Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ENOUGH with the tragedy!

Just once, I want Hamlet to live. Maybe he could run away with the players and spend the rest of his life writing plays in imitation of Seneca, because that is clearly what he really wants to do. Or he could go back to Wittenburg before Horatio has a chance to tell him about the ghost, and end his days as a professor. Or the pirates could refuse to let him go, and Claudius could refuse to ransom him, leaving him with no choice but to pursue a career on the high seas. Or the mountebank who sold Laertes the poison could turn out to be Cornelius from Cymbeline, so everybody lives, and Hamlet gets to be an awesomely eccentric philosopher-king, with Horatio to save his neck every time he gets into trouble. There could be a whole sitcom about King Hamlet. I'd totally watch it.

Just once, I want Edmund to have his big moment of redemption while there is still time for it to do some good. I like Edmund, dammit. I like Cordelia too.

Just once, I want Othello and Desdemona to have a pleasant and wholly uneventful honeymoon in Cyprus, and Emilia to get a divorce.

Just once, I want Antony's last throw of the dice to succeed, so he and Cleopatra can be emperor and empress of Rome. They could introduce the Romans to heavy drinking, long lazy fishing expeditions, and cross-dressed revelry, and Charmian and Iras could come with them, because Charmian and Iras would totally enjoy Rome. Enobarbus could show them around and flirt with them both at once. It would be great fun.

(Coriolanus, however, can totally die, since he's a jerk anyway and he doesn't take anyone else down with him. Besides, this semester is the first time I've taught this play, so I'm not sick of it yet.)

Can you tell this is SO not my genre? Yeah. The Late Shakespeare class is a bit of a trial.

Two more weeks 'til The Winter's Tale...