Day One: Favorite Play (King Lear)

Day #2: Your favorite character

Since there are separate categories for favorite hero, heroine, villain, villainess, and clown, I’m not really sure what’s supposed to go here. Possibly somebody who doesn’t really fit in any category, or possibly a sentimental favorite. So I’ll go the sentimental favorite route with Harry “Hotspur” Percy, from Henry IV, Part I. Hotspur also qualifies as an uncategorizable character, because he’s not the hero of the play — though he’d certainly like to be; and if life was fair, he probably would be. Of course, leading a rebellion against the rightful monarch is never going to get you a happy ending (unless, well, you’re said rightful monarch who only got there by. . .yeah, the histories are complicated).

I don’t know that there’s any great justification for liking Hotspur as a character — mostly he struts around and shouts a lot, argues with his wife, shouts some more, argues with some other dudes, shouts some more — he talks so much, and so fast, that he doesn’t stop to listen to himself. He’s the anti-Hamlet, simulataneously all talk and all action, and it doesn’t serve him very well. He ends up being a weapon that his shrewder, more self-interested relatives can point at their enemies. He dies never knowing what the fight was really about (partly because he never stops to ask), and that’s what gives the first part of the play its tragic weight.

But really, I just have a thing for arrogant posers who don’t know when to shut up. Plus, he’s totally hot, you can just tell.

I am a terrible literary critic.

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