Goodnight Desdemona (good Morning Juliet) (play)

Paperback | September 1, 1998

byAnn-marie Macdonald

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Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is an exuberant comedy and feminist revisioning of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet. It takes us from a dusty office in Canada’s Queen’s University, into the fraught and furious worlds of two of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, and turns them upside-down. Constance Ledbelly is the beleaguered “spinster” academic, and unlikely heroine who embarks on a quest for Shakespearean origins and, ultimately, her own identity. When she deciphers an ancient and neglected manuscript, Constance is propelled through a very modern rabbit hole and lands smack in the middle of the tragic turning points of each play in turn. Her attempts to save first Desdemona, then Juliet, from their harrowing fates, result in a wild unpredictable ride through comedy and near-tragedy, as mild-mannered Constance learns to love, sword-fight, dance Renaissance-style, and master a series of disguises… Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) a gender-bendy, big-hearted and crazily intelligent romp, where irony and anger sing in perfect harmony with innocence and poignancy.

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From Our Editors

Constance Ledbelly, a dusty academic, deciphers a cryptic manuscript and finds herself transported into Shakespeare's Othello and Romeo and Juliet. She visits Juliet and Desdemona and has a hand in saving their lives. Constance plunders the plays and creates something new, all the while engaging in a personal voyage of self-discovery. ...

From the Publisher

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is an exuberant comedy and feminist revisioning of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet. It takes us from a dusty office in Canada’s Queen’s University, into the fraught and furious worlds of two of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, and turns them upside-down. Constance Ledbelly is the ...

ANN-MARIE MACDONALD is an author, actor, playwright and broadcaster. She trained as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada and has appeared in numerous independent Canadian films. She earned a Genie nomination for her role in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and won a Gemini Award for Where the Spirit Lives. She has performe...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.4 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0676971695

ISBN - 13:9780676971699

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Customer Reviews of Goodnight Desdemona (good Morning Juliet) (play)

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impressive and entertaining! I was extremely impressed by Ann-Marie Macdonald's play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), which is a feminist perspective of how Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Othello should have been if a Fool were present during the turning points. The turning points are when Tybalt is trying to fight with Romeo, and when Iago is convincing Othello with lies. Constance, an employee at Queen's University, is writing a thesis about Romeo and Julie, and Othello having originally been comedies, were turned into tragedies because of the Fool's lack of appearance. The Professor whom she works with is taking the post that she always wanted. Annoyed and hurt, Constance throws many of her possessions in the trash bin and continues on her thesis. Soon after, there is a whirlwind and she is sucked into the trash bin and transported into the world of the two plays. If you have read Romeo and Juliet and Othello, then this will be an entertaining twist of the stories.
Date published: 2009-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Morning Rave Reviews! For years Constance Ledbelly has been trying to prove how Shakespeare’s tragedies are linked to the cryptic Gustav manuscipt to show her mentor that she is worthy of teaching with him at Oxford. But when he chooses another student to accompany him, Constance is so overwhelmed that she considers chucking her thesis entirely. Inches away from doing so, Constance stops at the inscription on the front page which entices her to rethink her move. A few pages flutter into the wastebasket and when she reaches in to grab them she is transported into Shakepeare’s original “Othello” where the fun of revision truly begins. MacDonald writes “Goodnight Desdemona” to challenge the role of women as represented in the sacred, literary canon. She appropriates iconic scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" and "Othello", and merges them with contemporary situations relating to sexuality and gender. As well, MacDonald sets a standard for female writers who are in the shadow of great male authors like Shakespeare. When Constance alters his text by saving both Juliet and Desdemona from death, she learns that they are remarkable, multidimensional characters, much like herself. Constance’s journey to self-discovery inspires female empowerment and remains one of most significant underlying themes in this hilarious play about plays. Using grandiose theatricality, piercing satire, and traces of her cunning wit, MacDonald ingeniously sets the stage for a modern-day audience and proves how deserving she is of the Governor General’s Award for Drama.
Date published: 2006-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I read the play for a school assignment, and instantly feel in love with the characters and truly original plot. I would love to see this play done live and recommend everyone to read it!!!
Date published: 2004-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vibrant! A refreshing take on both Othello and Romeo and Juliet with quirky female leads. An excellent comedy from a fantastic writer!
Date published: 2002-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME READ From begining to end this is a wicked read. Hilariously witty.
Date published: 2000-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Ann-Marie MacDonald mesmerizes her audience with an amazing display of talent. On the forefront of Canadian theatre, MacDonald wows her audience with a play that turns tragedy to comedy.
Date published: 2000-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bard and MacDonald a Great Mix I envy anyone who has ever seen this performed on stage. But, this is one of the best plays I have ever READ though. I wasn't a Shakespeare buff, but after reading this twisted and often hilarious interpretation of Othello and Romeo and Juliet, I couldn't help but pick up and read the originals. I think even if you aren't that familiar with Shakespeare's work it'll be funny, if you really know Shakespeare's work it'll be a riot.
Date published: 2000-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Shakespeare Only Ten Times Better Who would have thought that Othello could be hilarious, or that Romeo and Juliet had a funny bone. MacDonald's does an excellent job re-working the two plays into something completely alive and refreshing. Romeo has second thoughts about Juliet; Desdemona is the epitome of women's lib movements; and the professor is a disaster waiting to happen. My only request is: Don't ask, read the book. If you're not familiar with Shakespeare's plays, don't worry --you'll get the gist no matter what.
Date published: 2000-03-03

Extra Content

From Our Editors

Constance Ledbelly, a dusty academic, deciphers a cryptic manuscript and finds herself transported into Shakespeare's Othello and Romeo and Juliet. She visits Juliet and Desdemona and has a hand in saving their lives. Constance plunders the plays and creates something new, all the while engaging in a personal voyage of self-discovery. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) is best-selling author Ann-Marie MacDonald's first foray into drama.

Editorial Reviews

“Clever, pointed and entertaining… This play is one of the wildest and wooliest feminist reappraisals that the theatre has seen, and one of the most intellectually ambitious.” The Globe and Mail“Stratford-upon-Acid: that’s where MacDonald’s dizzying Goodnight Desdemona lives…MacDonald traipses through the canon with glee.... Lots of clever fun.” The Village Voice"A tour de force.... Ann-Marie delivers her message with tremendous wit, breathtaking wordplay and great gusts of knee-slapping bread comedy." The Ottawa Citizen"Magical.... An uproarious and smart comedy." Pittsburgh Press

Employee Review

For years, Constance Ledbelly has tried to decipher a mysterious manuscript from which she believes Shakespeare's Othello and Romeo and Juliet have originated. Then she is pulled into her wastebasket, and the fun begins. The winner of three awards, this hilarious comedy is full of fun, cleverness, and unexpected episodes. The witty MacDonald displays her talent while commenting on various subjects that have become a part of our modern society. This wonderful play is ready to entertain both Shakespeare enthusiasts and those who wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole.