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Graywacke
King John | William Shakespeare
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I was surprised how easily and pleasantly this first act read, and, on rereading, I find it thoroughly charming and clever. The Bastard has stolen act one, with continuous wit.

“Well sir, by this you cannot get my land:
Your tale must be how he employed my mother.”

WWMPD - that is what would Monty Python Do - with this. What do you think?

King John Act 1: #Shakespearereadalong

Graywacke Apologies for the later post. Slept in a bit this morning. 2d
GingerAntics I enjoyed the little bit of family drama. It was almost like a Shakespearean soap opera. 2d
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Lcsmcat This seems like another one that would be great stages. I can just picture the Bastard mugging to the audience at the end of this act. 2d
vlwelser Monty Python would nail this. Totally. But it's amusing in its own right. 2d
merelybookish It felt good to be back in Shakespeare's hands! Lots of fun word play and juicy speeches. But quite a short act (and what looks like a short play). 2d
TheBookHippie I love the word play and I think watching this on stage would be a lot of fun! 2d
TheBookHippie @GingerAntics I agree!! I am really liking it! 2d
Graywacke @GingerAntics Shakespearean soap opera…😂 It‘s maybe a good fit for this whole play. 2d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i think the Bastard would be a lot of fun to play. This would be fun on stage. Anything available online? 2d
Graywacke @vlwelser I kept thinking of the mom in Life if Brian… and the scene where Brian tells the Roman ruler his dad was a Roman named Rudus Maximus. 2d
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I haven‘t looked yet. My NYC kids were here all week so I was a bit distracted. But if I find a good one I‘ll post a link. (edited) 2d
Graywacke @merelybookish This is quite different from H8. I‘m down with short. 2d
GingerAntics @Graywacke 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 here‘s hoping 2d
Graywacke @TheBookHippie Glad we‘re all enjoying. And the word play is continuously good fun (when I can understand it) 2d
GingerAntics @TheBookHippie same! This would make a brilliant stage production! 2d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat enjoy your kids! 2d
Graywacke @GingerAntics 🧼 opera KJ 2d
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I did! They‘re on the train home now 🙁 but we hadn‘t seen them since the pandemic started, and it was a wonderful week. 2d
GingerAntics @Graywacke I don‘t know if I can see Shakespeare as an opera, but then he wasn‘t really known for his music. 2d
jewright I will be running late this week. We‘re at Disney! 2d
batsy I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the first act. It being brief helped! 😆 The bastard is quite the character. He had some great lines and a charismatic actor would totally bring him alive. 2d
Graywacke @batsy i was surprised too. Act 2 is a little more “work”. 1d
LitStephanie @Graywacke totally agree this first act was easy to read and witty. The Bastard is so funny, and I loved how the play gets right into the plot with no preamble. 1d
LitStephanie I think it is interesting we have the humorous bastard story alongside the questions about the legitimacy of King John's own title. 1d
Graywacke @LitStephanie I think there is a wink there. The Signet intro suggests Arthur, John and Philip (Richard/Bastard) have spread between them the attributes of a king - so each is a sort of representative on an aspect of a good king. 24h
LitStephanie @Graywacke ooh, that is an intriguing idea! 23h
42 likes28 comments
blurb
Daisey
King John | William Shakespeare
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Time to start a new play for Sunday morning breakfast with Shakespeare.

I completely forgot about this as I was considering my reading for this week, so I‘m glad I happened to see some reminder posts. I joined this readalong late, but it‘s amazing to see how some of you are finishing a complete read through of the plays with this one.

#ShakespeareReadalong #ArkAngelShakespeare #BookAndBreakfast

Graywacke Especially @batsy and @TheBookHippie - the completists! 🎖 2d
batsy @Graywacke @TheBookHippie Aww, thank you 😆 2d
TheBookHippie @batsy 🏆🏆 2d
55 likes4 comments
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GingerAntics
King John | William Shakespeare
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Fun Fact: King John is the Great-Great-Grandfather of Richard II, where we started our little tour of Shakespeare‘s history plays. So I guess, in a way, we‘ve come full circle. It might be interesting to read the history plays in chronological order of the time periods they depict. We‘d still be left with some duds though.
#Shakespeare #KingJohn #shakespearereadalong

GingerAntics Well, we certainly have some family drama going on in this one. 3d
merelybookish And it's short! 2d
17 likes3 comments
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merelybookish
King John | William Shakespeare
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What do you think #shakespearereadalong? Accurate?
W Shakespeare (II) is "Very much like reality TV programme Wife Swap, but set in Italy." ?
From an article "All Possible Plots By Major Authors" https://www.the-fence.com/issues/issue-4/all-possible-plots-by-major-authors
@Graywacke @GingerAntics

Graywacke perfect 🤣🤣 (that whole page is terrific) 1w
merelybookish @Graywacke Yes! Thought Cormac McCarthy was especially good. 🤣 1w
batsy Ahahaha! Yep. Also the Trollope one 😂 1w
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Vansa This is SO FUNNY. The entry for Scott Fitzgerald and the one for Harold Pinter, so spot on. My sides are literally hurting from laughing at this 😂Thanks for sharing! 1w
Graywacke @merelybookish McCarthy was perfect. (The Gaskell has a spoiler of the book I‘m reading ☹️…but it‘s still funny.) 1w
sarahbarnes 😂😂 These are so good!! 1w
merelybookish @batsy Yes, that one made me laugh too! 1w
merelybookish @Vansa I'm glad you enjoyed! The Pinter is pretty 🔥🔥🔥😂 1w
merelybookish @Graywacke Oh bummer. Didn't think of spoilers. 1w
merelybookish @sarahbarnes The Woolf is also pretty accurate! 1w
LitStephanie I actually don't get this article at all. Guess it is over my head. 1w
Centique Brilliant. DH Lawrence and Thomas Hardy made me cackle 🤣 7d
merelybookish @LitStephanie That's a-okay! 7d
merelybookish @Centique Yes, liked both but appreciated how pithy Hardy's description was. 😂 7d
sarahbarnes It really is pretty spot on! 😂 6d
Daisey Several of these made me laugh. Thanks for sharing! 2d
merelybookish @Daisey Glad you enjoyed! 2d
39 likes17 comments
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TheBookHippie
King John | William Shakespeare
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Graywacke Reading the article, but the picture! 😂 1w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke great laugh to start the day! 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie goes well with my morning coffee ☕️🙂. Also, what a terrible reign he had. 1w
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TheBookHippie @Graywacke I agree on all counts! 1w
batsy Omg, this picture 😆 This gives me a reason to watch this again #research 1w
vlwelser Who told it better Shakespeare or Disney? Lol. I guess we'll see. 1w
TheBookHippie @batsy I seriously am going to 🤣 1w
GingerAntics 😂🤣😂 1w
LitStephanie @vlwelser @batsy @TheBookHippie I watched that movie about 100 times as a child, will be funny to see how the Disney John compares to Shakespeare's! 1d
TheBookHippie @LitStephanie I‘m sure I‘ve seen it 100 times as well 🤣 1d
vlwelser @LitStephanie @TheBookHippie I don't know if I ever watched it. I thought it was the king from Bedknobs until I read the description. 1d
TheBookHippie @vlwelser It‘s a hoot even some groovy hippie love scene action 🤣🤣🤣♥️ 1d
vlwelser Lol. I grew up watching the CBC. This may have been too contemporary and not Canadian for them. 1d
vlwelser You sold me with the groovy hippie love scene action. I'll have to find a copy. 22h
TheBookHippie @vlwelser once you see it you will LOL for real! It‘s great fun. 22h
51 likes17 comments
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Graywacke
King John | William Shakespeare
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Reminder - for us completists and bold souls willing to take on “the runt in the litter of Shakespeare‘s plays on English history” - we start King John next week.

#Shakespearereadalong
Act I - May 22
Act II - May 29
Act III - June 5
Act IV - June 12
Act V - June 19

Here‘s a link I found helpful that ponders if this play is a farce or not. https://interestingliterature.com/2020/01/summary-analysis-william-shakespeare-k...

TheBookHippie Oh thanks! 1w
merelybookish I'm hoping we get to go out with a bit of a bang! 🤞 1w
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Lcsmcat There‘s room in this story for some real drama so 🤞🏻 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie you will have them all after this! 🙂 1w
Graywacke @merelybookish yes please! If the text will just cooperate 1w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke I‘m so excited because I‘m that nerdy… 🤣 1w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat there is. What a life King John had. 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie I‘m jealous of you! 😆 1w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke my only working reference to King John is Robin Hood. 🤣 1w
GingerAntics Fingers crossed this one is better than the last two. 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie 🤣🤣🤣 but… actually that‘s really cool. Robinhood was loyal to absent crusading King Richard and against usurping John. I didn‘t know that. By the time this play has kicked off, brothers Richard and John are reconciled and, I think, Richard is already dead. 1w
Graywacke @GingerAntics so…😁… I really liked H8. But, yes, 🤞 1w
GingerAntics @Graywacke I just didn‘t feel like it was really Shakespeare. If I hadn‘t been expecting Shakespeare, I may have liked it as well. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 1w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke ah yes- well, my son as a young child was enamored with the Disney RobinHood Cartoon movie and the rule in this house is to learn and know the real story as well as the fun Disney, so I learned all kinds of information I had no clue about! We also read several versions of Robin Hood. Was great fun. 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie ah, such a great rule. Love it! (edited) 1w
jewright I haven‘t read this one yet either. 1w
batsy Completists and bold souls! 😆 Love it. 1w
41 likes19 comments
review
vlwelser
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Panpan

I'm just going to go ahead and pan this one. I didn't even know about this one prior to reading it for #ShakespeareReadAlong. It's like they've turned into a bunch of sycophants for the CoE or QEI. Not a fan. But my mum's complete Shakespeare is getting some love.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2w
TheBookHippie 🤣 I agree!!!!! 2w
30 likes2 comments
review
GingerAntics
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Panpan

This doesn‘t feel like Shakespeare at all. This is most definitely not Shakes at his finest. This seems like Shakes trying to keep himself in good with the queen. I can understand the hypothesis that this play had something to do with the Globe Theatre going up in flames during its debut run. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

GingerAntics This is widely believed to be a collaboration between Shakespeare and Fletcher. I can see that. I can also see that as a way to write off just how terrible this play is. I‘m not sure why Shakes would ever put his name on this thing, other than to suck up to the queen. 2w
TheBookHippie 🤷🏻‍♀️ I‘m puzzled. I enjoyed Katherine‘s bit. That‘s it. It could have been sooo good! 2w
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GingerAntics @TheBookHippie exactly! The weird thing is, Katherine wasn‘t even Queen Elizabeth‘s mother. How was that the best part in the whole play? You would have thought it was Ann Boleyn. 2w
TheBookHippie @GingerAntics 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2w
merelybookish So I checked dates and Elizabeth was dead by the time this was performed and James (son of Mary of Scots) was king. Made me wonder if Katherine's portrayal isn't connected somehow to Mary. 🤔 2w
GingerAntics @merelybookish oh it could be. That might explain things a bit better. The play is still crap, but that would make the crap make more sense. 2w
19 likes7 comments
review
Graywacke
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Pickpick

This is different. The language. It‘s verse, but there is a lot less compression and ambiguity. Instead it‘s kind of surprisingly clear. And I actually enjoyed that. Katherine is terrific. And Wolsey makes an entertaining fall and elegant exit. It‘s not a great play all the way through. Some is just spectacle (this is _the_ play that burned down the Globe). But I thought the good parts were very good. A 👍 from me. #shakespearereadalong

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merelybookish
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Oh my, this play is terrible. 😆 The final act...Cranmer faces a plot against him by nobles for religious unrest. But it is defeated by the King's loyalty to the Archbishop. (The CoE prevails!) There's a strange scene in palace gates with some bawdy wordplay. But what matters most is the birth and christening of Elizabeth. What a queen she will become! Oh, and her heir is pretty awesome too. A wooden epilogue ends it all.
#shakespearereadalong

merelybookish Sorry to be so negative about this play. But it just seems kind of empty to me. Even the "drama" feels manufactured and swiftly resolved. No problems here. ? My intro describes the play as a series of pageants (trials, coronations, christenings). And that feels accurate and why all the other scenes feel like padding. 2w
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merelybookish Anyhoo, I believe this is my final #shakespearereadalong hosting gig! 😮 We have read some awesome plays together! And some not-so-awesome! 🤣 I've enjoyed it! 2w
Lcsmcat I agree. This seems like a vehicle for grand costumes and marching about and not much else. 2w
merelybookish Next up is King John with @Graywacke Sure to be a winner! 🤞😂 2w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat "Lots of marching about!" ?I hated it. Lol. There was no plot just the inevitable unfolding of divine law. 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish your last sr post! 🥲 Thank you for being such a great host and for inspiring this group. 2w
vlwelser It's like they're just sucking up to the CoE. This didn't exactly do it for me. But I'm glad I read it anyway. Mostly because of the discussion with all of you. 2w
Graywacke I didn‘t care too much for this anticlimactic act but I enjoyed the play a lot. Katherine and Wolsey were terrific characters for me. And I appreciated the plays clarity. It‘s a pretty complex story, but I never felt lost. 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke There we‘re some good speeches given to Katherine. But did you feel she stayed true to character? Her seeming to change her mind without clear motivation bothered me. 2w
merelybookish @vlwelser You joined us just as we were getting into yhr dregs of his catalogue. You are a trooper! 2w
merelybookish @Graywacke Definitely not complex 😛 But some oddities..what did you make of the crowd in palace gates? To add some colour to the pomp? And thank you! Exciting you will be leading us in our final play. We all deserve a pat on the back! 2w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat It's pretty amazing how all conflict was removed from this play. Even the "losers" are at peace with events. 2w
vlwelser ? Pericles caught my attention. Reading 1 act a week even when the play is bad isn't much of a "chore." 2w
merelybookish @vlwelser It's true. Once you get into the rhythm, it's pretty easy. 2w
vlwelser Thank you for hosting! I have no idea how you're pulling discussion/talking points out of some of these. 2w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat well, I see consistency in this Katherine. She‘s savvy and strong willed, but not suicidal (and she has a daughter to protect). I think she fought when she was able to and relented when she needed to stay in Henry‘s good graces. (And never compromised her safety line - the Spanish royal connection that made physically harming her politically impossible. Anne didn‘t have that safety line. But that‘s not really this play.) 2w
Graywacke @vlwelser if you can get through Pericles you get through anything (except maybe Coriolanus) 🙂 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish maybe you‘re right, but I struggled with all these names and their ups and downs in Henry‘s and others‘ eyes. I thought the dialogue was clear and paved out for me what was happening. (Usually I struggle to make out exactly what‘s going on with Shakespeare.) (edited) 2w
merelybookish @Graywacke oh Im sorry. I was dismissive. I get what you're saying and actually there were times I wasn't sure who was on who's side until the end of themscene 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish i appreciated your honesty. 🙂 Certainly it challenged my thinking and that‘s always a good thing. 2w
batsy That sums it up! It was pretty awkward all around and definitely felt like a PR vehicle for the Tudors. Henry VIII definitely appears really benevolent and wise... Which seems, well 🧐😆 Also, your last post as SR coordinator! Thank you for all of your work and for inspiring good discussions 💖 2w
GingerAntics This was definitely all about getting on the good side of the queen. Not my favourite at all. 2w
jewright I just thought there would be more drama. There‘s more drama in the history than we get here. The christening also seems like just a big time to suck up to the queen. 2w
TheBookHippie I am so very disappointed in this play. It could have been so great! Or I had my opinions beforehand! 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️I did however like Katherine very much and enjoyed that bit way more than anticipated ! As always thanks for leading us through!!! I back read discussions as I caught up! Phenomenal as usual! I look forward to King John!! 2w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke Katherine was my favorite part! I think I was expecting more drama or something, I was thinking this play would be more exciting 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣. 2w
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