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March 22, 2012

A guide to better understanding Shakespeare's plays. When you think about it some of his plots are awfully familiar.




They say that today’s kids spend too much time watching TV and not enough time reading long plays by William Shakespeare. I think kids would read more William Shakespeare plays if they could get past his use of very pretentious language. See, kids today relate more to real people in real situations. Who talk normally. I have provided a brief synopsis for many of Shakespeare’s plays in the hopes that a new generation will embrace them with open arms now that they understand basically what they are about. His plays are all very worth watching.

I humbly present “WHATCHOO TALKIN’ BOUT WILL S: A GUIDE TO BETTER UNDERSTANDING SHAKESPEARE PLAYS IN LANGUAGE YOU MIGHT UNDERSTAND”. Because the world don’t beat to the tune of just one drum. What might be right for you might not be right for some.



This is a story about the misadventures of two “star-crossed lovers” who by all accounts should not be together, but obviously have feelings for each other. At the end of the story it seems all hope is lost. But... When Romeo gets home one day he finds a message on his answering machine, from Juliet, who is supposed to be leaving for Paris. But it turns out Juliet ran off the plane and missed her flight so she could be with Romeo.



Literally, a play about nothing. A neurotic stand-up comedian and his equally neurotic friends deal with issues in their personal lives in their own odd ways, but nothing really happens. No hugs. No learning. Very dialogue driven yadda yadda yadda.



“Hamlet” follows a young boy who is often at loggerheads with his uncle, whom he is forced to live with. Eventually his uncle is killed off after saying rude things about the boss and is replaced by Ashton Kutcher.



Julius Caesar is a very powerful man. His wife has a nightmare about him dying. But then she wakes up one morning and finds him in the shower. It turns out the whole season was just Pam’s dream.



Though this play has been heavily criticized for its depiction of Italians and Jews, it is also critically acclaimed and during its run won five Golden Globes. It is considered to be one of the best plays ever, and made a star out of James Gandolfini. However, the play’s rather ambiguous ending has also been the subject of much scrutiny. At the end it just cut abruptly cuts to black, so there is no word on what really happened there.  



An ambassador of the Moors in Venice, born and raised, Othello is an Italian prince who  gets in one little fight, and his mom gets scared, and tells him he’s going to be moving to his auntie and uncle’s in Bel-Air. 



 King Lear is a delivery man living in Queens, New York, who’s got it all figured out, until his annoying father-in-law is forced to move in with him. He is friends with a fool played by Patton Oswalt. Fun fact, the actor who originally played Frank Costanza in “Much Ado About Nothing” plays Arthur Spooner in “King Lear”.



A very, very old play. Richard is a television writer who in the opening sequence trips over the ottoman in his living room. He prefers to go by “Dick” though.



Macbeth is willing to do anything to get ahead in the business world. She is a legal lady who accepts a job at a Boston law firm where her ex-lover and his wife also work. Ally Macbeth must contend with her feelings and tangled love life to succeed in her career. Robert Downey Jr. guests stars.



Probably the most famous Shakespearean play about cross-dressing, “Twelfth Night” depicts a man named “Cary” who dresses up as a woman and befriends three ladies named Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda so he can take advantage of sales on Fifth Avenue and drink daiquiris. I think. There is also a spin-off show, I mean play, called “Twelve Friday Nights” that features the trials and tribulations of a small town Texas football team.