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Anyone up for Shakespeare? 
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Chris OConnor wrote:
I like the idea of starting some Shakespeare as an official BookTalk.org fiction discussion on Dec. 1st. The discussion can run a few months or however long you guys see fit. All I mean by making it "official" is that the discussion would get its own forum in the "Fiction Book Discussion Forums" section, it would be announced on the Home page in the "Current Book Discussions" block, and would be displayed on our BOOKS page.

As far as what Shakespeare we read and discuss I think we should leave that decision up to Geo since he is the one spearheading this idea.

If Shakespeare if decided upon as an official discussion I'll need some assistance with how the chosen play is presented on BookTalk.org. By this I mean there appears to be a zillion books on Shakespeare. We really should pick a version that is available for as cheap as possible and is available in eBook format too. But this isn't essential if Geo thinks a particular version is the best choice. I'd just like to maximize the chance of having more people participating than just a handful.


Thanks for this. What a great idea.

Shakespeare is eternal.

The plays are everywhere. They're ubiquitous. Everyone can find them, everywhere. Also in every library. Also found cheap at book sales & second hand shops everywhere.

That's got to hugely facilitate maximum participation from the widest spectrum of people. (Why make it harder?)

I think it's a great idea to just let it be a free-form, open discussion of the Bard and only the Bard. It can go forever. That's the beauty of it.

Books about Shakespeare are less universal; or always easy to find exactly the same one. Maybe a sub-thread for some particular one(s)(?)



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Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
whathappened wrote:
Chris OConnor wrote:
I like the idea of starting some Shakespeare as an official BookTalk.org fiction discussion on Dec. 1st. The discussion can run a few months or however long you guys see fit. All I mean by making it "official" is that the discussion would get its own forum in the "Fiction Book Discussion Forums" section, it would be announced on the Home page in the "Current Book Discussions" block, and would be displayed on our BOOKS page.

As far as what Shakespeare we read and discuss I think we should leave that decision up to Geo since he is the one spearheading this idea.

If Shakespeare if decided upon as an official discussion I'll need some assistance with how the chosen play is presented on BookTalk.org. By this I mean there appears to be a zillion books on Shakespeare. We really should pick a version that is available for as cheap as possible and is available in eBook format too. But this isn't essential if Geo thinks a particular version is the best choice. I'd just like to maximize the chance of having more people participating than just a handful.


Thanks for this. What a great idea.

Shakespeare is eternal.

The plays are everywhere. They're ubiquitous. Everyone can find them, everywhere. Also in every library. Also found cheap at book sales & second hand shops everywhere.

That's got to hugely facilitate maximum participation from the widest spectrum of people. (Why make it harder?)

I think it's a great idea to just let it be a free-form, open discussion of the Bard and only the Bard. It can go forever. That's the beauty of it.

Books about Shakespeare are less universal; or always easy to find exactly the same one. Maybe a sub-thread for some particular one(s)(?)


While I agree we should have a thread or two set aside simply for all that is Shakespear, I think it would be great to discuss individual plays themselves for simpliciity's sake. If I want to discuss MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING I can go to a discussion group for that play alone.


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Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:57 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I?
Chris OConnor wrote:
I like the idea of starting some Shakespeare as an official BookTalk.org fiction discussion on Dec. 1st. The discussion can run a few months or however long you guys see fit. All I mean by making it "official" is that the discussion would get its own forum in the "Fiction Book Discussion Forums" section, it would be announced on the Home page in the "Current Book Discussions" block, and would be displayed on our BOOKS page.

As far as what Shakespeare we read and discuss I think we should leave that decision up to Geo since he is the one spearheading this idea.

If Shakespeare if decided upon as an official discussion I'll need some assistance with how the chosen play is presented on BookTalk.org. By this I mean there appears to be a zillion books on Shakespeare. We really should pick a version that is available for as cheap as possible and is available in eBook format too. But this isn't essential if Geo thinks a particular version is the best choice. I'd just like to maximize the chance of having more people participating than just a handful.


I like the idea of having a separate Shakespeare forum within the "Fiction" section. But let's just play it by ear for now and see how this goes. For some reason, the fiction discussions here on BT have not gone well lately. It's always difficult to find a group of people who want to read and discuss the same book. Maybe if we can get a core group of people interested, we can form a kind of Shakespeare club and read and discuss a different play every month or something like that. Again, we'll see how this next one goes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am very much a Shakespeare neophyte. When I went back for my M.A. in English a few years back, I took a Shakesperean Tragedies course from Dr. Sara Deats at University of South Florida. And I have also taught A Midsummer Night's Dream in my ENG113 class a few times (so I'm pretty familiar with that play.) But I haven't read most of these plays and I'm just shooting from the hip more or less. Shakespeare is very challenging to me and any one of us should feel comfortable picking up the ball and running with it. We will learn from each other. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Movie Nerd wrote:
While I agree we should have a thread or two set aside simply for all that is Shakespear, I think it would be great to discuss individual plays themselves for simpliciity's sake. If I want to discuss MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING I can go to a discussion group for that play alone.


Yeah, we will definitely keep each play in a separate subforum under the main Shakespeare thread. I hope that makes sense. I also think it makes a lot of sense to organize each Shakespeare by act. So it will be organized like this:

The Shakespeare Forum
--> A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Act I
- Act II
- Act III
- Act IV
- Act V
--> As You Like It
- Act I
- Act II
- Act III
- Act IV
- Act V

etc.

We'll keep bumping this thread to the top in hopes of getting a few more people on board. I'm not sure if we should have a formal voting procedure or not. I'm hoping Suzanne will stop in and give us some advice. Better yet, I'm hoping she'll join us. Suzanne, you out there??


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Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Geo wrote
Quote:
In the interest of full disclosure, I am very much a Shakespeare neophyte.


This sums up my position as well, but I'll have a go at which ever play is chosen.

My order of preference would be

Henry IV part I

The Tempest

Macbeth

The Winters Tale

I'll add Mid Summers night dream ( just based on movie nerds description," mind bending")



Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Yes, I'll give it a shot too. I haven't read any Shakespeare since Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet in high school.

Just picked up this $1.99 Complete works of Shakespeare for my kindle, copying the link for you folks too.

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Works-Sh ... ree+kindle


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I am haunted by waters.”


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Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:27 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
I've been in semi BT retirement for a while but I'd be down for a Shakespeare discussion. Its that snowy time of year and so I'm more likely to be patient while I struggle to understand and I think a discussion would help in that respect. Coincidentally, I'm reading Timothy Findley's book at the moment, Spadework, and its set in Stratford Ontario ... it opens at the famous Shakespeare Festival theatre in Stratford Ont. .. well, its famous to Canadians anyway. Its an area of the country I grew up in and I attended a few plays at the Stratford theatre, including MacBeth, King Lear and Taming of the Shrew... and we even have our very own Avon River. Shameless copycats.



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Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Geo wrote:
We'll keep bumping this thread to the top in hopes of getting a few more people on board. I'm not sure if we should have a formal voting procedure or not. I'm hoping Suzanne will stop in and give us some advice. Better yet, I'm hoping she'll join us. Suzanne, you out there??


I just sent Suzanne a message and hope she'll drop by for this soon. You don't need to bump this thread to make it appear at the top. I made it a "global announcement" so it now appears automatically at the top of every forum.

There are a few ways this can go.

Choice 1: Create a forum with the name of the specific Shakespeare play we're going to read and discuss.
Choice 2: Create a forum for reading and discussing any and all works of Shakespeare.

Choice 1 above is our usual way of handling book discussions. Each book, or in this case play, gets its own forum. If we do it this way we don't have to use the name of the play in each and every thread because the forum is named after the play.

Choice 2 above would be what we can do if you guys really feel Shakespeare discussions will be a long-term and ongoing new thing for us here on BookTalk.org. If we create a generic Shakespeare forum you have to realize that over time that forum will contain a large quantity of threads about a wide variety of Shakespeare plays. Are they all "plays?" I know nothing about Shakespeare so please forgive the ignorance.

The point is over time there could be threads about Macbeth being bumped to the top while threads about Hamlet are also being bumped due to concurrent discussions. This is NOT a problem. All we would have to do is have a rule that 100% of threads created in the Shakespeare forum start with the play name first, so that members and visitors can easily see what the thread is about. We wouldn't want a bunch of people to be discussing "As You Like It" using thread titles like "What do you think of this play?" because over time nobody will know what play the author of the thread is referencing.

My opinion is that I would LOVE to see Shakespeare become big on BookTalk.org. I love the idea of a brand new forum for discussing anything and everything to do with Shakespeare. I just need to know if you guys feel that would really take off and gain in popularity.

So speak to me. :feedback:



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Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:05 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
As you all know Shakespeare can be difficult to read because of the writing style and use of words we just don't use anymore. Or perhaps the words have changed meaning over time and we no longer use them the same today.

There are so many resources online for free that people like me can quickly look up words we don't understand.

For example within 2.7 seconds after starting Macbeth I hit a word I didn't know. The Third Witch says, "That will be ere the set of sun."

So I Googled "Shakespeare dictionary" and landed on http://www.shakespeareswords.com/Glossary.

I quickly learned that ere means before so this sentence is simply saying, "That will be before the sun sets."

Some of you may not need help with Shakespeare but it is nice to see there are resources available for those of us that do. I've tried to read some Shakespeare years ago and I just struggled too much with the language so I gave up. Maybe with the use of online resources it can all finally make sense.



Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:14 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
:clap: I love this idea Geo! Thank you, I can think of very few people I would like to discuss Shakespeare with more, than the members here on BT and you. :-D

Something so old can be so refreshing.

I want to read all the posts in this thread before commenting more, but I am in and very excited!



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Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:41 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Hi Suzanne,

Welcome aboard!

Do you think we should create subfolders for all 37 of Shakespeare plays at once (each divided into five acts) so that anyone can comment on any play any time they want? I know that's a lot of new folders coming into existence all at once, but it would help generate a free-form, open discussion of the Bard.

Or we could just let BT members start their own folders any time they want. Either way would work fine.


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Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:59 am
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Most folks haven't voted on a specific play, which I take to mean that most of you are open for anything. But a few people have specified The Tempest. My vote is more or less aligned with Taylor's, but I hesitate starting with Henry IV because it's a history and at least one person has said he would prefer not to read a history.

I'll repeat the list of nominations, which now includes A Midsummer Night's Dream (at Taylor's suggestion):

Henry IV part I

The Tempest

Macbeth

The Winters Tale

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I will say that A Midsummer Night's Dream is the play I'm most familiar with in Shakespeare's canon. It's quite excellent and also relatively short, which might lend it nicely to the first play. The Tempest is the one I'm leaning towards at this point, but again, I'm perfectly happy with anything.


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Chris OConnor wrote:
As you all know Shakespeare can be difficult to read because of the writing style and use of words we just don't use anymore. Or perhaps the words have changed meaning over time and we no longer use them the same today.

Chris, this is a really good point. I'm sure some people are pretty good at picking up Shakespeare and understanding, but like you, I tend to stumble over unfamiliar words or phrases. Indeed, Shakespeare throws in a lot of colloquialisms that were used in his day that might be difficult for the modern reader. Fortunately, most of your good Shakespeare texts are annotated. I don't think there's any way to avoid them, even if it does interrupt your reading experience.

I happen to have three separate texts in front of me with varying degrees of annotations. They are: The Yale Shakespeare, The Necessary Shakespeare, and The Arden Shakespeare.

The Necessary Shakespeare is probably my favorite. Here's the first couple of pages from Henry IV (image below). There's a nice balance between number of annotations and the text of the play. Plus each play is excellently introduced by the editor, David Bevington. Whichever play we choose, I'll see if I can scan in the introduction from Bevington.

Image

Also, most of your Shakespeare texts will include a Dramatis Personae which you will refer to about a million times while reading the play.

CoolSummer mentioned getting The Complete Works of Shakespeare for the Kindle for $1.99. This sounds like a great bargain, but the Kindle doesn’t handle annotations very well. (And, indeed, I think this version doesn’t have annotations anyway.) Unless you're well-versed (ha ha) in Shakespeare, this might not be the best way to go. Just my $.02. On the other hand, there are a tremendous number of online sources that will help you to engage with Shakespeare.


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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Geo, when you say "folder" I'm assuming you mean thread. We're in a thread right now about Shakespeare which is in the Belief, Religion and Philosophy forum.



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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
Chris OConnor wrote:
Geo, when you say "folder" I'm assuming you mean thread. We're in a thread right now about Shakespeare which is in the Belief, Religion and Philosophy forum.


Yes, thread.

The way we normally organize book discussions is fine for each play we discuss. Sorry to be confusing.


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Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:40 pm
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Post Re: Anyone up for Shakespeare?
OK, got it.



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