Saturday, 08 August 2009

Shakespeare Saturday: Reading Shakespeare

In my last year of high school, we studied Othello in English Lit. A few us really enjoyed it - mostly those of us who were part of the school's production of the play. Most of the class were not particularly keen on it. There was one lesson, though, where the entire class listened intently to the Shakespeare reading.

One of the boys, who was, I think, as uninspired as he was smart, volunteered himself and his friends to read every single part. Why he would do that may not be clear until you imagine a tough, eighteen year old boy reading Desdemona's part in falsetto. The entire class was almost in hysterics.

What was remarkable about the performance was that as the boys tried to rip the characters off, they had to dig a little deeper into the play. They were melodramatic and ridiculous, but they pulled a bit of meaning out of the play. The words weren't always quite right, but there was sense in what they were saying. The class may have been watching the first hockey team passionately addressing one another, but at the same time, they were seeing a pieces of Shakespeare's character's that I doubt they had seen anywhere else. It was a glorious lesson.

Those boys showed me that Shakespeare shouldn't be taken too seriously. There are certainly serious parts, but there are funny parts too. The plays should be entertaining as much as they should be intellectually stimulating. Shakespeare should be fun.


  1. cool(: sounds like tons of fun ! shakespear is real nifty, i'm looking foreward to reading some of his work!

  2. Thanks, blog nerd.
    Songbirdd, Shakespeare is definitely very cool. You should probably make sure to get a version with explanations of all the old words, though. ;)