I Am a Bit of a Shakespeare Nerd: Guest Post by Elizabeth Vaughan

Elizabeth Vaughan is the amazing and talented author of The Chronicles of the Warlands fantasy romance series. The prequel to the series, FATE’S STAR, has just come out, and you don’t have to have read the other books to enjoy it. So get thee to a book vendor and grab a copy!

Here, Beth talks about how she is a total nerd…for Shakespeare.

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I am a bit of a Shakespeare nerd.

Okay, more than just ‘a bit’.  My idea of a lovely afternoon is curling up with cats and iced tea and watching Shakespeare movies with the original play on my lap so I can compare them to what I see on the screen.

I do love the language and the characters and the plots.  But what I have come to really enjoy is the interpretation that I see from various versions of the plays.  Kenneth Branagh’s soliloquy ‘To be or not to be’ is very different from David Tennant’s.  The same words, but such a different approach. 

I love the historical plays.  I recently purchased the Hollow Crown series, which encompasses Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.  It then goes on to do a WONDERFUL Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3 and Richard the III.  I was glued to the screen, watching, following along paying attention to the scenes that were skipped or combined, or taken out of order.  Benedict Cumberbatch was amazing as Richard the III.

But here is what is even better.  Shakespeare used history for those plays, but he warped time and individuals.  For dramatic purposes, he moved events, and people around.  The lives of kings and queens are fixed in history, but Old Will Shakespeare does as he pleases with the time-line.  Oh, yes, here is a lovely scene with a Queen mourning the capture of her son, but she died three years before that happened.  Also, in the early plays, he might refer to the Duke of Suffolk and use that character again.  But historically, it was the original Duke’s son, not the father, that was present at the events.

I love this stuff.

One of my favorite interpretations is in Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.  I have seen this play many times, and enjoyed it, but never really liked the Dogberry scenes. Then Joss comes along and films the thing in his house and backyard.  And Nathan Fillion play the scene like a cop show.

I laughed so hard, and had a new appreciation for the dialogue and the character!

Which is why I am always willing to watch yet another version of the plays.  Shakespeare’s play have the ring of truth about the human condition and it will continue to be modified, and adapted and preformed in so many ways and variations.  I look forward to watching!

About FATE'S STAR:

Five years before the events in Warprize and Destiny’s Star . . . .

Her family dead, her home destroyed, all she has left are her wits and her songs . . . .
When the flames of civil war rage across the Kingdom of Palins, Warna of Farentell has no choice but to flee to the neighboring Barony of Tassinic. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, raised to run a noble house in the hope of a good marriage, she watches her future burn with the rest of her homeland. 

Elven Lord of a human Barony, betrayed and attacked by those he thought to trust . . . .
Verice of Tassinic has suffered the wounds of war, knowing loss and betrayal at the hands of those he trusted most. He buries himself in work and duty, behind emotional walls as high as those of his castle, rather than risk more pain. While dealing with a kingdom in political and economic turmoil, he 'rescues' Warna only to discover that the helpless human woman is anything but. Before he knows it, she is deep within the defenses of his heart, forcing him to confront his grief, his distrust, and the scars of his past . . . and maybe even steal his heart in the process.

About Elizabeth Vaughan:

Elizabeth Vaughan is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Warprize, the first volume of The Chronicles of the Warlands. Her father introduced her to sci/fi and fantasy, and she’s never looked back. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. The Chronicles of the Warlands stretches over nice books. Her most recent is FATE'S STAR, the prequel to the series. Beth also has a number of short stories published in various anthologies.

Beth is owned by incredibly spoiled cats and lives in the Northwest Territory, on the outskirts of the Black Swamp, along Mad Anthony's Trail, on the banks of the Maumee River.