My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Favorite Classic Books: Number One...

Which playwright wrote about ill-fated romance, predestined history, two sets of identical twins (in the same play!), madness, mystery, love, and an exceptional number of men-actors playing women disguised as men?

I'll give you a hint.  They call him the Bard.

I am pleased to introduce to you my favorite classic of all time: the Complete Plays of William Shakespeare!

"But Allison!" you may respond.  "That's not one classic; it's thirty-eight!"

To which I respond: "Pfffft!"

Shakespeare did everything.  He wrote comic plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Comedy of Errors.  He wrote tragic plays: Hamlet, Macbeth.  He wrote great plays: King Lear, The Merchant of Venice.  He wrote really, really bad plays: Timon of Athens (there's a reason you've never heard of it), Love's Labour's Lost.

He wrote poetry, too: some dry court stuff and some very lovely sonnets.  But mainly Shakespeare wrote plays: incredibly powerful, incredibly beautiful plays that are always, always worth reading.  Even... Timon of Athens.

Because for every time I yawned over a confusing monologue, another ten held me riveted.  Sure, not all of his plays make sense.  Sure, I may not read all of them again.  But remember when Macbeth finally despaired-- "Out, out, brief candle!" (Macbeth, 5.5.23).  When Shylock lost everything he held dear (The Merchant of Venice)?  And when Puck describes himself as "That merry wanderer of the night" (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2.1)?

Here is what you should not do after reading this.  You should not be so fired through with poetic fervor that you race to your local bookstore and buy the Complete Plays of William Shakespeare.  Because if you buy the complete plays of William Shakespeare in one volume, the font will be size negative six.  If you read thirty-eight plays of font size negative six, you will strain your eyes, and you will sue me, and I will have to pay your ophthalmologist bills.

The moral of the story: read the plays in individual volumes.

If you haven't read Shakespeare yet, then I suggest you start with A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Don't read it; see it first, fall in love with it, then read it.  If you've read Shakespeare before, then I can recommend my personal favorite play: King Lear.  (The first servant!  His duel!  *sniffles*)

And so, dear readers, concludes the favorite classic books series!  Keep commenting on these posts to earn entries in the favorite classic books giveaway, the winner of which will be announced on the 28th.  As for me, I will celebrate by going out tomorrow to see a production of my favorite Shakespeare play: King Lear!

1. The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare.
2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
4. Idylls of the King, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
5. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo


ghost ryter said...

Happy birthday, Allison!! And lucky you getting to go see King Lear! (I've never been able to see one of his plays performed, so I'm green with envy.) Have fun! :D

Laura Pol said...

Happy birthday Allison! I hope you enjoying seeing "King Lear" tomorrow! :)

I really enjoyed reading "Macbeth" in high school because I had help breaking it down to get all the secret meanings I guess you could say. I haven't read or seen "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" though. Need to check it out!

Loving these posts by you by the way! :)

Psalms w guitar said...

Yes, that's a good choice for number one! So many characters in so many situations is it good stimulate for thinking and learning about life.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Alison! Hope you had a great day! I got the complete works on my kindle, and I'm reading Hamlet. Great choice for your last book!

Sarah said...

Happy birthday, Allison! May you be blessed with many more! I hope you enjoy King Lear!

I've read exactly one Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. However, I've listened to abridged versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew, and I loved them both. I want to read Hamlet next, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Ghosty- Thank you! : D

@Laura- Thanks, Laura! I know what you mean about how a teacher helps... My literature teacher is a genius with Shakespeare. : D

@Psalms- Exactly!!

@Jemma- Ooh, Hamlet is one of my favorites! I hope you love it!

@Sarah- Thank you, Sarah! Hamlet is magnificent. : D

Thank you all so much for helping me to celebrate my birthday!