Book Review: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)
Have I read this before: Yes! We read this in high school. 10th grade, I believe. This was another one where we got to pick a part and read it out loud, which in my opinion makes the experience way more engaging than just reading it silently on your own. I was Tybalt. I don’t remember why I picked him.
Review: I said it in my Julius Caesar review and I’ll say it again here: Shakespeare is lost on high schoolers, except for those who are really into lit and/or Shakespeare. Like, I remember understanding the story and everything fine when I read it way back when (this is probably the most…accessible?…Shakespeare play I think), but I certainly didn’t appreciate the language and the subtleties of how it was told like I did this time. I dunno. Maybe I was just super dumb (highly likely). It makes me want to gather a group of friends* and just read it aloud like we did in high school.
Favorite part: I don’t know if this counts as a “favorite part,” but I’ve always found it weird how something that is so obviously a tragedy has been twisted into “RELATIONSHIP GOALS LOLZ.” Like…Much Ado About Nothing is so much more of a “relationship goals” story than Romes and Jules, let’s be real.
*Too bad I DON’T HAVE FRIENDS! Also, COVID.
Book Review: King Lear (Shakespeare)
Have I read this before: Nope
Review: So this is the first time since high school that I’ve read something of Shakespeare’s that I’d never read before. That is, all the other Shakespeare that I’ve read on my list is stuff that I’ve read at least once before (in high school). I also knew nothing about the play before reading it, so this was kind of my test to see if I could figure out what exactly was going on without having read it before and/or having some sort of idea of what the play was about. Does that make me sound stupid? Probably. But (and I’ve mentioned this in a previous review I think) I think plays – especially Shakespearean plays – lose a lot in translation if they’re just read without acting them out or at least having different people “play” different roles. Is that just me? Like, when I read Julius Caesar a few weeks ago, I understood what was going on, I understood the dialogue and the actions, but it wasn’t super engaging, especially in comparison to when we read it aloud in high school and we had different people reading different parts. I had the same issue with Lear, but I was able to get the gist of it. It definitely wasn’t my favorite Shakespeare…but again, the reason for that might be because I just read it and didn’t get to see it acted or read by multiple people as different parts. Stupid, I know.
Book Review: Julius Caesar (Shakespeare)
Have I read this before: Yes! We read it in 8th grade. We actually read it as a play – we volunteered to read certain characters (I was Caesar because of course I was) and we read the whole thing aloud. I loved when we did that with plays. It made them so much more enjoyable. We did it with The Crucible in 9th grade (I was Parris) as well as some other plays that I can’t remember.
Review: Shakespeare is lost on junior high-schoolers, yo. Except for those junior high-schoolers that are really into Shakespeare. I don’t think I appreciated everything that was going on in the play back when I was 14 because of the language, but I definitely got a lot more out of it re-reading it now. I certainly didn’t pick up the extremes of Brutus’ moral dilemma in high school, but that was probably because my character was dead within the Third Act and so I just sat there not getting to read any lines, haha. Junior High Claudia, you were an idiot.
Favorite part: Probably the moral dilemma of Brutus! Because I missed that when I was younger.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I love you!! We shall hang out and be weird together soon, assuming I survive my last final tomorrow.
Also, you know what would be a cool idea (if it wasn’t illegal…which I’m not sure if it is or not)? Get a group of friends together and have an “open to the public” reading of Shakespeare in the park. Like, each friend would bring a cheap copy of Hamlet or something and would read/act out one of the parts, and people walking by could join in at any time. We could bring a small whiteboard or something and indicate on it which parts were already taken (or just being covered), and people walking by could, if they wanted, just jump in and start reading/acting one of the uncovered parts (again, we could get a bunch of super cheap copies so that passersby could just jump in).
Wouldn’t that be cool? I have no idea how many people would join in a group of strangers reading Shakespeare, but I think it would be super fun.
WOO FINALS WEEK!