Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kicking and Screaming into Shakespeare

We first eyed the Shakespeare Reading Event a few weeks ago and scoffed at the notion.  Since that time we surpassed the 6 billionth mark of sitting through Gnomeo and Juliet with our children...  Maybe it’s a sign we should read more Shakespeare or maybe it's just time to buy our kids some new movies.  Either way, we’ve decided January is the month to confront Bill face to page.

Don’t get us wrong, Shakespeare is probably a good guy and all, but every since all his wherefore art thou’s in middle school the guy has intimidated the heck-fire out of us.  That being said, over the past 18 months we’ve seen significant growth in our literary prowess and next month we hope to slay the below 3 dragons. *gulp*

                King Lear

We’ll keep everyone updated on our progress throughout the month, but if you don’t hear from us every 4 to 5 days – PLEASE SEND HELP (or cookies)!!!

Special thanks to Allie over at A Literary Odyssey for hosting this event.  We ARE looking forward to reading a little Shakespeare...


  1. Good luck! Hamlet, Lear and Othello can seem intimidating, but they're less scary than their reputation would suggest. The New Folger Library editions are good ones to go with. They help explain a lot of the outdated terms. And if you can see the plays do that! Or at least read summaries. It's much easier to follow if you know the plot.

  2. Those are three dark choices -- I'm surprised you don't have a comedy on this list! If you feel like adding to it, you've got to give "Twelfth Night" (a.k.a., What You Will) or "Taming of the Shrew" a go. Oo! Or "As You Like It"! Or "Much Ado About Nothing"! Or "Two Gentlemen of Verona"!

    Ok, so I really love Shakespeare's comedies...

  3. Those are three great plays to start you off. I think Othello is the most accessible of the three, so you might want to start there. And don't forget the comedies--Twelfth Night was the first Shakespeare play I ever read in school and if a 13-year-old can like it, anyone can :) Of course, you can pair any Shakespeare play with movie versions to help with the translation from page to contemporary brain :D Good luck!

  4. I loved Hamlet! I read it, then watched it be performed on stage, last year. My first Shakespeare! It's very, very good. :)

    I joined this challenge as well. I'm also reading Othello. I can't remember if King Lear is on my list. (!)

  5. Oh my gosh, saw this very challenge and ran hiding with my tail between my legs. Put so much effort into avoiding Shakespeare while earning my undergrad I ended up with a minor in Medieval Literature...Sad, sad story.

    Obvi. it's not about antiquated language (me and the OED are thisclose!) It's about the plays...I sooo dislike reading plays. I get all jumbled and forget who's talking, where we are, etc. I need that filler that fiction gives you to set a scene.

  6. I'm glad you're joining in!

    Of the three, the only one I haven't read is Othello (I'm also planning on tackling that one in January). Hamlet is excellent, as is Kind Lear-been a bit since I've read the latter! :)

    Looking forward to reading lots of Shakespeare in January.

  7. Hamlet is fabulous! I mean, depressing, but fabulous! I'm also going to be reading Othello for Shakespeare reading month, and I'm not sure what else yet...But I'm excited!

  8. I've read a decent amount of Shakespeare, and the three you mention are not my favorites (I prefer his comedies). If you're worried about diving right in, I'd suggest getting a copy of the film "Stage Beauty." It stars Claire Danes and Bill Crudup, and delves into a bit of history of the theatre. And the play they're doing is Othello. The acting isn't terribly historically accurate, but it made Othello interesting to me. Plus it's just a good movie.

    I'd also recommend reading aloud. It really does help you catch the rhythm and meaning more easily. And it's fun to be melodramatic about it. :)