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Top 5 Underrated Shakespeare Plays

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by Eleanor Healing (subscribe)
I'm a student currently living in Leeds.
Published January 27th 2013
The plays which didn't quite make Hamlet's fame
We are all familiar with Shakespeare, the famous playwright who gave the world Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet, but what about the plays which haven't quite become as popular as these? Here are five Shakespeare plays you may not have seen or read but should try nonetheless.

National Portrait Gallery

1. Cymbeline

I first saw Cymbeline several years ago, and instantly fell in love with the story and the strong female character of Imogen. Shakespeare often writes women as being quite weak and submissive, but when he writes a good female character, she is always brilliant, resourceful and clever.

2. Coriolanus

Popularised by the recent film starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler, Coriolanus is a historical tragedy based upon a real Roman general, and tells of an incredible fall from victory.

3. Henry the Eighth

Based on the life of the infamous monarch, but full of incredible praise for Elizabeth I (Shakespeare's patron), Henry VIII has received less fame than the other namesake monarch plays (Richard III, Henry V etc), but is still as brilliant.

4. The Winter's Tale

A tale of jealously, misunderstanding, identities and romance, The Winter's Tale is a problem play with an uplifting ending involving a wedding and a resurrection!

5. The Taming of the Shrew

Known from the musical 'Kiss Me Kate', The Taming of the Shrew reveals the attitudes towards women in Tudor England, and despite the character of Katherina being very overtly wild at the beginning of the play, you cannot help but feel sorry for her as she wilts to a submissive vassal at the end.
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Why? There is more to Shakespeare than Hamlet!
Where: Your local bookshop, library or theatre.
Your Comment
Cymbeline is playing at Bard on the Beach, Balmoral. Weekends until 10 March
by ross. (score: 0|2) 1874 days ago
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