The Loves of Shakespeare's Women
Here are the famous speeches from Juliet--Come, night! Come, Romeo!--and from Portia--The quality of mercy...--but also less familiar ones from Viola, Hermia, Isabella and Cressida. These younger characters make up the first half of the book, while the second half is devoted to maturer women like Lady Macbeth--How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me--Gertrude, Mistress Quickly, Cleopatra and Queen Katherine.
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It can be read quietly and contemplatively , or aloud and passionately , for pleasure or instruction . For teachers it offers an entry point to Shakespeare , for actresses a wealth of audition pieces . And of course the whole thing ...
But of course there'd be restrictions of time , of my own ability to hold all these women , of an audience's will to digest them . Inevitably I would end up with a list of ' Possibles ' , characters I thought I might one day interchange ...
... send me a marvellously useful critique . It was very hot . And very scary . They were so close ! And I could see them ! My eyes would land on an encouraging face in the middle of a link , what should I do , engage ? Yes of course ...
The programme of the current play , Ring Round the Moon , could be ' slipped ' , she said ; it was short notice of course , but might garner a small , nonpaying audience . And there was just time before I left for Hungary .
A local theatre director said ' I know the Shakespeare , I like the sound , I cannot understand of course , the English . Did she breathe ? I watched , I watched very hard for a breath ... Heroic - and generous .
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