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125 Things Meme: Day 15

I'm back from the trip, so I'm finally able to pick this up again. Today's theme is plays, part duex.


71. Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill:

Generally agreed to be one of the most significant forces in the history of the American theater, O'Neill is a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in literature for 1936. He won one of his Pulitzer prizes for Strange Interlude. The play exemplifies O'Neill's ability to explore the limits of the human predicament, even as he sounds the depths of his audiences' hearts and it was probably the furor of discussion aroused by the novelty both of theme and treatment in Strange Interlude that made O'Neill's name known wherever the English-speaking stage is discussed.

Why you should read it: Because Eugene O'Neill is my favourite playwrite ever and has written some of the most meaningful and profound - if deeply Fruedian - plays in modern history. This is one of his most powerful.

"I used to be a great one for worrying about what’s God and what’s devil, but I got richly over it living here with poor folks that was being punished for no sins of their own, and be being punished with them for no sin but loving much. Being happy, that’s the nearest we can ever come to knowing what’s good!"

72. Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill:

A three-part reworking of themes from Greek tragedy, the plays are set in New England in 1865, just after the Civil War. A returning victor, General Ezra Mannon (Agamemnon), is poisoned by his unfaithful wife Christine (Clytemnestra) and then avenged by his son Orin (Orestes) and daughter (Lavinia). With Orin's subsequent suicide, Lavinia (the Electra of the title) becomes a fatalistic recluse in the Mannon mansion. The author was four times a Pulitzer Prize winner and was the first American dramatist to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936

Why you should read it: Because it is a retelling of the Fall of the House of Atredies set during the Civil War - and, if that isn't enough, it's my absolute favourite play ever. Okay, techincally it's really three plays, but it's amazing. We read the first one in my literature class freshman year and I scoured the planet to find the next two. It is, apparently, a very obscure play and it took me ages to find it, but it was well worth it. My Absolute Favourite.

“You said they had found the secret of happiness because they had never heard that love can be a sin.”

“Death was so common, it didn’t mean anything. That freed me to think of life. Queer, isn’t it? Death made me think of life. Before that life had only made me think of death!”

“I had a queer feeling that war meant murdering the same man over and over, and that in the end I would discover the man was myself!”

“Nothing matters but love, does it? That must come first! No price is too great, is it? Or for peace! One must have peace – one is too weak to forget – no one has the right to keep anyone from peace!”

“I hope there is a hell for the good somewhere!”


73. The Tempest by William Shakespeare:

In The Tempest, long considered one of Shakespeare's most lyrical plays, Prospero - a magician on an enchanted island - punishes his enemies, brings happiness to his daughter, and comes to terms with human use of supernatural power. The Tempest embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World.

Its complexity of thought, its range of characters - from the spirit Ariel and the monster Caliban to the beautiful Miranda and her prince Ferdinand -its poetic beauty, and its exploration of difficult questions that still haunt us today make this play wonderfully compelling.

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using illusion and skilful manipulation. The eponymous tempest brings to the island Prospero's usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso, King of Naples. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's low nature, the redemption of Alonso, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand
.

Why you should read it: Because, if you read one Shakespeare play, this should be it. It is my favourite of his plays and is just beautiful. I mean, there is very little like it in the world.

"...then, in dreaming, the clouds methought would open, and show riches ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.” 

74. Hamlet by William Shakespeare:

"Hamlet" is the story of the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet's father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet's widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father's murder.

Why you should read it: Because I love tragedies, and this is Shakespeare's best. It is such a well-written, wonderful-to-see-preformed play that it's just... words cannot do it justice. And, plus, the Royal Shakespeare production of it, with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart? To Die For.

"Doubt thou the stars are fire; doubt that the sun doth move; doubt truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love.” 

75. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen:

A Doll's House (1879) portrays a woman questioning her duty to her husband and seeking to escape the stifling confines of her marriage - a theme that shocked contemporary audiences and established Ibsen's name outside Scandinavia.

Why you should read it: This is sort of a everyone reads it in high school pick, but does deserve to be read despite that. It contains, after all, the "door that could be heard around the world."

“However miserable I sometimes feel, I still want to go on being tortured for as long as possible.”

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I saw Alan Rickman perform Hamlet and he was totally amazing, the Kenneth Branagh version is superb too.

I saw an unusual version of The Tempest, well a "Jukebox musical " version based on the play and The Forbidden Planet. Not only was the music stuff from 50s and 60s it was a lot of fun including audience participation not to mention a tongue in cheek sci fi vibe and set on a space ship

I have to admit that I have trouble readin Ibsen I just cant get into it.

yeah, i mostly added the ibsen because it deserves to be read, no so much because it's a favourite.

I don't suppose that version of The Tempest is available on DVD anywhere, is it?

Hamlet is a play everyone and their brother has done a version of, but the one with Tennant and Stewart was the best I've ever seen.
I doubt that Return to the Forbidden Planet is available on DVD I know you can get the Original Cast CD

I think I saw that version of Hamlet too
i shall have to look into it then. thanks for the info!

(ps, you should know that your mention of Keira Marcos in a rec the other day led to me devouring all her works over my st. louis trip. =)
No Problem

What did you think of her works? Her No Enemy within is really good and The Ties That Bind is interesting. And they are still WIPs
The Ties that Bind was good and well thought out - I enjoyed it, even if BDSM isn't anything remotely close to what I normally read. I think it was my favourite of hers. I couldn't get into the Sentienls of Atlantis, but I also really liked the What Might Have Been works - at least until the kid showed up. I always find things like that annoying, which detracts from my enjoyment of the fic.

IDK. I like a lot of her characters, even if she recycles them between series. Though I must admit I'd just read the fic where John first refers to David's wife as "The Ice Princess" when not two hours later I was leaving dinner with my extended family and my mom called her sister-in-law the exact same thing. I about burst out laughing.
William Shakespeare is one of those people whose work makes me tilt my head to the side like a dog trying to understand. I think I've read a McShep version of The Tempest - pretty sure I have, at any rate. Adding Mourning Becomes Electra to my list :)
Shakespeare is something that you really have to see preformed - reading it is never really the same.
I can believe that. Nobody I know would be willing to go to a play with me though, and I'm not sure how to figure out where some are playing, anyway.
Well, if I lived near you, I'd go with you, but I don't think I do. But you can probably find times and things like that online
Yeah, I'll have to google and see what I come up with. I'd love to go with you, but yeah - I live in Michigan. I don't think that's too close to where you are. Then again, I'm not 100% sure where you live.
Michigan. Yeah, that's a little far. (You mentioned something about "Indiana and Ohio" once, but I was going to guess Illinois or Penn. Not Michigan. I always forget Michigan. And Minnesota. It's a personal failing). I'm in NC, so it's a bit impractical.
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