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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Plays the thing

As regular readers will know my reading habits are not exactly literary. My idea of a classic is Sherlock Holmes or Arthur C Clarke.

However I reckon I have a decent general knowledge and I was listening to the radio and someone mentioned a Shakespeare play called King John. Now my brain whirred away and went "you what?". Now I've never heard of a Shakespeare play called King John.

So a quick scan of the internet shows there was a play called King John. The wikipedia entry says:

In the Victorian era, King John was one of Shakespeare's most frequently staged plays, in part because its spectacle and pageantry were congenial to Victorian audiences. King John, however, has decreased in popularity: it is now one of Shakespeare's least-known plays and stagings of it are very rare.

I then went and looked at the list of Shakespeare plays and found four others I had never heard of. Anyone heard of "Pericles, Prince of Tyre", "The Two Noble Kinsmen" or "Cymbeline". And blow me he wrote a play called Henry VIII!!

Also I didn't realise that some of his plays may have been collaborations (and no I'm talking Bacon). Admittedly not the "major" plays.


oldcrow61 said...

I saw the play "King John" many years ago put on by a well known Shakespearean group. It was pretty good as I recall.

Eagleseagles said...

I have a book entitled Complete works of Shakespeare that my eldest brother bought - it has all the plays and the poems/sonnets some of which the authorship is in doubt.

No publishing date but I had it before I went to secondary school.

Yes all those plays mentioned are there!

Approx order - started with
1 Henry VI (1589-90, later revised)
and finished with
Henry VIII (1612-13).

Perhaps I may put some quotes on my blog - reminded as I am by your post!

I used to love Shakespeare at School!I had a brilliant English teacher - Johnny Green - so between my brothers and him I could hardly do other!

Janine said...

I remember Cymbeline from a literature class. Google had to jog my memory a bit to figure out why. It is quoted in the opening passage to Mrs. Dalloway.