David Brooks refers to Henry V as "one of Shakespeare's most appealing characters," but any sophisticated reader knows that Prince Hal is not in the least appealing. Yes, a shallow reader might think that Prince Hal is the "rambunctious" youth hailed by Brooks, but that is a cliché.
Imagine it again: Not just a few but a majority of those voting in 2008 were enlightened hearts and they made electoral history. But not one of them is onstage in Clybourne Park. How then is this play, as The New York Times' theatre critic claims, "ferociously smart"?
We in the arts face major challenges, including, but certainly not limited to, the short-term economic situation in which we all work. But simply suggesting that 'things must change' without giving us concrete proposals is not helpful. What exactly do these people mean by 'old models' anyway?
Shakespeare's play, however, is more about politics than it is about ancient heroes, about the politics of Rome as the elected government gave way to dictatorship. It's a story about patriotism and corruption, about conspiracies and alliances.
My concerns about missing the most perfect turns of the English language were largely unfounded. The plays are so good, that in the hands of passionate performers they go beyond the need to comprehend the words to get their meaning.
This is the one time in class where viewing the movie is beneficial. Shakespeare was written as a play, not a book, so seeing the scenes played out is helpful when trying to decipher the plot-line and character motivation.
Briony Westinghouse reporting from the field with Part Two of my investigative series, "Earth Things Which Could Be Aliens." In this segment, I uncover the true identities of high-profile extraterrestrials living among us.
The following bit of Shakespearean amusement was concocted by my great friend Bernard Levin. I've decided to post it here so that and all of you can have it to download, print out, e-mail, link to... and enjoy.