Project Shakespeare

Aim: To read as much Shakespeare as I can handle.

Previous Experience:

For my SATs (age 12-14) we studied Romeo and Juliet and though we watched a few adaptations, Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes is the one which stuck. Gnomeo and Juliet was a good introduction for smaller children.

For my GCSEs (age 14-16) we were introduced to Macbeth. I still remember the opening lines –

First Witch
When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch
When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.

Third Witch
That will be ere the set of sun.

At A Level (age 16-18) we did Othello. As a mixed race teen, this was the one to leave a lasting impression on me. Kenneth Branagh as Iago, trying to ruin a black man, Laurence Fishburne, because Iago’s jealous of all Othello possesses, is seared into my brain.

A few years ago, after watching 10 Things I Hate About You a dozen times, I picked up The Taming of the Shrew. Since then I’ve seen Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s adaptation. I fell in love all over again.

Al Pacino was brilliant in The Merchant of Venice. I’ve been meaning to read the text ever since.

Predictions: I anticipate I’ll enjoy the comedies far more than the tragedies. I’ve not read nor seen any of the histories so I can’t comment on those, although I’ll probably like Henry VIII’s play with his scandalously controversial life and reign.

Method: A combination of reading, listening and watching.

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4 thoughts on “Project Shakespeare

  1. Ha ha! I thought I would like the comedies best, then the tragedies, then the histories. So far, it’s been in the reverse order, although both histories and tragedies vie for number one. Best of luck on your project. I’m doing a Shakespeare Project too and have read through 9 plays so far (reading #10 now — Hamlet). It’s funny how we seem to read/be interested in the same books isn’t it?

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