Monday, June 19, 2006

Reader's Diary 110- William Shakespeare: King Lear (up to Act 3, Scene 7)

I know this is a classic. It's certainly one of Shakespeare's more recognizable titles. But of all the Shakespeare I've read so far, it's my least favourite.

My two biggest beefs with it are linked to one another somewhat: 1. There are two many characters
2. There isn't enough character development.

With all the dukes and earls, I find it very difficult to keep track of who's a villain and who isn't. It's not a ridiculously huge cast (20 not including servants and knights). In fact, it has a smaller cast than both Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. But because Shakespeare didn't (in my opinion) really take the time to expand on the character's and their motivations, one character seems to blend into the next.

Maybe this is one of those cases where I really need to see the play. That way I'd get through the story in one sitting without forgetting who was supposed to be who, and maybe the actors would bring some emotion (or simply a physical presence) that would help me tell one another apart.

Or maybe I'm in need of a fluffier book for summer. As I'm reading Shakespeare and Heaney right now, I'm realizing that my brain just isn't up to the task. Cue your favourite summer song here: Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime"? Gershwin's "Summertime"? Sinatra's "The Summer Wind"?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Belle and Sebastian's "I Know Where the Summer Goes"

You are right, if there are too many characters and they are not well-developed, they become a character stew.

Time to read Bridget Jones' Diary, or something!
I'm almost finished Life of Pi.

John Mutford said...

I watched the movie version already. Maybe I'll sink to the Shopoholic series.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Shopoholic - oh dear.
Actually I found the book Bridget Jones' Diary to be quite charming, but didn't really care for the movie - although Renee Z was sweet (she really should keep a few pounds on her). Of course I read the book before we were inundated with the masses of copy-cat chicklit.