I'm wondering your thoughts as to the character or characters that demonstrate the most depth and dynamism. Obviously, so many to choose from!! I have to put in a good word for Beatrice and Benedick. Though caught in a comedy, these two show growth, wit, intelligence, loyalty, and a capricious attitude that indicates much knowledge of the world.
I like Hamlet. He is one of my favorite characters because he seems to sweet and vulnerable. I feel for him, and his situation. I also think that he is honest, and really does care and want to do the right thing for his people.
I am a big fan of Feste in Twelfth Night - a classic Shakespearian fool, but I love the way he seems to be one of the only characters to realise what is actually going on in the love-sick chaos that surrounds Illyria and how he also seems to be the only character who is not affected by the "plague" that has infected everyone else! His position as an objective observer and participant makes his closing song at the end of the play particularly poignant.
That was one of the best series on television, and it was primarily Dixie Carter that made it so good! Thanks for the great chance to reminisce! :)
The most depth and dynamism? I'm going to throw in a vote for Katharina in "Shrew." I love her character because she doesn't just cave and turn into a pathetic wishy-washy wife. Instead, she learns how to work within a system that may not have been fair, but was reality of the time. Of course she hated the fact that her younger sister was the one with all the suitors - that their father clearly favored Bianca - and that a woman's lot was to go to the highest bidder. But instead she finally steps out of herself long enough to see that Petruchio is trying to help make their lives comfortable - he really does want to do nice things for her - and he just wants her to give in and quit being so hateful about everything.
This is off subject, but you brought up Dixie Carter! I can't believe you mentioned her because I used her for an example to answer a question about Rose for Emily.There was a Designing Women episode in which Bernice Clifton's daughter wants to have her put away in a mental hospital. Julia (Dixie C.) yells at her something like: "We're proud of our crazy people in the South. We don't hide them in the attic."
Reminds me of Dixie Carter. She insults very well and the person insulted doesn't even realize it. :)
My favorite characters? I love Macbeth for all his weaknesses and I enjoy Katherine in Taming of the Shrew.
Shakespeare certainly knew how to throw down the gaunlet! We should all learn to challenge and insult so well today.
In Branagh's version of Henry V, I love the Duke of Exeter (Brian Blessed). When he walks into the French king's throne room, he is dressed in full armor, and he looks like a big burly brute. When the dauphin, who mocked Henry by sending him a trunk full of tennis balls, asks what message Exeter has for him, Exeter says:
Scorn and defiance. Slight regard, contempt,
And anything that may not misbecome
The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
Thus says my king: an if your father's Highness
Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his Majesty,
He'll call you to so hot an answer of it
That caves and womby vaultages of France
Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
In second accent of his ordinance. (2.iv)
I love that scene!