Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams My rating: 4 of 5 stars While I would have liked The Glass Menagerie a lot better when I was 14—is "YA experimental theater" a genre?—two things save it from being adolescent kitsch: the character Amanda Wingfield and what Tom, the narrator, calls "the social background of the play." … Continue reading Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV

Henry IV, Part I by William Shakespeare My rating: 5 of 5 stars In the excerpt from The Plays of William Shakespeare collected in this volume, Dr. Johnson asserts that, "None of Shakespeare's plays are more read than the First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth. Perhaps no author has ever in two plays … Continue reading William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV

William Shakespeare, Richard II

Richard II by William Shakespeare My rating: 4 of 5 stars It seems that most Shakespeare plays trail famous commentary from luminaries of British letters, usually Johnson or Hazlitt or Coleridge. But this Signet Classics edition puts at the head of its criticism section what appears to be the most famous commentary on this play … Continue reading William Shakespeare, Richard II

Samuel Beckett, Happy Days

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett My rating: 3 of 5 stars Fascinating but not my favorite. Evidently Beckett regarded Winnie as a kind of earth mother spirit, indomitable, and I do find some patronizing piety or maybe just pity here, a refusal of the corrosive irony Beckett's male heroes have to endure in the midst … Continue reading Samuel Beckett, Happy Days

Euripides, The Bacchae and Other Plays

The Bacchae and Other Plays by Euripides My rating: 5 of 5 stars I wanted to read The Bacchae because I had a sense that it had something to do with Dostoevsky's Demons, which I recently finished. It did, in the sense that both works tell the story of a city visited by Dionysian frenzy. In … Continue reading Euripides, The Bacchae and Other Plays