Welcome back to the sixth month of Calendar Girls! It’s a monthly blog event co-hosted by Flavia and Melaine and designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers. Calendar Girls was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl, For more information, about the Calendar Girls community click here!
June’s Theme- Best Shakespearean play
There are quite a few things that I love about Shakespeare plays. One of them being that the stage direction is so vague that they can be set anywhere and essentially have leaves the play in the hands of the director. The play can take place a high school, or on Verona Beach, the ghost that can be seen as super scary can be a giant lion voiced by James Earl Jones ascending from the clouds, side characters can ride unicycles, extremely important speeches can take place in a Blockbuster video. ANYTHING is possible.
My choice for this month’s topic is Hamlet. I love this play. The first time I read it was in high school as part of a Shakespeare class that I ended up in on accident, but ended up really enjoying. After reading this play, the teacher showed us parts of 3 or 4 different movies. The fancy “traditional” one, one with Ethan Hawke with the Yorick speech in the Blockbuster, and some other less memorable ones. I think the point of that was to show us that anything can happen in Shakespeare using the same dialogue. Hamlet alway stuck with me. Even after reading many of the Shakespeare’s plays, this one stands out above the other ones. I did that “Alas poor Yorick” speech in college as part of a drama presentation, but if I remember correctly we had to choose a passage from Hamlet and not just any passage, and I already had it memorized, so that was a no-brainer.
I think one of the reasons this particular play stuck with me so much is because it’s so Emo. I first read it in 2005 when I was a senior in high school. 2005 was a pretty emo time with the beginning of Panic! and Fallout Boy and the already steady influence of other bands that I should probably know the names of. Myspace was full of emo quotes and amateur gifs with lyrics. Therefore the overall feeling of Hamlet was one that I felt pretty regularly. It is probably the most melodramatic of the Shakespeare plays, and I think that’s what really drew me in.
I also found it super profound, again, I was reading this play the first time through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl in 2005, which is a very specific kind of person. Act V of this play is just so over-dramatic that reading the quick sparknotes summary to refresh myself that it almost seems ridiculous. There is so much unnecessary death, and the fate of Ophelia is just so tragic. This is just a wonderful play.
Have you read Hamlet? What did you think? Is Prince Hamlet the single most emo person every to exist? (Trick question because it might be Ophelia.) What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
Next month’s Calendar Girls Theme: Best Fairytale retelling.
Until next time Internet,