365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

156. All you need to know about every Shakespeare play (in 140 characters or less)

leave a comment »

So you haven’t read the complete works of William Shakespeare? Don’t worry. You can fool people into thinking you have by becoming familiar with a brief plot summary of each play. And if that sounds daunting, check this out – you can read these plot summaries as short as one Tweet (Double-Plus Bonus: Cardenio gets a Tweet):

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
All Is NOT Well That Ends Well, and this play doesn’t. MORAL: Do it with the lights on.

ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
Love bites. MORAL: Never get involved in Middle Eastern affairs.

AS YOU LIKE IT
Desperate Housewives in Forest of Arden. MORAL: U can always get a guy by pretending to be a boy.

CARDENIO (WS’s lost play)
Good triumphs over evil, but the fair lady dies anyway. MORAL: Back up your data.

COMEDY OF ERRORS
Twins is funny. MORAL: Adoption is a choice, too.

CORIOLANUS
Aloof, non-sympathetic warrior dies. MORAL: People skills matter.

CYMBELINE
Don’t marry evil queen. Don’t bet yr wife can’t be seduced. Don’t let someone cut off yr head. All good advice.

HAMLET
Hamlet avenges his father, and it only takes four hours.

HENRY IV, 1
Same as The Lion King: Princes have to grow up. Also, hakuna matata.

HENRY IV, 2
Prince Hal’s movin’ on up. MORAL: Don’t forget the little people who got you where you are.

HENRY V
A king’s gotta do what a king’s gotta do. MORAL: England good, France bad.

HENRY VI, 1
Henry V-play AND king-is tough act to follow. Not even a genius can hit it out the park every time.

HENRY VI, 2
Like a cricket match and Celine Dion’s love, these Henry VI plays will go on.

HENRY VI, 3
The play so nice he wrote it thrice!

HENRY VIII
Henry wants a son and will stop at nothing to get one. MORAL: Divorce is a pain in the neck.

JULIUS CAESAR
When in Rome, watch your back. MORAL: Beware the Ides of March.

KING JOHN
When writing a play about somebody, don’t leave out the most interesting things (Magna Carta) they did.

KING LEAR
It’s hell getting old.

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST
Swearing off women is harder than it looks.

MACBETH
Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to be more aggressive in pursuing career options.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE
Dukes suck. MORAL: Don’t get someone else to do your dirty work.

MERCHANT OF VENICE
Always read your loan papers before you sign them.

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
Prequel to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Don’t mess with the ladies.

MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
“The course of true love never did run smooth” (III,2). Everyone likes a nice ass.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
People in love act like idiots. Don’t believe everything you hear.

OTHELLO
Othello forgoes marital counseling, takes matters into his own hands. Count to 10 before killing your wife.

PERICLES
Don’t ask someone to solve a riddle whose answer will reveal you’re committing incest.

RICHARD II
Absolute power corrupts two in the bush.

RICHARD III
The end justifies the means. Horses are very valuable, worth kingdoms.

ROMEO & JULIET
“A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” (Prologue). Teen marriages never last.

TAMING OF THE SHREW
Petruchio tames Kate, and vice versa. No means yes.

TEMPEST
Not even stranding your daughter on an island will keep her from discovering boys.

TIMON OF ATHENS
A fool & his money are soon parted. (WS did it better in a little rewrite calledKing Lear.)

TITUS ANDRONICUS
Groundlings love blood!

TROILUS & CRESSIDA
Trojan wars are complicated, and Trojans sometimes break.

TWELFTH NIGHT
Shipwreck. Cross-dressing. Character A loves Character B who loves Character C. We’ve seen it.

TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
Don’t fall in love with your best friend’s girlfriend.

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN
See Two Gentlemen of Verona.

WINTER’S TALE
It’s OK to kill yr wife & best friend, & abandon yr baby, as long as you regret it. + Living statues!

Advertisements

Written by Caroline Mincks

March 6, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: