Monday, January 6, 2014

Top Ten Shakespeare Plays

I've decided to do a Top Ten Shakespeare Play Count down. I will even give my reasoning for each one. Here we go...

10- A Midsummer Night's Dream
This play is basically about confused love. If you have heard the song "Love Stinks" played in the movie "The Wedding Singer", it is a perfect description of what is going on in the minds of these lover's.

 9- The Tempest
This play is a perfect example of good vs. evil, holding a long grudge and learning to finally forgive the one that has wronged you. 
I enjoyed this play thoroughly. It would have been ranked higher had it not been for the director Julie Taymor ruining it with her interpretation in general, especially her version of Caliban. I mean have you read the script!?! Caliban had a witch for a mother and his father was The Devil himself, two evil characters dealing with the paranormal realm. The 2010 movie adaption was a joke and a complete mockery of what Shakespeare stood for. I'm hoping for a remake of his as soon as humanly possible. This play was Shakespeare's last "Hoorah" in his canon, and should be deemed highly.

8- Coriolanus
This play is about a banished hero of Rome that later allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on his own city. 
Though I have not seen the play itself but the movie adaption in 2011 bore a perfect modern tale of this man's tragedy.

7- The Taming of the Shrew
This play is basically "taming" a stubborn woman, and helping both men and women realize their true priorities. It is a perfect example of what men should treat their wives no matter how difficult they may seem. My favorite movie adaptions arre: The Taming of the Shrew(1967), 10 Things I Hate About You(1999) and the 2005 ShakespeaRe-Told version.

6- Romeo & Juliet
This play showed that love had no boundaries. It didn't matter where you were from, who you were or even "the name"; you loved that person for who they were. This play inspired a variety of movie adaptions. I'm only going to mention the well-known ones that earned the right for telling the story of forbidden lovers: Romeo + Juliet(1996), Romeo and Juliet(1968), Romeo Must Die(2000), Gnomeo and Juliet(2011) and Warm Bodies(2013).

5- Richard III
In this play, Richard III will stop at nothing to get the crown. Through his cunning and trickery he obtains it by killing or ordering to kill 11 people, even his one blood. The BBC TV 1983 adaption of this play is a perfect depiction of what is expected for the life and death of Richard III.
It is interesting to note that afterwords the corrupted king is later haunted in a dream by the very people that he killed to gain that temporary power.

4- Much Ado About Nothing
This play is a perfect romcom. You have a couples battling for love with some miscommunications in between. Of which was later used for a good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Plus the pure comic relief is hilarious, especially from Signor Benedick. He makes you enjoy being a bachelor, but at the same time you hope to one day be with someone that will bring out the worst and even the best in you.

3- Macbeth
A Scottish nobleman, Macbeth, is led by an evil prophecy by three witches, telling him of his future reign in becoming king. His relentless wife wants to make this prophecy fulfilled, and will go at any lengths to make it a reality.
In this play, it is interesting to see pride seep into Macbeth's life so subtly, that it later becomes the eventual downfall of the king himself.

2- Titus Andronicus
This play is about Titus returning victoriously from a war, only to plant seeds of his own future destruction for himself and his family. This play has revenge happening left and right.
Though this play only had one movie adaption in 1999 with Sir Anthony Hobkins as Titus, in my opinion, it was downright terrible. The director Julie Taymor, again, did a horrible job in trying to mesh both settings of a futuristic dystopian society and a historical Roman Empire. The only person that can successfully pull that off is Stephen King with The Dark Tower Series.
If you're going to make a movie adaption of this play, do it right! The Utah Shakespeare Festival did it perfectly! They stayed with the time period and delivered the right amount of suspense and drama that Shakespeare would be proud of seeing today. 
Titus Andronicus carries the most blood and gore than all the other tragedies. The total number of characters killed in this play is 14! All of which were out of pure blood lust, dismemberment and even cannibalism. Revenge never tasted so sweet... especially when it is served in cold blood baked in a pie!

1- Hamlet
It's about a Prince of Denmark returning home finding out that his father has been murdered and his mother remarried the murderer, his uncle. While all this is taking place, a war is beginning to rise.
It is best known for the phrase "To be or not to be?" Which has been used in a number movies as well as TV shows, when the character, in that medium, is faced with a hard decision. It has a lot of death counts, especially near the end. Five characters were poisoned, two were wrongly accused and put to death, one committed suicide and one got stabbed while hiding in the curtain; making it a grand total of nine.
It is one of the longest and most complex plays from Shakespeare, and has been adapted into a variety of movies/ TV-movies. From 1964-2009 famous actors have brought Hamlet to the big screen. The most well-known ones are: Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh, Ethan Hawke and even Doctor Who himself David Tennant. The play even inspired an unnecessary sequel "Hamlet 2" in 2008. How's that for being number one on this list!

That's my Top Ten Shakespeare Plays. What is your Top Ten?

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