After a month of competitions, with 31 combatants felled across 5 rounds of voting, we can now crown the winner of the 2012 Shakespearean March Madness bracket, and her name is….
Against all odds, Beatrice of Much Ado about Nothing takes the title, narrowly besting Lady Macbeth in the final round, 28-25. What a Cinderella story! I was fully expecting Lady Macbeth’s ruthless nature to put a decisive end to Beatrice’s aspirations, but no — you, the voters, placed your confidence in Beatrice’s wit, and perhaps saw a strength in her heart fit to defeat the fiendish Scottish queen.
Our bracket ended thus:
Beatrice’s win also means that, for the second year, a female character from one of the plays currently on-stage at the Blackfriars Playhouse wins the title. Does this visibility provide an essential winning boost? Perhaps we’ll find out if the pattern holds in 2013. I hear thigh-stabbing, fire-swallowing Portia, daughter of Cato and wife of Brutus, might throw her palla and stola into the ring…
Thanks to everyone who participated this year! I had a great time running the bracket, and I hope you all enjoyed following the battles. Did anyone have Beatrice pegged for the win? Who was your biggest upset?
Our Final Four matches have yielded our finalists, and I confess, I’m surprised by them both — but pleasantly surprised! Ladies and gentlemen, we have two ladies contending for the title of Shakespeare’s Ultimate Fighting Champion. Beatrice easily put down Macbeth (45-22), with a strong show of support on her side. His partner-in-crime fared better, however; Lady Macbeth took down Iago, 19-9.
So. Our bracket stands thus:
And our final match: Beatrice vs Lady Macbeth:
Who should win the title? The wit possessed of a fury, or the fiendish queen of Scotland? A woman who would eat a man’s heart in the marketplace, or one who drugs guards and smears them with a king’s blood? You tell us — Show your support for your favorite of these incredible ladies, argue your case, and rally your supporters.
This poll will remain open through the weekend, and we’ll crown our winner on Monday. Let the game begin!
With yesterday’s match off and rolling, here is the second Final Four combat: Iago vs. Lady Macbeth, a true battle of will, guile, deceit, and pure malice. Which of these two formidable contenders should move on to the finals? You decide — Tell us who you think has the upper hand and what in the text leads you to believe that.
Final Four, Match 2: Iago vs Lady Macbeth
Don’t forget to vote in yesterday’s match — and on Friday, we’ll reveal the two finalists!
We’re coming down to it, and our Elite 8 matches saw some surprising upsets! In an unexpected turn of events, witty Beatrice overcomes last year’s second-place winner Henry V, 26-17. In the closest match of the round, Macbeth is the one who finally knocks The Bear out of contention (22-21). Well-fought, bear; if you have to go out, it may as well be to one who smacks of every sin that has a name. Iago ends the winning streak of everyone’s favorite shrew, Katharina, using his cunning and deceit to overpower her feminine ferocity (23-11). And finally, Tybalt and his Spanish blade can’t defeat the guile and ruthlessness of Lady Macbeth, who puts him down 27-7.
The bracket stands thus:
So that gives us our Final Four: On opposite sides of the bracket, Shakespeare’s most gleefully malicious couple, scheming and stabbing their way to the top; perhaps the wittiest of all the comic heroines, whose cheerful nature masks a ferocious heart and righteous fury; and the devious villain whose jealous machinations create a whirlwind of destruction. Match 1 begins today; Match 2 tomorrow. Who deserves a spot in the Finals? Let us know what you think!
Final Four, Match 1: Beatrice vs Macbeth
With yesterday’s matches off to a rollicking start, it’s time to welcome the rest of the competitors in the Elite 8 to the field. Today: Iago vs Katharina and Lady Macbeth vs Tybalt. The conniving killer or the cursed shrew? The ambitious wife or the hotheaded cousin? Who has what it takes to advance?
Elite 8, Match 3:
Elite 8, Match 4:
Which of these fearsome competitors should move on to the Final Four? You decide! Get your votes in by early next week, and rally supporters to help your favorites to victory. And don’t forget to vote in Part 1 of the Elite 8 as well.
Welcome back to another week of Shakespearean March Madness! This week: The Elite 8 take the field, battling it out for spots in the Final Four. But who are those lucky combatants? Here are the winners from the first matches of the Round of 16:
Eminent conqueror Henry V takes a respectable 28-19 victory over Titus Andronicus; a plethora of expendable sons proves no match for the power of pure rhetorical inspiration. Crafty Iago knocks magical Prospero out of contention, 31-17. In an upset rematch, Lady Macbeth dominates over Richard III; his habit of underestimating women finally gets the better of him, it would seem. This match was hotly contested, with a final score of 36-26. The Bear continues his Cinderella story, with a 43-19 victory over Mark Antony — but will his prowess lead him into the Final Four? It’s been another good week for our ladies from the comedies — Beatrice edges out Hotspur, 17-15, and Katharina easily bowls over Jack Falstaff, 29-7. Things didn’t go so well for Doll Tearsheet, however, whose tavern brawling ways couldn’t defeat Tybalt‘s skilled rapier (26-13). Finally, Macbeth knocks Philip the Bastard out of contention (33-8); sorry, Philip, but we actually meet your mom on stage, so we know you’re of woman born.
So, here’s the bracket for the Elite 8 (click to expand):
Today, we welcome four competitors back to the field: Henry V vs Beatrice and The Bear vs Macbeth.
Elite 8, Match 1:
Elite 8, Match 2:
Who deserves a coveted slot in the Final Four? Let us know what you think! Defend your favorites with evidence from the text and win other voters to your cause. These polls will be open until early next week, so you have plenty of time to rally support! My picks will, as usual, be in a comment.
Today, the final contestants for the Round of 16 take the field. First up, a battle between two capable generals: Macbeth vs Philip the Bastard; and finally, the hot-headed hellcat Doll Tearsheet versus that King of Cats Tybalt Capulet. Who is most deserving of a spot in the Elite 8? Let us know how you’re voting:
Round of 16, Match 7: Macbeth vs Philip the Bastard
Round of 16, Match 8: Doll Tearsheet vs Tybalt
Don’t forget to vote in Parts 1 (Henry V v Titus and Iago v Prospero), 2 (The Bear v Antony and Richard III v Lady M), and 3 (Hotspur v Beatrice and Katharina v Jack Falstaff) of this round as well — you could make the difference in a close match, or perhaps even turn the tide of a crushing defeat. You have the weekend to rally your friends to support your favorites. Sally forth!
We’re seeing some great battles in Parts 1 and 2 of the Round of 16 — Now it’s time to introduce the competitors for Part 3. Taking the field today, two fiery ladies, one fiery rebel, and one jolly coward. Beatrice faces off against Hotspur, and Katharina takes on Jack Falstaff. Who will prevail and move on to the Elite 8? It’s time for you to decide:
Round of 16, Match 5: Beatrice vs. Hotspur
Round of 16, Match 6: Katharina vs. Jack Falstaff
These polls will be up until the middle of next week, so you have plenty of time to get your votes in and to rally support for your favorites! Need some guidance? You can always check our players’ stats back at the introduction post.
First, the results of the final batch from the first Round:
Like Portia before her, Beatrice has no trouble handling Shylock. Her brilliant wit lets her outmaneuver the crafty moneylender to a 30-5 victory. In a far closer match, Philip the Bastard takes the win (19-16) over Othello, using his combination of cleverness, combat skills, and pure cheek to win out over the Moor of Venice. Poor Othello just can’t seem to make it out of the first round, but maybe he’ll get a lucky break in 2013. Improbable Jack Falstaff defeats Cordelia 17-15, proving that crafty cowardice can definitely get you further than noble honor, if applied correctly. Finally, our expert swordsman Tybalt sends rough-and-tumble Guiderius back to his mountain, with learned skill triumphing over untutored strength (19-10). Better luck next year, Guiderius — maybe after seeing Cymbeline in the fall, more folk will back you up.
So, here’s the bracket at the end of the first round (click to expand):
Today, we send two more pairs into the ring to compete for the chance to join the Elite 8. In Match 3, The Bear lumbers from Bohemia over to Italy to take on Mark Antony, and Richard III faces Lady Macbeth in another rematch from last year. Who of these four deserves to move on to the Elite 8? You tell us!
Round of 16, Match 3: The Bear vs Antony
Round of 16, Match 4: Richard III vs Lady Macbeth
My picks will be in a comment. These polls will be open until early next week. Don’t forget to vote on Pt 1 as well, and stay tuned the rest of this week for the other Round of 16 matches.
A new week, a new set of matches for Shakespearean March Madness. Before we begin the Round of Sixteen, here are the results of Round 1.3:
Hotspur takes a narrow 21-17 victory over Oberon, proving that the fiery rebel has as little patience for fairy magic as for Welsh superstitions. Macbeth handily wins over poor Toby Belch (31-6), whom we can only hope was soundly smacked around but not actually killed, and is now drinking off the shame and sorrow of his defeat. In a surprise victory — at least it surprised me, even though I was supporting her — Katharina takes a commanding 25-11 lead over Cassius. And finally, Doll Tearsheet‘s pub-brawling prowess gives her the win over Richard II’s eloquence (26-9). Those two feisty females join Lady M in the Round of 16, so despite Queen Margaret’s nigh-unbelievable loss to The Bear, I can at least be glad that my gender’s not going down without a good fight.
Today, the first two face-offs from last week’s champs: Henry V vs. Titus Andronicus and Iago vs. Prospero. All four of these blokes made it to the Elite 8 last year (and Titus and Henry actually squared off in the Final Four) — so in 2012, at least two of them are going home disappointed (if not in pieces).
Round of 16: Match 1: Henry V vs. Titus Andronicus
Round of 16: Match 2: Iago vs. Prospero
My picks will, as always, be in a comment. Don’t forget to vote for Round 1.4, which I’ll be closing out tomorrow — there are some real nail-biters in this set, so every vote counts!