Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Shakespearean Summer: AS YOU LIKE IT


Ok, picture this...

I Heart Monster sitting on the loveseat, feet propped up over the edge. Four kittehs sitting around the room, listening to her speak in silly voices in a language that doesn't really sound like what she usually speaks to them.

Then she starts laughing. And tripping over her words. And laughing again.

And the kittehs just look at her like she's gone nuts.

Sound like a dream? Nope. It was my living room a couple of nights ago. I struggled through Act I, Scene I, and didn't pick AS YOU LIKE IT back up for a while. Then I realized it was June 30th, and I told myself I was going to read at least three of the books I ordered before August 31. That meant I needed to get my butt in gear.

Since I managed to avoid taking any class that had any Shakespeare in it in both high school and college (not on purpose, it just happened that way), I had never read anything by Shakespeare. I have seen Midsummer's Night Dream a couple of times in different theaters, but that was the extent of my Shakespeare experience.

So, I picked up AS YOU LIKE IT in No Fear Shakespeare by Sparks Notes, and I started reading it aloud. I started over, from the beginning. It took a couple of scenes, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly.

Plot Sketch: Orlando is the youngest son of de Boys and his older brother Oliver is opressing him. So, to try to make his way in the world, he heads to a wrestling match, where he meets Rosalind, and her cousin Celia. He quickly falls in love with Rosalind. He also bests sinewy Charles, the best wrestler so far. But because he is the son of the disliked dude, the present Duke does not like him and tells him to leave. After the Duke tells Orlando to leave, he goes to Rosalind, who is the daughter of the banished duke, and banishes her as well. Celia, the present duke's daughter, tells the Duke that if he does this, she will leave too. He doesn't believe her. They both leave, with the court jester, Touchstone. Rosalind travels as a man, Ganymeade, and Celia as Alenia, his sister. During their travels, they find all kinds of awful poetry from Orlando about Rosalind. Long story short, all the people end up marrying the people they're supposed to, but in a form of trickery. It was fun, and light, and had me rolling a few times. I wonder if my neighbors could hear me laughing?

What I Learned: Rosalind was a very strong female character. I did not expect to find strong females in literature from that period in history. Honestly, I didn't. I also learned that I can read Shakespeare in its original form, and that I rather enjoy it! It is nice to have the modern translation side by side though in case you don't quite catch something in the antiquated language.


My Favorite Character: Hands down, Rosalind.

My Favorite Part Of The Story: The marriages.

Next Up For this Challenge: The Tempest!

Thank you to Liv over at Liv's Book Reviews for hosting this contest and giving me a reason to broaden my scope! Check out A Shakespearean Summer.

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