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All the World's a Grave: A New Play by…
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All the World's a Grave: A New Play by William Shakespeare (edició 2008)

de John Reed (Editor), John Reed (Epíleg)

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726289,582 (3.25)4
An epic tragedy of love, war, murder, and madness, plucked from the pages of Shakespeare In All the World's a Grave, John Reed reconstructs the works of William Shakespeare into a new five-act tragedy. The language is Shakespeare's, but the drama that unfolds is as fresh as the blood on the stage. Prince Hamlet goes to war for Juliet, the daughter of King Lear. Having captured Juliet as his bride--by reckless war--he returns home to find that his mother has murdered his father and married Macbeth. Enter Iago, who persuades Hamlet that Juliet is having an affair with Romeo. As the Prince goes mad with jealousy, King Lear mounts his army. . . This play promises to be the most provocative and entertaining work to be added to the Shakespeare canon since Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.… (més)
Membre:Pauntley
Títol:All the World's a Grave: A New Play by William Shakespeare
Autors:John Reed (Editor)
Altres autors:John Reed (Epíleg)
Informació:Plume (2008), 197 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:Shakespearean pastiche, Hamlet, Juliet, Lear, Romeo and the Macbeths transposed and transmuted

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All the World's a Grave de John Reed

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‘All the World’s a Grave’ is a mashup of five Shakespearean tragedies, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, with some incidental offcuts from Henry V. The principal characters are Hamlet, Prince of Bohemia and Juliet, her father, King Lear of Aquitaine, Romeo, Macbeth and his Queen, the mother of Prince Hamlet. Rosenkranz and Guildenstern frolic in supporting roles. In a substantial Afterword, ‘Outro: Gist and Gybe’, John Reed justifies his travesty. Elizabethan dramatists were unconstrained by copyright: their inventions and innovations alternated with the cut and paste of old stock. ‘Shakespeare’s plays were monsters assembled from other monsters [so] that a fresh monstrosity can be assembled from Shakespeare. And, because of Shakespeare’s use of stock players and storylines, a new Shakespearian narrative is equally possible.’
Shakespeare’s texts constrain Reed's newly created monstrosity. He constructs his mashup by rearrangement and reattribution of the original texts. Apart from necessary name changes, altered pronouns, minor grammatical adjustments and occasional impudent asides Reed adds nothing to the texts. Prince Hamlet fights a war with Lear, captures Juliet as his bride and on his return to Bohemia discovers that his mother has murdered his father and married Macbeth. His father’s Ghost commands him to take vengeance on Macbeth but Hamlet is distracted by his groundless apprehension, stoked by Iago, that Juliet is playing false to him with Romeo. Hamlet goes mad. Everyone ends up dying, either murdered or by their own hand. The play ends when Lear, mourning his daughter Juliet, stabs himself – ‘O happy dagger! There is no evil lost. This is thy sheath’. Lear’s last words here are of course Juliet’s own quietus in the original.
What’s the point of reading ‘All the World’s a Grave?’ I found stimulation and enjoyment in the way familiar lines take on renewed intensity and psychedelic colour when transplanted to this new plot in the Shakespearean terrain. Hamlet compounded with Othello, believing himself twice betrayed, is an even more formidable madman: ‘How stand I that have a father killed, A mother stained, and a harlot for a wife? What sense had I of her stolen hours of lust? I saw it not…’ Hamlet's madness has its apotheosis in the brutal horror of his last command to Romeo, uttered in the false belief that Romeo has seduced Juliet, Hamlet's wife. Romeo says, ‘Sir, what you will command me will I do. Hamlet: ‘Romeo, kill Juliet; kill her dead’. [Romeo reaches for his sword]. Romeo: ‘What I can do, I will’. Hamlet: ‘Do it not by the sword; strangle her’ [he does so] Hamlet: ‘Good; good: the justice of it pleases’.
It’s not serious of course. It’s an exercise in travesty and enjoyable As such. Hamlet meets his own end at the hands of his old school-fellow, who also accounts for Iago. Hamlet's last words To his murderer are transposed, with felicitous impudence from another tragedy: ‘Et tu, Guildenstern?’
The reconstructed play is seriously disorienting. I would advise anyone taking it on to read the afterword, which contains the ’Gist’ of the play, first. Otherwise the magnetic pull of one’s existing knowledge of the characters and plots of the original plays will impede understanding of what’s going on. The Kindle version would be preferable to the printed version for its ready internet access to the originals but for a maddening defect. The electronic Kindle version takes no account of line lengths in the original verse with a consequent loss of fluent sense in reading the play. ( )
  Pauntley | Feb 11, 2021 |
The first time I have ever aborted a play. Usually I plunge on through no matter how boring, trite, or even revolting they might be, but this was the length of a full length book, and it had failed to capture my attention by Scene 5, and I couldn't face finishing it. Life's just too short to read bad books. It wasn't that it was bad...after all, it was using Shakespeare's own words...but it does show how trite and banal those words can be when put together in a different order and set in a different context. Mixing the characters might seem amusing, with King Lear's daughter, Juliet, marrying Romeo, who had just defeated Lear and won back Acquataine might seem interesting (it was interesting enough for me to buy the play), but it fell totally flat. Whether that is my own jaded worldview on re-writes of Shakespeare (frankly, if you really want to do that, why? Just write your own play, and ignore the bard if you think he's out of date or boring), or whether it is an author who failed to pull off what he was attempting to do, I have no idea. All I know is it really wasn't worth spending my time on. ( )
  Devil_llama | Aug 6, 2016 |
I truly enjoyed this Shakespeare mash-up (a "new play by Shakespeare"). The afterword from the author was especially thought provoking (Down with the Canon!, Reed argues). The way Reed fit pieces of the original plots together was fascinating and resourceful (for example, Hamlet's love interest is Juliet, whose father is Lear, etc.). At times it was clearly overkill, packing so many great leading characters into one play, but it was always very interesting.

But best of all, his lightly edited/updated treatment of Shakespeare's language brought the work to life for me in a way I haven't enjoyed much since school, when I had great teachers to help me appreciate the texts. Check out the endnotes.

I would love to see this play performed! It deserves a lot more attention and discussion. ( )
  patronus11 | Mar 31, 2013 |
i like the idea of the book. but too much like reading shakespear so i could not get through it. if you like shakespear english than this might be for you. but over my head of understanding. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Jan 25, 2011 |
I'm VERY new here at Library Thing, so please work with me here while I try to figure this out!!! OK, so I just entered myself into the "Member Giveaway" contest to read this book. Based on the description of All the World's a Grave, it looks AWESOME. I am a Shakespeare fanatic. I've read all of Shakespeare's plays, poems, and sonnets, which, believe me, doesn't mean that I remember every detail from all of his work! But the plays that are "borrowed from" in this book are monumental -- Hamlet (my favorite work of all time), King Lear, Othello, Romeo & Juliet (maybe one or two others?) If I win a copy of this book I will definitely read it (and I have a feeling I will enjoy it a LOT) and I will definitely place a review here. I'm just wondering if there's a specific time period, from the time you win a book to the time you post your review??? I'm not the fastest reader in the world -- I average around one week per book (sometimes more, sometimes less.)

Anyway, this does seem to be a fantastic book, so I hope I win a copy!!!!
  BarbaraNYC | Dec 11, 2010 |
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An epic tragedy of love, war, murder, and madness, plucked from the pages of Shakespeare In All the World's a Grave, John Reed reconstructs the works of William Shakespeare into a new five-act tragedy. The language is Shakespeare's, but the drama that unfolds is as fresh as the blood on the stage. Prince Hamlet goes to war for Juliet, the daughter of King Lear. Having captured Juliet as his bride--by reckless war--he returns home to find that his mother has murdered his father and married Macbeth. Enter Iago, who persuades Hamlet that Juliet is having an affair with Romeo. As the Prince goes mad with jealousy, King Lear mounts his army. . . This play promises to be the most provocative and entertaining work to be added to the Shakespeare canon since Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

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