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The Two Noble Kinsmen (1634)

de William Shakespeare, John Fletcher

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4131145,656 (3.11)18
Palamon and Arcite, cousins and bosom friends, are taken prisoner by Duke Theseus of Athens. While in captivity, they spy the beautiful Emilia. Both fall instantly in love with her, and their attachment to each other turns to hate. This dark-edged tragicomedy is now widely regarded as having been written by Shakespeare in collaboration with John Fletcher. Composed sometime in 1613-14, The Two Noble Kinsmen is the final play in Shakespeare's dramatic career.… (més)
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Anglès (10)  Suec (1)  Totes les llengües (11)
Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Delightful edition of this challenging play, with great textual notes, detailed introduction, and just all around a high-quality elucidation of this collaborative work. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Shakespeare's final play, a collaboration with Fletcher, is more show than substance and allegedly often stolen by the Jailer's Daughter, who plays a small but crucial role in the main plot but ends up the lead character in a bizarre and controvercial subplot that even on the page is in some ways more interesting than the main action of two knights who fall instantly in love with their enemy's sister and fall to rivalry and rancour despite being cousins and also best pals five seconds earlier... Apparently one such modern day show stealer was Imogen Stubbs, which, given what I've seen/heard her do in other contexts, I find not so much plausible as inevitable.

So this is typical of late Shakespeare - an insubstantial Romance, this time based on Chaucer's Knight's Tale, with a silly plot and thin characters that can probably be made into a lively stage spectacle, at least, but far distant from the works that made his name echo down over four hundred years of history. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
This play is supposedly co-authored by Shakespeare and John Fletcher (of Fletcher & Beaumont fame) though that attribution is considered questionable. I have nothing to add to that debate but note the fact (which explains why this play isn't in my Kindle "The Complete Works of Shakespeare").

The play is apparently based upon one of Chaucer's tales and I found the setting of ancient Athens a bit forced and unlikely. For example, did the ancient Greeks in the time of Theseus do Morris dancing? Despite these oddities, I did enjoy the play. I may not have gotten as much out of reading it if I hadn't also watched it courtesy of Shakespeare's Globe Theater (https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/watch/#free-youtube-premieres) which cut a significant bit of the written text but made what was written much easier to understand. The Project Gutenberg text I read was based on a 1908 printed version which kept a lot of archaic spelling.

There was a lot of comedy in this play but I guess that overall I would classify it as a tragedy because of the way it ended. Often I find Shakespeare's comic relief in his tragedies not at all funny but this time I was chuckling a lot. ( )
  leslie.98 | May 7, 2020 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Two Noble Kinsmen
Series: ----------
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Tragic Comedy?
Pages: 246
Words: 71K

Synopsis:


From Wikipedia

A prologue informs the audience that the play is based on a story from Chaucer.

Three queens come to plead with Theseus and Hippolyta, rulers of Athens, to avenge the deaths of their husbands by the hand of the tyrant Creon of Thebes. Creon has killed the three kings and refuses to allow them proper burial. Theseus agrees to wage war on Creon.

In Thebes, Palamon and Arcite, cousins and close friends, are bound by duty to fight for Creon, though they are appalled by his tyranny. In a hard-fought battle Palamon and Arcite enact prodigies of courage, but the Thebans are defeated by Theseus. Palamon and Arcite are imprisoned, but philosophically resign themselves to their fate. Their stoicism is instantly destroyed when from their prison window they see Princess Emilia, Hippolyta's sister. Both fall in love with her, and their friendship turns to bitter rivalry. Arcite is released after a relative intercedes on his behalf. He is banished from Athens, but he disguises himself, wins a local wrestling match, and is appointed as Emilia's bodyguard.

Meanwhile, the jailer's daughter has fallen in love with Palamon and helps him escape. She follows him, but he ignores her: still obsessed with Emilia. He lives in the forest half-starved, where he meets Arcite. The two argue, but Arcite offers to bring Palamon food, drink and armaments so that they can meet in an equal fight over Emilia.

The jailer's daughter, forsaken, has gone mad. She sings and babbles in the forest. She meets a troupe of local countrymen who want to perform a Morris dance before the king and queen. Local schoolmaster Gerald invites the mad daughter to join the performance. Theseus and Hippolyta appear, hunting. Gerald hails them, and they agree to watch the yokels perform a bizarre act for them, with the jailer's mad daughter dancing. The royal couple reward them.

Arcite returns with the food and weapons. After a convivial dinner with reminiscences, the two fight. Theseus and his entourage arrive on the scene. He orders that Palamon and Arcite be arrested and executed. Hippolyta and Emilia intervene, and so Theseus agrees to a public tournament between the two for Emilia's hand. Each warrior will be allowed three companions to assist them. The loser and his companion knights will be executed.

The jailer finds his daughter with the help of friends. He tries to restore her mental health. On the advice of a doctor, he encourages her former suitor to pretend to be Palamon so that she will be gradually accustomed to see him as her true love. His devotion slowly wins her over.

Before the tournament, Arcite prays to Mars that he win the battle; Palamon prays to Venus that he marry Emilia; Emilia prays to Diana that she be wed to the one who loves her best. Each prayer is granted: Arcite wins the combat, but is then thrown from his horse and dies, leaving Palamon to wed Emilia.

My Thoughts:

I did not enjoy this at all.

For one thing, there wasn't any comedy. I can see where you could mine comedic gold from 2 cousins fighting over the princess of the country they were just fighting against, but this was all serious business.

Secondly, reading Shakespeare can be hard enough, but this time around he used what is I'm guessing his equivalent of “old timey language” to make it appear as if this was some old story. There were times I simply could not comprehend what was being said or what was trying to be conveyed.

Thirdly, in conjunction with that, the plot was almost opaque to me. It wasn't until I read the Wiki synopsis that I felt like I had a grasp of what I had actually read.

Really felt like I wasted my time and I simply tried to get through this as fast as possible to get it over with. That is NOT how I like to read my books nor do I recommend it to anyone. Poop.

★☆☆☆½ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Apr 15, 2020 |
Listan med olästa verk av Shakespeare blir allt kortare: nu kan jag stryka även The two noble kinsmen, ett samarbete med John Fletcher som länge tillskrevs enbart denne. Det hela bygger på Chaucers Riddares berättelse i Canterbury Tales, och berättar om de två unga kusinerna Arcite och Palamon, som är trogna vänner och begivna på valpiga ord om evig vänskap och rönnbärsfilosoferande. De tillfångatas i strid av Theseus, får syn på Hippolytas syster Emilia (det finns en del ekon av En midsommarnattsdröm), och blir båda blixtförälskade och bittra rivaler. Mycket av handlingen visar sedan på hur de försöker att samtidigt uppträda höviskt mot varandra medan de båda säger sig vilja se den andres hjärteblod. I en bihandling ser vi hur fångväktarens dotter, som förälskat sig i Palamon och befriat honom inser att han inte älskar henne och blir galen.

Eftersom pjäsen länge inte troddes vara av Shakespeare, och säkerligen inte är enbart av hans penna, så har den fått förhållandevis lite uppmärksamhet. Det är synd; Fletcher är inte en ovärdig kollaboratör, och även om den omedelbara förälskelse som driver handlingen tycks orimlig är den varken mer eller mindre konstig än den i Romeo och Julia. Fångväktarens dotter är en bra roll, och några av scenerna när Arcite och Palamon närmar sig avgörandet med vapen är fortfarande goda i sin tragikomik. Det finns förvisso en del motsägande partier, men inte värre än att de lätt kan passera om de inte pekas ut för en, och i det stora hela verkar handlingen robust.

Det är kanske inte Shakespeares allra främsta verk, men nog är den förtjänt av en betydligt mindre undanskymd plats än som hittills kommit den till dels. ( )
  andejons | Sep 14, 2018 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Shakespeare, Williamautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Fletcher, Johnautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Potter, LoisEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sipari, LauriTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Skeat, Walter W.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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New Playes, and Maydenheads, are neare a kin,
Much follow'd both, for both much mony g'yn,
If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play
(Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day,
And shake to loose his honour) is like hir
That after holy Tye and first nights stir
Yet still is Modestie, and still retaines
More of the maid to sight, than Husbands paines;
We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure
It has a noble Breeder, and a pure,
A learned, and a Poet never went
More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent:
Chaucer (of all admir'd) the Story gives,
There constant to Eternity it lives.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

Palamon and Arcite, cousins and bosom friends, are taken prisoner by Duke Theseus of Athens. While in captivity, they spy the beautiful Emilia. Both fall instantly in love with her, and their attachment to each other turns to hate. This dark-edged tragicomedy is now widely regarded as having been written by Shakespeare in collaboration with John Fletcher. Composed sometime in 1613-14, The Two Noble Kinsmen is the final play in Shakespeare's dramatic career.

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