Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a play. In fact, I think the last play I read was Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead in 20th Century English, three years ago. My experience with theatre and reading plays always comes from my sister, because I see all of her plays, or from a class at school. It’s not that I don’t like plays, I actually really do. That’s the problem. It’s more like TV or movies for me - I’m not at all critical because I don’t know enough about it. And I tend to be happy if I’m just amused for a couple of hours.

I should change that actually, to “modern plays and theatre” because I read a lot of Classical plays - Aeschylus, Euripides, Seneca, etc. And even write essays about them.

So I decided for my 50 books I should try a little bit of theatre. I’d always wanted to read Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie Macdonald. She’s a pretty famous Canadian author and the play is very popular in university English classes here. I’ve been meaning to read some of her work forever, since she’s one of my sister’s favourite authors and I’ve hear that her novels are fantastic.

I think I liked the idea of this play better than I actually liked the play. The premise is a doctoral student at Queen’s University who gets sucked into Othello and Romeo and Juliet in order to prove her thesis. It’s interesting. It made me want to read more Shakespeare (I’ve never read Othello), but it wasn’t anything astounding. It was very Canadian, though, which was fun. She added in a lot of colloquialisms and fun references which we Canaians aren’t used to getting in literature.

I don’t have any quotes that I pulled out really. And that’s pretty much all I have to say. Except that I think the title is beautiful. That may or may not be a major reason I read it.


  • By Laura, June 2, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

    Now you can read her amazing books. Fall On Your Knees will blow your mind. Easily, one of the best books ever.

  • By Christine, June 8, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

    Oh My God, I love this play. It is kinda a long story to type here but in high school in Grade 11 Enriched English we all decided that we wanted to go on a trip, and the teacher said it had to be educational, so maybe we could go to a play. Well everyone went to Stratford every year and the town itself isn’t that cool so we wanted to go see something in Toronto (basically so we could hang around Toronto for the day.) We couldn’t afford a big musical and it was hard to justify those acedemically. Well somehow (the internet) I found out about GDGJ playing at The Great Canadian Theatre Company, I think. Anyway, my theatre uncle said that it was really good and it connected to Shakespear but really had no idea what it was about. Well I arranged the whole thing for the class, took the money, arranged bus and group tickets and everything. Well we had a great day in Toronto and then went to the play. The cool thing was that the author herself was playing the lead (didn’t think much of that at the time, but really cool now that I think of it.) Anyway, I was a little upset after the frist half cause the play is really weird and more avent garde than any of my classmates had seen so no one was really liking it. Thank God the second half with Juliet is all about sex and then they started to love it. I forgot about the whole thing until I had to study the play in my frist year English class at Carleton, made me remember how it was staged. Your right that it isn’t the greatest read, but it truely is pretty awesome on stage. (End of the story, yeah, I didn’t get in the class.)

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