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Much Ado About a Contest

I have been trying to figure out how to induce discussion of the plays, and it occurred to me that people like free stuff. So I'll be holding contests each week, with valuable prizes. (Valuable is a word which here means "worth something to bookish nerds and Shakespeare fans", on account of me not being made of money.)

The Prize
This week's prize is a DVD of the 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing, from which I've sampled throughout my two posts on that play. The video stars Kenneth Brannagh as Benedick, Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, Keanu Reeves as Don John, Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio, Kate Beckinsale as Hero, Imelda Staunton as Margaret, Richard Briers as Leonato, Michael Keaton as Dogberry and, I am surprised to discover, Patrick Doyle as Balthazar. (I must now go back and rewatch that scene, just to catch sight of Mr. Doyle, who composed the score for this and a number of other movies, including Sense and Sensibility, Henry V, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

How to Enter
Leave comments on this week's play posts for Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labour's Lost. To truly encourage discourse, I'm going with a wrinkle on the notion of "he who dies with the most toys wins" – whoever has the largst number of substantive comments as of midnight ET on Sunday will have earned themselves a copy of the movie. You will likely have spotted the slight caveat, which is that the comments must be substantive, a word which here means "the kind that contribute to actual conversation." Posting "hello" or something else 50 times will not get you any entries at all. Savvy?

I repeat: Only comments on the posts dedicated to the plays count this week. There should be six of them by the time the contest ends at midnight on Sunday (two on Much Ado About Nothing, two on Romeo and Juliet, and two on Love's Labour's Lost).

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
How fun! Substantive, huh?...Okay, then. I have to say that when I first read MAAN, it wasn't my favorite comedy. In fact, we read them in a group (Comedy of Errors, MAAN, Loves Labors Lost, and...uh-oh, one more). None of them really stood out that much, and I wonder why that is? My two favorite comedies are actually Twelfth Night and Merchant of Venice -- both of which, of course, have women disguised as men. BUT when I watched the movie, I loved the light and fun feel of it all (though I admit that Hero and Claudio seemed...overdone?). I'm a huge fan of Emma Thompson, however, and her role is so lovely!
Jun. 2nd, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
I will guess that perhaps the other one you read was As You Like It? If it were A Midsummer Night's Dream, I'm pretty sure you'd remember it - it's pretty different from the others. Although As You Like It has a woman dressed as a man as well.

Thanks for commenting (and after you said you probably wouldn't)!
Jun. 2nd, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was AYLI -- and that also jogged my memory about why the others didn't stand out...I definitely prefer the females-dressed-as-males scenario -- and right after I read AYLI, we did an in-depth study on MoV and TN, and I remember thinking that those two did the female/male trick so much better. Interesting...

(I couldn't keep from commenting -- you're taking me back to one of my favorite college courses!)
Jun. 3rd, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Yo. I've enjoyed rereading the bits of Shakespeare you've posted, but the only comment that popped into my head was Keanu makes me laugh and laugh as DJ. Which just doesn't seem substantive enough, heh. I wonder if you did less summarizing and asked more discussion-starting questions if that would prompt more comments?
Jun. 3rd, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
I suppose it would help if I asked questions, although I'm not certain what I'd ask about. I half expected someone to argue with me about Claudio, or about my dissing of Michael Keaton as Dogberry. Thus far, it hasn't happened. Nevertheless, I'll think of some questions to ask for R&J - which reminds me, I need to finish coding tomorrow's post!

I think that your comment counts as substantive if you tell me what's so funny about it. I can think of at least three things I find funny about it, but I'd love to hear your reasoning.
Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
I didn't even see your diss of MK! ::makes note to go back and reread::

As for Keanu, I just think he's hilariously miscast. Except for his height. His height works in the role. His acting chops, not so much.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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