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William Shakespeare

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My absolute favourite play is The Tempest. It is the only Shakespeare play I've read that I haven't been forced to for either school or college. It's short and easy to read, so it totally suited a dumbo like me. Caliban is such a cool character, you can't tell if he is human or a monster.

I've only read a few other plays, as I mentioned before they were compulsory - The Merchant Of Venice (which was alright), Macbeth (which was quite good), and Henry IV parts 1 and 2 (boring as hell).

My favourite movie is probably Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo + Juliet. Changing the setting to 1990's California, but keeping the original dialogue was a great idea. Everything just fit perfectly, like the way Romeo and the other young men refer to their guns as "swords". It just showed how Shakespeare's themes and storytelling are timeless.

My favourite quote is probably "Out damned spot!", from Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is such a crazy b*tch, I love her. Also, if you ever have an outbreak of acne, I find it eases stress by screaming "Out damned spot!" while looking in a mirror.

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I like watching Shakespeare more than I like reading it. The ones I've read are Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet.

Of the movie adaptations, my favourites are:

Roman Polanski's Macbeth,

Forbidden Planet (1950s Sci-fi version of The Tempest - better than it sounds)

West Side Story,

the Shakespeare Retold series (Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Night's Dream),

West Side Story,

10 Things I Hate About You,

Michael Almereyda's Hamlet: set in New York City with Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan as Claudius, Diane Venora as Gertrude, Bill Murray as Polonius, Liev Schreiber as Laertes, Julia Stiles as Ophelia, and Sam Shepard plays the ghost of Hamlet's father.

If I had to choose a favourite quote, it would be:

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

I also love the Dr. Who episode The Shakespeare Code, especially the joke where the Doctor quotes his lines that he hasn't written yet.

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I liked "A Winters Tale". That was good. It also contains a quote that won me £25! I was in a pub quiz at university and the tie breaker question for £100 was to complete the stage direction:

"Exit pursued by a.........."

The answer was "bear" and the only person who knew it was me for my team won the £100 :-)

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