If you could change the ending to any of Shakespeare's plays, which one would it be, and what would you change?
I agree that Romeo and Juliet should catch a break. They are just kids! However I would like to change the ending to Macbeth. The problem is that if we did, Macbeth would not be a tragic hero and that would ruin the play!
I'm with the above posters. I'm a romantic by nature, but Romeo and Julietdrives me absolutely crazy. Somebody should have given them good advice, yet their two trusted advisers (Friar Lawrence and the Nurse) consistently say and do things which contribute to the couple's tragic ending. I want justice! I'd change the ending to make sure those two get a just punishment. I understand they'll have to live with what they've done; however, I want more. Wow...didn't realize I was quite so angry about this! Anyway, I'd also have Hamlet and Gertrude--or at least Gertrude--live to be a balancing force in Denmark. Fortinbras becoming king is a little disconcerting for me.
I, too, agree that Romeo and Juliet would be a great play to alter especially since the teens are in over their heads as far as controlling what happens to them but also because the teens reading it almost always focus on the suicide before they focus on the beauty of the play as it is written.
I would also vote for Hamlet. I would like to see Hamlet and his mother live through the fencing match and poisoning fest. Hamlet would make every bit as good a leader as his father, and I hate to see that he dies at the end of his mental torment. Gertrude is an innocent bystander who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Claudius, however, gets what he deserves. It seems rather weird to me that Fortinbras just shows up and gets it all when he's been so far in the background the entire time and hasn't really proven his worthiness.
What an interesting question! You will probably get a lot of varied responses to this question because I can think of a lot of plays myself that I would like change as far as the ending. That said, however, I believe that all of Shakespeare's plays are brilliant and the endings, although not satisfying to us, are nevertheless appropriate because they are tragedies, or comedies, or histories -- and Shakespeare's brilliance should not be messed with.
So, I answer purely on the basis of storyline. I think I would change the ending of Romeo and Juliet. The reason I choose this one is because Romeo and Juliet are teens. What happens to them is beyond their control and caused by the adults in their lives. Their love is pure and magical, and it always seemed unfair to me that the innocent should die, and not the guilty. Of course, that is how life is, but wouldn't it be nice if instead of them both dying at the end, Friar Lawrence appears with an antidote to their deaths? In my version, the Montagues and Capulets would hold a joint funeral for the lovers. Friar Lawrence would give the eulogies, chastising the parents for their stupid feud. When they were all feeling guilty enough, Friar Lawrence would sprinkle the antidote on the bodies and they would come back to life and live happily ever after.
The play would not be as powerful with this ending, but it is my fantasy.
What do you think?