Let’s Talk: Shakespeare

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.

16 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Shakespeare

  1. Wow yes i love Shakespeare’s works and have acted in about 5 plays. Although some of his works would be considered extreeemely problematic in today’s lens *cough* taming of the shrew *cough* i still enjoy all the witty dialogue that is in those plays. It’s no wonder his works still get adapted.

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    1. There are definitely problematic things in many of his works, Shrew being one of them. Shrew is actually one of my favorites though, I have a lot of thoughts on it. It’s also one I’d love to direct. It’ll definitely be one of the shows I discuss in a post later this month and I’m excited about it! Which of his shows have you been in?

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      1. ToS is definitely fun, though!!! I’ve acted in it as well, for the first half. I’ve also acted in Comedy of Errors, As You Like it, Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s dream. My favourite is Midsummer night’s dream!! Haha, they’re all comedies except Tempest (I’m not quite sure where that belongs) the only Shakespearean tragedy I like is Hamlet. I watched the whole play and wow it was awesome!!

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    1. I totally agree – I honestly always find something new in his works even if I’ve read it a bunch of times! If you get back into his works and want to discuss them with someone I would love to chat further!

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  2. I have read one Shakespeare play- Merchant of Venice, that too for school. It was a little tricky to get used to the language, but once I got used to it, I enjoyed the play! And that inspired me to get a book of his collected works! I haven’t read it yet, but I do hope to enjoy it!
    Looking forward to more such posts this month!

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    1. The language definitely takes some getting used to! I still struggle as well, it’s just so different than how we speak now that it takes a second to process! I have to say, I am very glad that No Fear Shakespeare exists. I have used those many times, especially when teaching. I love that reading Venice inspired you to pick up a book of his collected works! I’d love to hear your thoughts when you read more!

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  3. I love how you described “how he could take the simplest phrase and turn it into a beautifully rich moment.” I remembering taking a class focused on Shakespeare in high school and really enjoying it, but it’s been a *muffled noises* amount of time since I’ve read anything else by him…Ahh, now I’m inspired to pick up one of his works! Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I might just take you up on that offer once I pick one to read 🙂

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