With April being the birth and death month of Shakespeare, I thought it would be a fun idea to dedicate the month to Shakespeare and Shakespeare-related stories!
I don’t think anyone is shocked to hear me say that I love Shakespeare. It’s no secret. In fact, I’m pretty vocal about it. Shakespeare has had a huge impact on the worlds of both literature and theatre. Both things are incredibly important to me and have changed my life in different ways. It just makes sense that I would find myself feeling deeply connected to his works.
Like many others, I grew up knowing of Shakespeare, but not knowing Shakespeare. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ll know his most famous works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to name a few. I could quote some of his works before I even knew what play they were from or even what they meant, however, it wasn’t until about 8th or 9th grade that I was fully introduced to Shakespeare. I was taking an English class and we were going to be reading Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet – I think we might’ve also read Macbeth but it’s a little fuzzy, it’s been a hot second since I took this class. I remember my friends and classmates expressing difficulty understanding the language (totally valid!), and while I didn’t fully understand it myself, I had found myself completely mesmerized.
I was so intrigued by his way of storytelling and use of language. How he could take the simplest phrase and turn it into a beautifully rich moment. His words spoke to me. That class really opened my eyes and exposed me to a world of literature that I hadn’t known before. This was before I started performing, and I wasn’t as exposed to plays as I would be in the next few years, so this was completely new for me.
Since my first experience with Shakespeare *muffled noises* years ago, I have found myself continually going to his works and each time I discover something new. I’m a person who loves to analyze things. I love to dissect the text and find the underlying meaning in this. I love subtext. Shakespeare’s work is perfect for all of those things. I tend to read/reread quite a few Shakespeare works each year, and this year I’m planning to go through all of his works.
Shakespeare’s works have inspired countless books, films, plays, and musicals. Many of which are some of my favorites in each genre. His works have shaped our society in ways that I’m sure he could not have even imagined during writing. His works were reflective of the times, and have continued to stay relevant. Shakespeare’s works are truly timeless, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into those works throughout the month.