am 13. März 2000
This is a good play, but it does not match Shakespeare's other history plays. In my opinion too much of the play revolves around a doting mother who wants to see her underage son on the throne even though he is very incapable of ruling. Furthermore, any intelligent observer can see that the King of France only wants Arthur on the crown because a child would be a lot easier to manipulate than the shrewd King John. Remember, John WAS NOT a usurper. Richard the Lionhearted named John as the heir to the crown! On the positive side, Richard I's illegitimate son is a powerful and convincing character. John is an interesting 3 dimensional character. At times he comes off as harsh and cruel. But he also shows himself at times to be to be a strong and competent king. And at times we can feel sorry for him. Shakespeare also manages to squeeze some comical touches in. I feel that to appreciate this play as much as possible, you must realize that Richard I named John the heir to the crown. I also feel you must understand that John did prove himself to be a competent king. (Unlike his unfairly blackened reputation in "Robin Hood.")
am 29. Juli 1998
In high school and later at Yale, I labored through the majority of Shakespeare's work, but it was only later, when I saw my first stage production, that I was able to fully appreciate the words, the feelings, the drama and excitement that my teachers had always assured me was there! Now that is available at the touch of a button. I hope every school in the country gets a complete set!
am 29. Juli 1998
Had I time enough and words enough, and skill enough, I'd go back in time and give copies of the complete set of Arkangel to every school in the country! How lovely that the current generation can feel the power and the drama and the passion that lies in those dusty pages. Thank you Arkangel for bringing this to life for everyone.