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30 Days of Bill

Day #1: Your Favorite Play - King Lear

Day #2: Your favorite character - Edmund

Day #3: Your Favorite Hero

This question kept rattling around in my head all day. As others have pointed out "Hero" is a sticky term. Do we go with it simply being "leading man"? Do we take it to mean someone who acts heroically in the course of their play?

I am going to take "leading man" for my criteria.

I think it was the second year Mom and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival what we got to see As You Like It. I had gotten to a point that I liked seeing all of the plays. I read them for fun and also picked up critical texts like The Masks of King Lear (I have no idea where it ended up, but I had a little notebook where I jotted down ideas for staging Lear as I read). I was deeply in love with all things Shakespeare, but As You Like It was the first comedy that really stands out in my memories of 'those early years.'

I'll probably talk about this play a lot in the next 28 days, but I will start now with Orlando as my favorite hero. I love the fact that Shakespeare made him exuberant in love, occasionally doltish and a horrible poet. Orlando makes sweeping protestations of his adoration of a girl he has seen only once (as a girl) and he writes some of the worst poetry in the cannon to her memory. My high school English teacher, the same one who paced up and down during our AP test, had us read As You Like It and I had to explain to him that Orlando was not using slant rhyme. It's a hell of a lot funnier if you actually rhyme "hind" and "Rosalind". Or so The Oregon Shakespeare Orlando played it.

The wrestling scene is another stand out for me. Orlando battles Charles the Wrestler early in the play and wins. I've seen As You Like It many times and I've seen it played where they two just beat the crap out of each other. I've seen it played with Orlando coming through at the last moment against all odds. My favorite will always be that first production where they did the entire thing WWF-style and Orlando used the line "No, I am not yet well-breathed" to huff and puff until Charles fell over.

As You Like It seems to be a bit of a cursed play here, though. Every time someone has done it the reviews were...unkind at best. I joke that I have to keep waiting until the town gets the taste of the last production out of their mouths before I can consider doing it but someone else always gets there first. Ah well, a girl can dream.


Day #4: Your favorite heroine
Day #5: Your favorite villain
Day #6: Your favorite villainess
Day #7: Your favorite clown
Day #8: Your favorite comedy
Day #9: Your favorite tragedy
Day #10: Your favorite history
Day #11: Your least favorite play
Day #12: Your favorite scene
Day #13: Your favorite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favorite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favorite speech
Day #18: Your favorite dialogue
Day #19: Your favorite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favorite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favorite couple
Day #27: Your favorite couplet
Day #28: Your favorite joke
Day #29: Your favorite sonnet
Day #30: Your favorite single line

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
impetusofadream
Apr. 26th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
*grins* Orlando really does write some TERRIBLE poetry...and yet somehow Rosalind STILL wants to marry him. ;D
capriuni
Apr. 26th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
The film-for-television series of complete Shakespeare plays by the BBC (Which aired on my PBS station Sunday Afternoons When Nothing Else Was On) was my introduction to Shakespeare, and why I fell in love with him.

As You Like it was how I found the series -- I stumbled across it flipping channels. It was that "reading really bad poetry" scene that made me fall in love with Shakespeare as "my man." It takes a true poetic genius to write truly bad poetry.

(a friend of the family was staying at the house while mom did errands, and she was wondering what the heck I was laughing so hard about -- I was in my room with the door closed, and she was downstairs in the kitchen, and she still heard me).

--Hey! I found the clip (And it's a young Helen Mirren as Rosalind)! As you Like It, Act 3, scene 1
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )