Preface: I do like watching Shakespeare plays.
But, oh, my goodness, the fam just saw Henry IVth, part 1 at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival--which was wonderful; I love seeing what directors do with blocking for Shakespeare; I love watching what the actors do. Anyway... It began at 8 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. The Bard needed a good editor. That's all there is to it. English professors love to dissect Shakespeare--which really doesn't help students to understand the storyline in the first place if the class is reading only a page or so at a time. Theatre professors--or at least mine--felt that Shakespeare was meant to be performed, not just read in a classroom. The other thing one of my theatre professors said was "Shakespeare probably cut Shakespeare." I wish he had when we watched Henry IV. I tried to pay strict attention the whole time. I managed pretty well. And when they were running around with swords, striking people down, I thought, "Almost there." Then finally the main antagonist is killed--after a bit of monologuing. And Prince Hal/Henry/Harry (can't remember how many names Shakespeare used for him; an editor could have helped him realize that was too much too) holds the dead man and...monologues. Then Prince Hal stands and starts to go and I'm thinking, "Any second is the final 'phrase' and it's curtain call." Nope. Princey sees his dead friend. Aaa! More monologuing. Look, Shakespeare, when most everyone is dead, the story is over.
(I should probably go back and edit this piece so it's not so long-winded.)