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The Lives Of The Artists (Oxford World's Classics)


And I like it. Y'know, Shakespeare is so much a part of our culture, literary and otherwise, that like certain other major writers and creative artists (Yeats comes to mind, John Donne, Bach), sometimes it takes a for-no-particular-reason re-exposure (or even first full exposure) to remember (or realize) just how great he really is. Here, the play most scholars agree was written just before Hamlet (circa 1600) and which these days is most familiar for its "All the world's a stage" speech (Jaques, 2.7.139) and from certain feminist or other readings focusing on the play's gender reversals, it's almost odd to consider that just over 100 years ago, in the time of Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, this was the comedy/romance. Indeed, in the second volume of his autobiography, Loitering with Intent: The Apprentice (1996), Peter O'Toole devotes several spirited pages to recounting how in his formative years at the Old Vic in England in the late '50s, As You Like It was the first Shakespeare play the instructors broke out, as a sort of representative litmus test for a given actor's capacity to act the rest of the roles. Apparently O'Toole, Albert Finney, and Vanessa Redgrave passed the test.




The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics)

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