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Music Monday: A Lot Like Romeo and Juliet

Posted by The Renegade on October 29, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

  Today is a special edition of Music Monday. Why is that? No, not because I'm running out of songs for it and want to get it out in one swift breath. Don't be silly.


 While scrolling around the interwebs for a new installment of Shakespeare-based song goodness to halfheartedly add to your playlists and then delete a week later, I decided to hone in on the play Romeo and Juliet-- after all, considering they're basically the golden standard for star-crossed lovers, some emo band somewhere must have written a decent song in their honor. Maybe a band named after Tybalt or something.


 As it turns out, the song title "Romeo and Juliet" alone gives the Youtube search bar an aneurism. To whittle down the choices into one particular song based off the two llovebirds is impossible. Mostly because the majority of them are awful.



Instead, I have compiled a list of songs based off Romeo and Juliet, complete with what I consider the most "choice" lyric phrase.


 ((actually, some decent one exist-- I may have exaggerated a bit. But some of them...))



Romeo and Juliet-- Toy-Box



Romeo and Juliet

In the summer time,

I met a guy

He was so fine

He blew my mind

My friends are telling me

"Girl he's a loser"

But they can't see

Utter poetry. Toybox represents Shakespearean style verse well. Go sugarpop.

Check Yes Juliet -- We the Kings

Run, baby, run

Don't ever look back.

They'll tear us apart

If you give them the chance.



Don't Fear the Reaper-- Blue Oyester Cult (alright, so I'm exaggerating a bit...)


Valentine is done

Here but now they're gone

Romeo and Juliet

Are together in eternity


 Exit Music (For a Film) -- Radiohead



((considering this was written for the credit sequence of Romeo + Juliet))


Wake.. from your sleep

The drying of your tears

Today we escape, we escape




Every Song Featured in West Side Story



Need I honestly explain?

I found more, of course-- the jazz genre has an infinite supply of Romeo and Juliet based love ballads, for some bizarre reason. I chose the decent ones. The ones not sounding like the credits sequence of a 1990's Disney film. The non-absolutely awful, Celine Dion reminiscent, gag-me-with-a-knife-oh-Romeoooo crud.

 If you've got any suggestions for better ones, please tell me. For such a wide market, surprisingly few good Romeo and Juliet based ballads exist.

 ((except Taylor Swift. Yes, I'm aware of Love Story. Mark up your own opinions on whether or not I purposefully avoided it))

 As always, readers, thank you for reading another installment of Music Monday! Come back next week to discover another absolutely pointless song that maybe unintentionally alludes to Titus Andronicus.



Review-- Romeo x Juliet

Posted by The Renegade on October 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 Let's take Shakespeare's argumentatively most well-known work of all time. Let's turn it into an animation-- a well-made animation, at that. With an awesome theme song and everything. Then, let's give Romeo blue hair because blue hair may not be accurate for the time period, but darn, is it attractive. Every so often, let's hurl in the odd Shakespearean character that has nothing to do with Romeo and Juliet whatsoever-- Ophelia! Let's bring Ophelia in at some random point for no reason.


 And then, just for kicks, let's put an 'x' between Romeo and Juliet.


 How many times have you thought this to yourself? If the answer is less than seven, then you have not thought about it enough. After seeing Romeo x Juliet, the new hit anime dubbed by Funimation, I may never stop thinking of it.


 Alright, it's not that bad (if you ignore the fact that in the credits that they credited "Whillian" Shakespeare with the original play-- which I cannot, but perhaps you can.) Ahem. Actually, it's rather good and accurate considering they didn't word-by-word use the original script. It's modernized. It's shoujo. And more than one instance of over dramatic eye watering occurs.


 But as far as combining the excitement of anime with a classic such as Romeo x Juliet-- it's a shimmy in the right direction. We've advanced to that level. Yes.


 Did I mention it takes place on a floating island? Because it does. It totally does.


  And also, they have a a winged dragon-horse named Dragon-Steed. Actually, the island is populated by multiple Dragon-Steeds. Many Dragon-Steeds involved.


 *Dragon-steeds*. Goodness.


Look, they're even riding on one.


 Romeo's the same pining Montague we all know in love, but thrust into a new future on floating island mentioned earlier-- Neo Verona. Oohhhhh, yes. Juliet's still from a rival family, yes, but she's the only one left to feud against them. Romeo's dad murdered the rest of the Capulet and is pretty set on doing the same thing to Juliet.


 Same conflict as the original story except amplified to the dystopianth power. Yes. That's a number now. Only when referring to Romeo x Juliet.


  The animation? Suburb. Very airy. Frilly. Plot line? Decent-- if a fan of anime, you probably won't be disappointed because as a standalone anime, it's brilliant. And the theme song's a Josh Groban cover. Not that it makes much of a difference nor contributes anything to the plot...


 Best way to describe it is an acquired taste-- and not a taste for everyone to acquire. Try the first episode. I implore you. At least stay for the opening.


 Because let's not kid ourselves, people. How well crafted is that opening?




Review-- Shakespeare's Secret

Posted by The Renegade on October 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

 Aha! Finally, another review. Welcome back to another segment of the "Renegade Bardolator", where today we will be discussing Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach, a book geared for a younger age group that usually doesn't get much spotlight here on RB: around middle school age. If you're an older Bardolator, read it to your kids. Your grandkids. Yourself. We're not judging.


 As for me, I only bought it because it had the word "Shakespeare" on the cover. Aside from that, however, the book contains a lighter read. It's like trying to explain the Oxfordian vs. Stratfordian debate to a fifth grader-- which was quite helpful, in my case. Keep in mind that this is historical fiction, however, which means that the author took some lenience in some matters.


 That aside, it's a very good children's book.


  The story begins with a sixth grader named Hero who loathes her Shakespearean name.


 Her sister, Beatrice, finds no issue fitting in with the public, but Hero often finds herself either lost or teased in the high school realm. Her teacher tells her about the story of the "Murphy Diamond", which supposedly was worn by Anne Bolyn before her execution. She, Hero, and a boy named Danny run off in search of this diamond only to discover a secret of Shakespeare's past that would rock Elizabethan history as we know it.


  It's a quick read and features none of the murder usually featured in mystery novels-- though it does mention a beheading because you cannot go around mentioning Anne Bolyn's history without... well, yes. But as far as it goes, this is a tame read (as to be expected of a middle school geared story). Action-oriented.

 I have no idea what this is... just thought it would spice things up.


  Unlike the previous book reviewed on RB, no Shespeare characters are warped or otherwise harmed in the making of this novel. It's historical fiction, predominantly focusing on the relationship between Edward De Vere, Shakespeare, and Elizabeth I.

 While reading this boook, it's important to remember that though some of the content features these characters, by no means is it a textbook. I, who knows about as much as "I think the pilgrims did something in that era" when it comes to the 17th century, found myself constantly accepting bits of fiction as fact when this is...

 Well, this is a young adult novel. They've got to fudge the truth to make it interesting. To expect the author to write a two-hundred mystery novel on two children who find out that there's actually an enormous debate about Shakespeare's identity is boring.

 Altogether, a light read and an intrtiguing one. Just not as historically accurate as your mind would like you to think.


Lisa Klein's Ophelia is an Affront to the Trees that Died so it Could Be Printed

Posted by The Renegade on August 17, 2013 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome, my non-existant fans, to the first Bardolator review! I'm glad chose  to tune in tonight and bare the nullifying of your brains to witness this great event in our history

 Okay. Okay I'm done with the cynicism. You can come back now.

 We're going to start with something nice and easy, a book that's been set awkwardly in my shelves for a while now because, though it irks me, I haven't the heart to throw it off. Perhaps some of you have read it? It's a spin-off of Hamlet told from Ophelia's point of view-- aptly named Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein.

 Behold, the front cover! Huzzah!

 And it's a wonderful idea, if lacking in the crativity department-- after all, it seems to be a trend in Hamlet pastiches to take a minor character and make it major ever since the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead debacle (and need I mention the lesser-known Fortinbras play?). With Ophelia, we have new corridors to explore, her delve into madness being only one of these corners. I mean, who hasn't wondered why she refrained from getting all up in Hamlet's business during all of his emotional assaults? That just wouldn't stand in our age-- she either had some self-restrain or Hamlet's scarier than we imagined when he's all wonky. Or she's a limp noodle, but let's not go there today.

 Either way, it'd be nice to hear another perspective of the scenes.

 Here's the thing: when you're messing with the character of such a poignant girl like Ophelia, there results are either a strong, intruiging character or the fictional equivalent of orange juice and toothpaste. I'm talking Mary-Sue level irritating-- which is a shame, because the way Shakespeare crafted her gives her chance to ascend to so much better. I've seen it done. It can happen.

 Unfortunately, as much as I tried to enjoy her interpritation of the character, it was impossible. She slides too far into the second category of Ophelia to be reclaimed.

 It's not as if she tried to create a weak character. Though Klein knows she is no Shakespeare, she does teach college courses on his work. She has credentials, and she mentioned in afterword how much she detested interpretations of "Type-2 Ophelias". But in doing so, in doing everything in her power to be sure that she created a modern, don't-need-no-man-guuurrrllll young maiden what she got was a shallow, almost laughable force into the land of feminism that makes her even more of a Mary-Sue then before.

 And how? Well, dear readers, let's take a journey into Klein!Ophelia analyzation. Some subtle, and others overt to the point of tears. And I mean the laugh-y and the sob-sob-let-me-bang-my-head-against-the-wall-y sort of tears.

 Ahem. Continue on.

 POINT NUMBER ONE: Hamlet and Ophelia become proud parents to Hamlet III. Now, granted, her mad scenes may have been interpreted by some directors as an indication that they "did it", but... come on, Klein. A baby between them? Are you trying to make all the nonexistant Hamlet fans hate Ophelia? You're just lucky I'm the only one, or else you'd have an outright stampede going on. When two characters that had vague chemistry in the original source have children, and everyone's just hunky-dory even though this is the 16th century and the baby was born out of wedlock and that was a no-no back then, wasn't it? All she recieves is a slap on the wrist and a sucessful pregnancy (also unlike the 16th century medical conditions)... it's quite unlikable.

 POINT NUMBER TWO: Horatio fosters said child of his dead friend and his dead friend's crazy girlfriend. Let's move on from this point. It makes me emotionally vomit.

POINT THE THIRD(and the most important point): she forgot the part about Ophelia dying. Well, no, no, she didn't legitimitely forget. Oh, no, she did something a tad farther past amnesty. She claimed that Ophelia staged her own death-- yes, I'm serious--and then frolicked away to push out Hamlet's baby at a nunnery and marry Hortatio like the repulsive Mary-Sue she is.

 Look me in the eyes. Look me in the eyes and say this is an accurate potrayal of the character. I dare you. It's sole credit is this fact-- that Ophelia finally got herself into a nunnery. Good on you, Klein, you silly person! but i still don't like your book

 As much as I longed to like this adaptation, it simply slid past redemption. Besides her over-emphasis on Ophelia and Hamlet left little growth for the rest of the characters-- in some points in the novel, it became unclear whether they had assigned the name Horatio to a tree and continued on with the novel without anknowledging this minor adjustment. But, no. A tree would have held more likeness to Shakespeare's Horatio than the plank that Klein created.

 In conclusion, should you buy this book? Let me answer you with another question: are you in the mood for a laugh? ...well, you still shouldn't buy it. It'll just make you sad because you had to pay for it.

As far as Klein's works go, I notice she has a number of books related to the Bard... one on Macbeth and another that, from the looks of it, seems to be on the same lines of the movie Shakespeare in Love. Likely, this will not be the last time I review the author's works so-- holding hopes that this debut novel functioned as a warm-up of sorts and that her next books hold a glimpse of something worth the money.