365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

358. Spot the reference.

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If you get the Shakespearean reference in this picture (that’d be me with my adorable fiance, Adam!), you get a cookie!

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Written by Caroline Mincks

September 24, 2010 at 4:34 PM

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357. Shakespeare Undead

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Oh, come on. You had to know this was only a matter of time. With the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and all its illegitimate children, the craze has reached new levels.

This novel by Lori Handeland sounds like a play Darren Nichols would put on (and for the love of all that is holy, if you don’t recognize that name, watch Slings & Arrows before I cry). In it, it turns out that our beloved Will was a necromancer, creating armies of zombies. Oh, and he teams up with the “dark lady” from the sonnets to fight these reanimated corpses.

I can’t decide if I want to read this or not, but all I know is that it seems oddly in keeping with Macbeth. Perhaps a double feature is in order.

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM

356. Top 11 Shakespearean badasses: number 1

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NUMBER 1: Emilia from Othello

You know how sometimes you get stabbed in the gut and yet are still able to keep from bleeding to death long enough to condemn your manipulative, murderous husband? No. No you do not. Because you are not Emilia and you will never be as badass as she is. This woman is the definition of “hardcore”. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, dies trying to defend her mistress’s reputation and accusing her husband for his guilt, and even while dying manages to do just this. Also, she’s a woman. Find me a male character who does this. Okay, Laertes a little, but he was just as guilty as Claudius, whereas Emilia was innocent of any crime. So hats off to you, Emilia, the toughest of the tough, for managing to make us laugh, cry, cringe, and dream of being as totally badass as you are. 

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 22, 2010 at 11:33 PM

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355. Top 11 Shakespearean badasses: number 2

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NUMBER 2: Lady Macbeth from Macbeth

So she is an unconventional choice, since she is generally considered a villain – that doesn’t mean she isn’t a tough, capable woman at the same time. Sure, she has some flaws here and there, namely the whole “assisting husband in killing half the castle” thing, but in general, she is a woman who is ambitious but is not able to act upon that because of her gender. She is tough, but isn’t really allowed to show it because of her gender. She is smart and savvy, but can only use those skills through channels (namely, through her husband) because of her gender. She finds ways to work past being female, and though her actions do lead to her ruin, one has to wonder what she would be like in a modern world where she could find success through her own skills and intellect. She’d probably be running things before too long.

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 21, 2010 at 11:28 PM

354. Top 11 Shakespearean badasses: number 3

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NUMBER 3: Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing

This girl is the master at the battle of the wits. She always seems to best Benedick, her rival-slash-love, and is definitely the heart of the play. She is one of Shakespeare’s most well-written characters, female or no, and never fails to bring the humor. She has a beautiful inner strength, which shows most especially when she is fiercely defending her cousin against the terrible accusations thrown toward her and whenever she has to face a male character – she is generally treated as an equal in many respects. 

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 20, 2010 at 11:18 PM

353. Top 11 Shakespearean badasses: number 4

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NUMBER 4: Hermione from The Winter’s Tale

This lovely lady starts out tough and only gets better. She is already a devoted wife and has the ability to charm people into doing just about anything she wants – a nice skill to have. Then, when her life is utterly ripped apart – publicly humiliated and accused of terrible things, her child torn from her arms – she stays strong, still showing loyalty and love to her husband, knowing she is in the right. After she dies (presumably from grief, but it is still considered debatable), her statue is reanimated and she consoles everyone. Even in death, this lady is putting others first. Though that may not seem like a badass quality, when you consider the times and what she went through, it is pretty amazing that she managed not to get totally whiny and selfish. I know I would have.

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 19, 2010 at 11:25 PM

352. Top 11 Shakespearean badasses: number 5

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NUMBER 5: All the crossdressers.

Any of Shakespeare’s women who had to cross-dress to protect themselves qualifies as a badass. These girls had to totally hide their femininity from the world in order to keep from being in any danger, often had to assume the role as a servant or companion to a male master (whom they were in love with, of course), and generally are considered some of the strongest female characters Shakespeare ever wrote. These are the women who really lead those plays and who stand out the most.

For instance, I recently saw a production of Twelfth Night and something struck me: we always remember Viola as the standout character, but she actually doesn’t have a ton of stage time. Sure, she’s there a lot, but it’s not as though there aren’t nice-sized gaps where the actress is hidden backstage for a while. This is the exception rather than the rule, though, especially when it comes to Rosalind, whose role is exceptionally large.

And just look at Portia – she is usually in woman’s weeds, but she ends up disguising herself as a male page to go into the court and use possibly the best loophole in existence to save Antonio from a really unpleasant fate. Whether Shakespeare was really a feminist or not, there is no denying that he wrote some really tough girls who are usually just as smart – if not smarter – than the men.

Written by Caroline Mincks

September 18, 2010 at 11:16 PM