Welcome back to another week of Shakespearean March Madness!
First off, the results of Round 1, Part 3. Titus slaughters Cymbeline’s Queen, 64-11. He’s used to dealing with her type, after all, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Matches 10 and 11, however, fall into the “I can’t believe this” category, as Joan of Arc triumphs over Owen Glendower (44-19) and Prospero’s magic wins out over Regan’s ruthlessness (46-17). I can account for Joan’s success by attributing it to affection for her her historical counterpart, but Prospero? Really? Ah well. That’s the way the throw-down rumbles. Finally, in a match that was quite close for a while, Hotspur managed to pull ahead of Othello, 39-29. So advancing to Round 2 will be: Titus Andronicus, Joan of Arc, Prospero, and Harry “Hotspur” Percy.
Today, we welcome the first eight competitors for the Round of Sixteen.
Match 17: Richard III vs Puck
Match 18: Lady Macbeth vs Antony
Match 19: Iago vs Edmund
Match 20: Queen Margaret vs Goneril
The competition’s getting steep! I’m picking Richard III over Puck, easy. Lady M versus Antony’s a bit harder, not least because of my deep and abiding affection for both characters. But I think Lady M has the edge — we know Antony’s easily swayed by a pretty face with an iron will behind it. Iago versus Edmund is also tough — they’re both ruthless, conniving, unapologetic villains. I think I’m going to be in the minority on this one, but I’m backing Edmund, for sheer scope. Iago brings down a family. Edmund’s involved in the downfall of an entire kingdom. Finally, our first catfight of the competition, and I’m favoring Margaret here. She wreaks more havoc, has a more spectacular extramarital affair, and gets her hands far, far dirtier and bloodier than Goneril does.
These matches will be open till Tuesday, when we’ll find out who advances to the Quarterfinals. Remember that you still have until Thursday to vote on Round 1, Part 4 — Who from our last bracket will make to the Round of Sixteen? Find out Thursday!