Wednesday, July 20, 2011

William Shakespeare, should I read your plays?

Growing up I didn't like Shakespeare much. Poetry in a difficult to understand language was just not very appealing and the fact that Romeo & Juliet was part of the school program did little to entice me to read it. As I grew older however and read quotes of Shakespeare's sonnets and plays in various books and articles they made sense and the language didn't seem so odd or difficult any more and I even began considering reading his works.
A while back while at a second-hand shop I glimpsed a stout volume with a cover embossed in gold. Complete Works of William Shakespeare it said. It was so beautiful and the price was so right that I bought it and lugged it home. It's still sitting on my book shelf but after leafing through Interred With Their Bones the other day after announcing the giveaway I started thinking about Shakespeare again. May be I'll start slow, with the sonnets. Who knows, I might even like them.
Central Park is the perfect place to go if you're looking for open air and some impressive artwork. This particular statue was commissioned in 1864 as a celebration of the tricentenary of Shakespeare's birth in 1564. Funds were raised by a performance of Julius Caesar where Edwin Booth took the lead role, with John Wilkes Booth playing Mark Antony. The statue was designed by John Quincy Adams Ward. (Source)


  1. I love a lot of Shakespear's stuff but some of it is not great. (imho) I have to admit the first book that ever made me cry was Shakespear's 'Antony and Cleopatra'

  2. I so greatly appreciate Shakespear's contribution to literature - but truthfully, I would rarely read any of it for more than a page or two - but I force myself from time to time just to make sure I get a sense of the pacing, and his ability to bring grandeur into a setting. I think learning how to write from the original (English language) writers is crucial to my own development as a writer.

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  4. Thank you for visiting, Nelson! Your blog is also very interesting, thanks to Google Translate I'll be able to appreciate it.

  5. Dana and Brenda,
    I am very intrigued by Shakespeare's works, I figure with such a reputation there must be something to them, but I'm also intimidated because of the language and the fact that it's poetry (I'm more of a prose kind of gal) and of course the reputation. It's like a catch 22!