DAY 22- AN UNDERRATED PLAY
I am a great defender of Shakespeare’s neglected plays. I have a habit of falling in love with all of the plays that are considered problematic and constantly find myself defending them.
But out of all the neglected plays I love so much, I think The Winter’s Tale is easily the most underrated. I’ve heard it referred to as a problem play before and I just don’t understand that. Yes, the ending is tricky to stage, but that’s true of pretty much every ending of every Shakespeare play. I can see how people have trouble with Leontes’ sudden and inexplicable jealousy, but how is he any different than Othello? The Winter’s Tale is profound and well constructed; the work of a playwright at the height of his maturity. I know I talk about this play a lot, but I feel very much that it’s not given it’s fair due. I think the play effortlessly balances comedy and tragedy and contains some of the most beautiful language in the canon and maybe one of the best ending scenes. NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS TO STAGE.
My other underrated plays include: Cymbeline (Imogen is the best heroine, so who gives a shit about the 35 reveals in the last scene), Love’s Labors Lost (the semi-tragic ending and unfulfilled declarations of love can be heartbreaking when performed well) , The Comedy of Errors (It’s a nearly perfect farce and has a ton of fart jokes. What more do you want?), King John (Two characters: Constance and the Bastard. That is all), and Coriolanus (Coriolanus is one of the most fascinating, intricate, surprising characters in the canon. And the play’s take on war and politics is really fucking smart).