kagan
  83. Fat Land:How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World – Greg Critser
  84. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
  85. √ The Fellowship of the Ring – J R R Tolkien
  86. √ Fiddler on the Roof – Joseph Stein
  87. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  88. Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce
  89. Fletch – Gregory McDonald
  90. Flowers of Algernon – Daniel Keyes
  91. √ Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  92. Franny and Zooey – JD Salinger
  93. The Fortress of Solitude – Jonathon Lethem
  94. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
  95. Freaky Friday – Mary Rodgers
  96. Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut
  97. Gender Trouble – Judith Baker
  98. George W. Bushism – Jacob Weisberg
  99. Gidget – Fredrick Kohner
  100. Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
  101. The Ghostic Gospels – Elaine Pagels
  102. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
  103. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  104. √ Goldilocks & the Three Bears – Alvin Granowsky
  105. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  106. The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
  107. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
  108. The Graduate – Charles Webb
  109. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  110. √ The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  111. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  112. The Group – Mary McCarthy
  113. √ Hamlet – Shakespeare
  114. √ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling
  115. √ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling
  116. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  117. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  118. Helter Skelter – Vincent Bugliosi
  119. Henry IV, Part 1 – Shakespeare
  120. Henry IV, Part 2 – Shakespeare
  121. Henry V – Shakespeare
  122. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
  123. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbons
  124. Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris
  125. The Holy Barbarians – Lawrence Lipton
  126. House of Sand and Fog – Andre Dubus III
  127. The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
  128. How to Breathe Underwater – Julie Orringer
  129. √ How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss
  130. How the Light Gets In – MJ Hyland
  131. Howl – Alan Ginsburg
  132. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  133. √ The Illiad – Homer
  134. I’m With the Band – Pamela des Barres
  135. √ In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  136. Inferno – Dante
  137. Inherit the Wind – Jerome Lawrence & Robert E Lee
  138. Iron Weed – William J. Kennedy
  139. It Takes a Village – Hilary Clinton
  140. √ Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  141. The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
  142. Julius Caesar – Shakespeare
  143. The Jumping Frog – Mark Twain
  144. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  145. Just a Couple of Days – Tony Vigorito
  146. The Kitchen Boy – Robert Alexander
  147. Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
  148. √ The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  149. Lady Chatterley’s Love – DH Lawrence
  150. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 – Gore Vidal
  151. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
  152. The Legend of Bagger Vance – Steven Pressfield
  153. Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
  154. Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
  155. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – Al Franken
  156. √ Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  157. Little Dorrit – Charles Dickens
  158. The Little Locksmith – Katharine Butler Hathaway
  159. The Little Match Girl – Hans Christian Anderson
  160. Little Woman – Louisa May Alcott
  161. Living History – Hillary Clinton
  162. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  163. The Lottery & Other Stories – Shirley Jackson
  164. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  165. The Love Story – Eric Segal
  166. Macbeth – Shakespeare
  167. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  168. The Manticore – Robertson Davies (Season 3, episode 3)
  169. Marathon Man – William Goldman
  170. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  171. Memoirs of  Dutiful Daughter – Simone de Beauvoir
  172. Memoirs of General WT Sherman – William Tecumseh Sherman
  173. Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
  174. The Meaning of Consuelo – Judith Ortiz Cofer
  175. Mencken’s Chrestomathy – HR Mencken
  176. The Merry Wives of Windsor – Shakespeare
  177. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
  178. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  179. √ The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
  180. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  181. The Mojo Collection – Jim Irvin
  182. Moliere – Hobart Chatfield Taylor
  183. A Monetary History of the US – Milton Friedman
  184. Monsieur Proust – Celeste Albaret
  185. A Month of Sundays – Julie Mars
  186. A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
  187. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  188. Mutiny on the Bounty – Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
  189. My Lai 4 – Seymour M Hersh
  190. My Life as Author and Editor – HR Mencken
  191. My Life in Orange – Tim Guest
  192. √ My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
  193. The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer
  194. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
  195. The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
  196. The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin
  197. Nervous System – Jan Lars Jensen
  198. √ New Poems of Emily Dickinson
  199. Things Work – David Macaulay
  200. Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich
  201. Night – Elie Wiesel
  202. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
  203. The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism – William E Cain
  204. Notes of a Dirty Old Man – Charles Bukowski
  205. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  206. Old School – Tobias Wolff
  207. On the Road – Jack Keruac
  208. Peyton Place – Grace Metalious
  209. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  210. Pigs at the Trough – Arianna Huffington
  211. √ Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi
  212. Please Kill Me – Legs McNeil & Gilliam McCain
  213. The Polysyllabic Spree – Nick Hornby
  214. √ The Portable Dorothy Parker
  215. The Portable Nietzche
  216. The Price of Loyalty – Ron Suskind
  217. √ Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  218. Property – Valerie Martin
  219. Pushkin – TJ Binyon
  220. Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
  221. Quattrocento – James McKean
  222. A Quiet Storm – Rachel Howzell Hall
  223. √ Rapunzel – Grimm Brothers
  224. The Razor’s Edge – W Somerset Maugham
  225. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  226. Rebecca – Daphne de Maurier
  227. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Douglas Wiggin
  228. The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
  229. Rescuing Patty Hearst – Virginia Holman
  230. The Return of the King – JRR Tolkien
  231. R is for Ricochet – Sue Grafton
  232. Rita Hayworth – Stephen King
  233. Robert’s Rules of Order – Henry Robert
  234. Roman Holiday – Edith Wharton
  235. √ Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare
  236. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  237. A Room with a View – EM Forster
  238. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
  239. Sacred Time – Ursula Hegi
  240. Sanctuary – William Faulkner
  241. Savage Beauty – Nancy Milford
  242. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller – Henry James
  243. The Scarecrow of Oz – Frank L. Baum
  244. √ The Scarlet Letter – Nathanial Hawthorne
  245. √ Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand
  246. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvior
  247. √ The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
  248. Secrets of the Flesh – Judith Thurman
  249. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell (1913-1965)
  250. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  251. A Separate Place – John Knowles
  252. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
  253. Sexus – Henry Miller
  254. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  255. Shane – Jack Shaefer
  256. The Shining – Stephen King
  257. Siddartha – Hermann Hesse
  258. S is for Silence – Sue Grafton
  259. Slaughter-House 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
  260. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  261. Snows of Kilamanjaro – Ernest Hemingway
  262. √ Snow White and Red Rose – Grimm Brothers
  263. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy – Barrington Moore
  264. The Song of Names – Norman Lebrecht
  265. Song of the Simple Truth – Julia de Burgos
  266. The Song Reader – Lisa Tucker
  267. Songbook – Nick Hornby
  268. The Sonnets – Shakespeare
  269. Sonnets from the Portuegese – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  270. Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
  271. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  272. Speak, Memory – Vladimir Nabakov
  273. Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – Mary Roach
  274. √ The Story of my Life – Helen Keller
  275. A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
  276. √ Stuart Little – EB White
  277. Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  278. Swann’s Way – Marcel Proust
  279. Swimming with Giants – Anne Collett
  280. √ Sybil – Flora Rheta Schreiber
  281. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  282. Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald
  283. Term of Endearment – Larry McMurty
  284. Time and Again – Jack Finney
  285. √ The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneggar
  286. To Have and to Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
  287. √ To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  288. The Tragedy of Richard III – Shakespeare
  289. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  290. The Trial – Franz Kafka
  291. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters – Elisabeth Robinson
  292. Truth & Beauty – Ann Patchett
  293. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
  294. Ulysses – James Joyce
  295. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath (1950-1962)
  296. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  297. Unless – Carol Shields
  298. Valley of the Dolls – Jacqueline Susann
  299. The Vanishing Newspaper – Philip Meyers
  300. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  301. Velvet Underground – Joe Harvard
  302. The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
  303. Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
  304. √ Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  305. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  306. We Owe You Nothing – Daniel Sinker
  307. What Colour is Your Parachute – Richard Nelson Bolles
  308. What Happened to Baby Jane – Henry Farrell
  309. When the Emperor Was Divine – Julie Otsuka
  310. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
  311. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Edward Albee
  312. √ Wicked – Gregory Maguire
  313. √ The Wizard of Oz – Frank L Baum
  314. √ Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  315. The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  316. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

anonymous asked:

I'm curious: has Hamlet always been considered Shakespeare's best play? Which play was most successful during his life?

The hopeless pedant that I am, I have to point out that not everyone would agree with your claim that Hamlet is considered to be Shakespeare’s best play. It’s certainly one of the most popular and frequently performed, but there’s just no category for judging one play as the best.

But now for your question: as we have very few dependable records of the performances of Shakespeare’s plays (unlike the performance records of the Rose Theatre, which we do have), I can’t give you a straightforward and accurate answer of what the most popular Shakespeare play was in his lifetime.

What we do know is how many of his works were published, both legally and illegally. Judging by those records, Shakespeare’ most popular work of his lifetime was his narrative poem Venus and Adonis by a long shot. As plays go, Shakespeare appears to have been known as something of a history play specialist: Henry IV Part I and Richard III were the two most published plays. This is bolstered by the fact that Henry IV led to one spin-off (The Merry Wives of Windsor) and a sequel (Henry IV Part 2). There’s also a reference to one of the character’s from Henry VI Part 1 (Talbot) in Nashe’s Pierce Pennilesse, which suggests that was another contemporary box office hit. It also helps that these were plays written earlier in his career, giving them a longer run than many of his other plays. So while Hamlet, along with Romeo and Juliet and Pericles (amongst others) were successful plays (according to various accounts), the overwhelming reputation of Hamlet doesn’t stretch back to Shakespeare’s lifetime.

In fact, judging by reception history, the status of Hamlet in the modern day is more a result of the Romantics’ obsession with the play in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

In each volume of the Shakespeare On Stage series, a leading actor takes us behind the scenes of a landmark Shakespearean production, recreating in detail their memorable performance in a major role. They lead us through the choices they made in rehearsal, and how the character works in performance, shedding new light on some of the most challenging roles in the canon. The result is a series of individual masterclasses that will be invaluable for other actors and directors, as well as students of Shakespeare; and fascinating for audiences of the plays.

In chapter 1, Roger Allam discusses playing the iconic role of Falstaff in both Henry IV plays in Dominic Dromgoole’s production at Shakespeare’s Globe.

You can read an extract from the interview under the cut. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I recently saw a post saying that it doesn't matter what order one reads shakespeare, and I was wondering if this holds up for the histories. Some of them seem interesting to me, but I don't want to have to have read all the preceding plays before I can get to the more interesting ones. That being said, I want to be able to understand what's going on. Do I need to read the earlier histories to get context for ones that come after?

There are two sorts of contexts that can enrich one’s experience of history plays: historical, and fictional. It helps to know the history the plays are based on, because it gives you the context of the tensions in the play, and it helps to watch or read the history plays in order because there are certain continuities of character and of factions, etc.

But most of the histories are perfectly entertaining on their own. The exceptions are the sequel plays like Henry IV Part 2, and Henry VI Part 3 (You can actually read Henry VI Parts 2 and 3 without reading Part 1, which was probably written as a prequel). Many of the histories weren’t even written in historical chronological order so it’s very unlikely the audiences of the time watched them in order either (a bit like Star Wars, come to think of it). But then again, Shakespeare’s audience would most likely have had a little more knowledge of their recent history than people have of the Wars of the Roses today, so that would have helped.

Basically, there are some references and recurring characters that you won’t get if you don’t know the history and haven’t read all of the plays, but it’s not like you won’t understand the plays on their own. Hardly anyone actually reads the plays in order when they first start on the histories. It’s more like it can make the plays more enjoyable if you happen to get the references. It’s like watching all of the Marvel films: it will help you understand the references and who all the characters are (including their backstories), but each film is generally enjoyable on its own as well. 

So go ahead and read the plays you’re interested in!

There is a good order to read them in if you do decide to read the plays in historical sequence though.

Best of the Bard: “Most likely to...” awards for every Shakespeare play

I’ve got a few more posts coming up in the Best of the Bard series, including my favorite plays and a post about what I learned from this experience. For today, I wanted to have a little fun by providing the list of plays and then assigning each of them a “Most likely to…” award. Let me know what you think and what awards you would give your favorite plays!

The Tempest Most likely to sing a dirge at a karaoke party

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Most likely to make you laugh if you see it on stage

Taming of the Shrew Most likely to make sexist tools guffaw stupidly

Comedy of Errors Most likely to get a cheap laugh

As You Like It Most likely to be your BFF

Twelfth Night Most likely to give you whiplash

Two Noble Kinsmen Most likely to make you fall asleep

Measure for Measure Most likely to require parental guidance

Love’s Labour Lost Most likely to love slapstick

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Most likely to send you snail mail

The Merry Wives of Windsor Most likely to be set in the 1950s

Much Ado About Nothing Most likely to be a roller coaster

The Merchant of Venice Most likely to make you uncomfortable

All’s Well That Ends Well Most likely to make you tear your hair out

The Winter’s Tale Most likely to surprise you in a good way

Titus Andronicus Most likely to surprise you in a bad way

Pericles Most likely to aspire to Greek tragedy

King John Most likely to make you grateful not to have children

Richard II Most likely to make you fall in love with language

Henry IV Part 1 Most likely to feel ALL THE FEELS

Henry IV Part 2 Most likely to make you cry unexpectedly

Henry V Most likely to swell your heart with patriotism

Henry VI Part 1, 2, and 3 Most likely to make you question patriotism

Richard III Most likely to make you grateful you are not royalty

Henry VIII Most likely to increase your gratitude of the 21st century

Macbeth Most likely to give you shivers

Romeo and Juliet Most likely to refresh feelings of teenage angst

Cymbeline Most likely to be mispronounced

Troilus and Cressida Most likely to be awkward

King Lear Most likely to lessen parental guilt

Julius Caesar Most likely to elicit unintended laughs

Othello Most likely to keep you single

Timon of Athens Most likely to be underappreciated

Coriolanus Most likely to be forgotten

Antony and Cleopatra Most likely to be a drama queen

Hamlet Most likely TO BE

About Finding the Bard

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Round 3

So Round 2 turned out a bit more interesting than I thought with the need for a tie breaker. Alas, only one could prevail but we persist.

1. Loki in Thor vs Loki in The Avengers

2. Coriolanus vs Prince Hal in Henry IV Part II

3. Prince Hal in Henry IV Part I vs Magnus Martinsson

4. Jonathan Pine vs Oakley

Doesn’t get any easier, ladies, but voting will be open until the morning of October 12th. Hope this is still fun!


Originally posted by find-a-reaction-gif

A Masterpost of all my Shakespeare Movies

I’ve started a collection of Shakespeare movies – it is by no means comprehensive, but I have at least one adaptation of every play. I’m more than willing to distribute them to whomever wants them. If there’s a particular adaptation that you want, let me know and I can almost definitely get my hands on it for you. Message me for links.


Posting this under a readmore so that I can continue to add to it 

Keep reading

Round 2

So I know Round 1 wasn’t the easiest for some people. But hey, it isn’t getting easier from here.

1. Captain Jack Randle vs Loki in Thor

2. Loki in The Avengers vs Captain Nicholls

3. Coriolanus vs Hank Williams

4. Prince Hal in Henry IV Part 2 vs Bill Hazeldine

5. Adam vs Prince Hal in Henry IV Part 1

6. Freddie Paige vs Magnus Martinsson

7. Loki in Thor: The Dark World vs Jonathan Pine

8. Oakley vs William Buxton

I can hear your frustrated sighs as we speak.

Dont forget, voting on Round 2 closes next Thursday October 5th.


The White Queen Meme | Colors ( rainbow part 2/? ) ( part 1 )

The sons of York will destroy each other, one brother destroying another, uncles devouring nephews, fathers beheading sons. They are a house which has to have blood, and they will shed their own if they have no other enemy.

Tom Hiddleston Ask

Tom Hiddleston Ask - Updated April 19, 2017

Archipelago: Are you a vegetarian?

The Avengers (AKA Loki 2): Have you ever jumped out of a moving aircraft of any kind?

Charadespeare: When was the last time you played charades of any kind?

Coriolanus: Have you ever texted or spoken the phrase “You souls of geese that bear the shapes of men?”

Crimson Peak: Would you live with a sibling after you were married?

The Deep Blue Sea: Have you ever yelled at someone whilst inside a museum?

Early Man:  What is your opinion about stop animation vs. completely CGI animated films?

Emmy 2016 Tom: Which designer/style would you choose to wear if you were co-presenting with TH?

Exhibition: Do you own any original art?

Henry IV, Part 1: Were you a wild youth?

Henry IV, Part 2: Do you skip through all the non-Hal scenes in this?

Henry V: Have you ever been wooed in a language other than your native one?

High Rise: Have you ever had a nightmare experience with a flatmate?

I Saw The Light: Can you sing any Hank Williams songs?

Jaguar Rendezvous: Have you ever had a cup of tea whilst on an airplane/helicopter?

Kong: Skull Island: What is your opinion about bananas?

Midnight In Paris: Have you ever read any F. Scott Fitzgerald?

Miss Austen Regrets: What is your favorite Austen novel?

Muppets Most Wanted: Have you ever worn thermal pajamas?

Nerd HQ 2013: Have you ever punched someone in the dick?

Nerd HQ 2016: What is your favorite breakfast food?

The Night Manager: Have you ever seen a night manager at a hotel who was formerly a soldier and looks even remotely as devastatingly attractive as Tom Hiddleston?

Only Lovers Left Alive: Do you have a picture of your hero on your wall/in your house?

PBS Cookie Monster Sketch: Would you give someone the last cookie?

The Pirate Fairy: Do you like a little something sweet while you work?

Return To Cranford: Have you ever angered your family by choosing to be with someone?

Suburban Shootout: Has anyone ever massaged your adductor longus?

Thor (AKA Loki 1): Do you think Odin is a good king or a big fat meanie head?

Thor: The Dark World (AKA Loki 3): If you were fated to while away eternity reading, what 5 books would you read over and over again?

Thor: Ragnarok (AKA Loki 4): Do you prefer Loki in his 30 pounds of leather and metal or in a black Gucci suit?

TimesTalks NYC 2015: What is your favorite exercise apparatus?

Times Talks NYC 2016: How do you feel about non-traditional suit patterns?

Tom: Which Tom is your favorite?

Trollhunters:  Did you watch the first couple of minutes of this film just to hear Hiddles?

UNICEF: Do you support any non-profits?

Unrelated: Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

Variety Live Chat with Jenelle Riley: Have you ever posted a Face Swap selfie on social media?

Wallander: What is your ringtone?

War Horse: Have you ever ridden a pony/horse?