Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet

Paperback | September 15, 1998

byAnn-Marie MacDonald

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Ann-Marie MacDonald''s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) has delighted audiences and won the Governor General''s Award for Drama and the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Play.

In this exuberant comedy, MacDonald asks, What if Desdemona and Juliet were allowed to live? Constance Ledbelly, a tweedy academic, has ghostwritten the papers of her mentor for years, when suddenly he announces he''s marrying a rival. Escaping into her research, Constance decodes the Gustav Manuscript, which turns out to include an unknown pair of comedies that she believes were the source for Shakespeare''s Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Transported into the world of her theory, she comes face-to-face with Desdemona and Juliet, and discovers that, far from shrinking violets, they were hellions full of surprises. What follows is a riotous retelling of theatrical legend that brings Constance out of her gloom and straight into a new and confident self.

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From the Publisher

Ann-Marie MacDonald's Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) has delighted audiences and won the Governor General's Award for Drama and the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Play.In this exuberant comedy, MacDonald asks, What if Desdemona and Juliet were allowed to live? Constance Ledbelly, a tweedy academic, has ghostwritten the papers of her mentor for years, when suddenly he announces he's marr...

Ann-Marie MacDonald's play, "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" won the Governor General's Award for Drama, the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Play and the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Drama. She also won a Gemini Award for her role in the film "Where the Spirit Lives" and was nominated for a Genie for her role in "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing". Her book, "Fall On Your Knees" was published in 19...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:88 pages, 7.93 × 5.28 × 0.31 inPublished:September 15, 1998Publisher:Grove PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802135773

ISBN - 13:9780802135773

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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