Tuesday, 6 March 2007

That Damn Shakespeare

In Theatre Studies I'm currently studying two Shakespeare texts ("Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Taming of the Shrew") and in just two and a bit weeks I'll be performing extracts infront of an external examiner. I love drama - is it strange then that Shakespeare bores me rigid?

Okay, okay I can see how poetic the man's writing is; and just how great a mind he must have had, but that doesn't prevent me from yawning whenever my teacher mentions his name. The big question is, why? After all, I appreciate good writing ten times more than any average joe, so what's wrong with possibly the world's greatest writer?

Perhaps it's the names he uses for all his characters - which are just so preposterous by today's standards. Yorick indeed. I dunno - ever since I was little and I attempted to read the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, before ultimately putting the book down because of complex sounding names I've been put off greatly by what I consider "abstract" names.

Or perhaps it's because so many people try and ram Shakespeare don't my throat that the rebel inside of me refuses to listen. I've heard of actors or actresses in the past not 'discovering' Shakespeare's brillance until their late 20s, so I'm willing to wait. Until it all settles in my mind and I'm ready to listen to what he has to say, all by myself. Because if I hate one thing, it's people telling me what to do.

Guess I'll just have to wait then? Until the day comes when I pick up a Shakespeare text and don't automatically yawn. When I can fully appreciate not only his poetic brillance, but his deeper messages and values too. In effect, when that day comes, I'll at last have completed a writer's journey - as I'll be ready to love Shakespeare.

I perform in a couple of weeks, so I better go away and learn those lines. I've also got my exams results coming later in the week, which I'm a little nervous about. But I should scrape by - for that's just what I've been doing in my Shakespeare studies for years. Damn Shakespeare.

And don't get me started on Chaucer...
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