This was torture to read. It is so full of misogyny that I barely could stand it. It is an accurate representation of women’s situation back then, I think from what I know about the great chain of being etc. But to read it like this, to watch Katherine be so abused and destroyed, women only chosen for their worth, objectified and treated worse than dogs…it made me angry. Which might or might not have been Shakespeare’s intention but since I don’t believe in trying to find out what the author’s intention was, I won’t go down than road.
How to phrase it… I obviously knew the story before reading, I have seen it in The Globe and I think, that the prose is so magnificent, nobody will ever accomplish anything like it.
But the story? It was never one of my favorite plays by Shakespeare. I never got the appeal of two kids (or teenagers if you will) being willing to die for each other. I always think: maybe you’d like to grow up and learn a little about life before you make such a decision, such as, that there won’t be another love for you. There isn’t really a subtext or layers to peal back as in his other tragedies or any other play I have read by him.
So, only 3,5 stars (I need a more subtle way to rate), while keeping in mind that compared to his other plays, this one is rather weak, but compared to any other playwright out there, Shakespeare still lacks a rival.