There have been a couple of books that I’ve read lately that reminded me of my experiences with William Shakespeare. These books are: Philippa Ballantines Chasing the Bard and Deborah Harkness’ Shadow of Night.
I feel kind of pretentious in writing about William Shakespeare’s. I will not pretend that I have read all his work, but I have read some. The ones I have read have been fun, annoying, boring and adventurous.
The good ol’ days. Isn’t that what we get told all of the time. “Back when … things were soooooo much better”. Seriously???? I never understood that. What was the Elizabethan period like?
Bloody awful, in my opinion. If you have cleaning OCD, you would have hated living back then. The sanitation systems were non-existent. People threw night pots out their windows and poor person walking beneath. Death rates were high. Life expectancy was low. Women were chattel (pretty much like a lot of places today).
Like today, being wealthy was a whole lot healthier than being poor. Around this time people in William’s England were finally beginning to find their way out of darkness. Due to expansionism and changes in laws, people were somewhat able to change their financial status. Being thrown into jail for what you said was a little less likely. That made it possible for the English renaissance to flower, which is why I get to write about dear old William.
While in High School (Olympus High, SLC, UT) I took a class called “English Litterature”. In it I became acquainted with not only William but a great deal of other great authors from England. But because of his prolificity, William did take up a great deal of time in our classes. We memorised monologues, watched movies and read through plays.
I think maybe my first meeting with Shakespeare came some years earlier. I believe I must have been in 7th grade here in Norway. One day my class visited the local theater and watched a dress-rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet. I seem to remember a spark being lit then, a spark that flared a bit more in high School.
What was there about Shakespeare that could possibly appeal to a 12 year old. Words. The sound of the combination of words. Later, when I had to memorise monologues from Hamlet, the combination of words made it easier for me. Shakespeare combines his words in a way that drove me as a reader onward.
Shakespeare is one of those writers that makes me want to read his texts out loud. The formation of the words in my mouth has a texture that is very appealing. When my ears hear those words they grab on to them and I have what I call a brain orgasm.
You see, being on the autism spectrum is often advantageous (if it isn’t too prevalent). While mine is mild, it is there. I imagine others on the autism spectrum feel the same way about their obsessions. To me it is all about the combination of words.
Shakespeare’s poems and sonnets are more difficult for me to access. Any poem or sonnet for that matter. I suck at analysing and only get the surface stuff. But for me the surface stuff of Shakespeare gives a pretty intense feeling.
As you see below there are sites upon sites about William Shakespeare. Whether or not a person by the name of William Shakespeare wrote all that he has been credited with is irrelevant to me. The most important thing about the works of William Shakespeare is that they have withstood the test of time and can be a guide in our everyday lives if we delve into them. They are full of action, comedy, love, soap, fantasy and tragedy.