Scathing Book Reviews of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Julietby William Shakespeareis certainly a story you can’t avoid. They say the story of star-crossed lovers was old even when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, but even if its true, its never been done so indelibly.

Take Romeo and Juliet away and you also lose West Side Storyand a good hunk of Shakespeare in Love. On the other hand, without the play there wouldn’t have been that insufferable Romeo + Juliet Moviewith Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, so maybe its a fair trade. Either way, these book reviews of Romeo and Juliet agree that “For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo”:

We liked the end when all the main characters died. It left me a great message.

…and:

Shakespeare’s book, Romeo and Juliet, is placed in the 18th century. A time in which women were not considered as thinking people or capable of having any feelings.

…and:

They arent star crossed! They are inane idiots too immersed in “love” to recognize the imprudence of their actions. Their deaths were not the least bit pitiful, but risible. Cognitive, yes. Irritating, yes. Interesting? No.

…and:

*R&J* is simply sensationalist trash. It contains a good portion of Shakespeares worst verse and insipid characterizations. It’s unchallenging, crude, and simply melodrama for the most part. It’s the Shakespearean equivalent of “Party of Five” and the Spice Girls.

…and:

As I didn’t liked the story at all I cant say lots of things about it but if I had to rewrite the book, I would do it in modern English. Old Englih is one of the reasons I didn’t liked the book. Another reason is that is a very predictable story and it has only 2 themes: Romeo and Juliet’s love and the war between their families.

…and:

For me Romeo is the worst character because he only thinks about Juliet and kissing her.

…and:

It was supposed to be tragic; I thought it was hilarious. First, everybody says that Romeo and Juliet were lovers torn apart by fate. Fate had nothing to do with it! They died through sheer stupidity and melodrama on their part.

…and:

Sometimes you wish someone would just say something straight out, instead of dressing it up with so many frills and flowers you don’t know what they’re trying to say. But I have nothing against Shakespearean English.

…and, most incredibly, the review below. I have no idea what the English teacher was thinking, but learning to read an Elizabethan play is NOT going to help you learn to speak modern English, methinks:

We are from Argentina and learning English. Our teacher recommended the book Romeo + Juliet, we thought this book was going to increase our vocabulary and help us understand better the English language, but it didn’t, instead it made it more difficult.

As Gilbert Gottfried would say, “WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED”…

Scathing Reviews of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

My first introduction to Hamlet by William Shakespeare was, like millions of other kids, from that redoubtable source of literary insight, Gilligan’s Island.
No, I’m serious… There was an episode guest starring Phil Silvers as a Hollywood Producer who came to the Island to get away from it all. The castaways put on a musical version of Hamlet to “sell” Silvers on the concept, and to get him to get everyone rescued as soon as possible. Naturally, he stole the idea and left the castaways on the island. Lucky for all of us, the music for the Hamlet Musical has been enshrined on the web.

With an introduction like that, let’s face it, the REAL Hamlet can only be a letdown. These critical reviews of Hamlet find the Dane not quite so great:

I don’t know what Willy Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote this one play tragedy, but I thought this sure was boring! Hamlet does too much talking and not enough stuff. He needs to shape up and show them who’s boss.

…and:

This has to be one of the worst plays ever written, Shakespeare or no Shakespeare. While the Bard was the master of English drama, he really slipped up here. The plot makes no sense, the characters motivations are contrived, and the jokes fall flat.

…and:

All and all this play is atrocious. Though it is acclaimed as the greatest work of drama ever, it is hardly that. People who say such things, have absolutely no credibility. Hamlet’s only purpose is to confuse the reader. Any intelligent person can see through his character and realize that he is little more than a feeble mind with a large vocabulary.

…and:

In my opinion all of Shakespeare’s writings are long winded, drawn out words with no possibility of ever coming close to being remotly interesting. Hamlet was actually one of the most terribly boring, predictable, useless book ever written. The plot had no vital juices.

…and:

Simply boring, with lifelessly dull characters that can never seem to figure out what they want. It follows the standard Shakespearean tragedy plotline (Guy has stuff happen to him that’s either really good or really bad, two little subplots, and then everybody dies)

…and this reviewer, who percieveth a conspiracy, methinks:

Willy is acclaimed as the best writer of all time, but this is only because of British Media hyping the man, after 400 years.