I've been watching Joseph Pearce's series on Shakespeare on EWTN for a while and thought it time I saw one of the plays for myself. When I was in Convent School in the north of England years ago we studied Shakespeare: a comedy and a tragedy each year of secondary school. In the early sixties I was lucky enough to spend a week at Stratford on Avon for two years in a row with some school friends. There we often saw a matinee in the afternoon and another play at night. I also remember seeing Sir Lawrence Olivier play Hamlet on film. These experiences gave me a taste for Shakespeare that has long been neglected. My quest took me to the local library and Hamlet was first on my list. I took out the BBC version with Derek Jacobi playing Hamlet and Patrick Stewart, Claudius his uncle, and Claire Bloom, Hamlet's mother. It was like falling in love all over again....I also took out the play in book form and that's what I'm reading now.
Favourite phrases (apart from the obvious ones):
Horatio: "O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!"
Hamlet: " And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Hamlet "Forgive me this my virtue;
For in the fatness of these pursy* times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good."
It seems the times were not so far removed from our own, these words could have been written today.
*flabby, out of shape