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Dorothy W.

How cool that things are starting to click and that the reading has become easier! It's got to be satisfying to feel that you're making progress -- and it will only get even easier and more enjoyable from here, I'm sure!


Yay! Danielle, you're really becoming a Shakespeare scholar! I have Germaine Greer's book Shakespeare's Wife on my shelves, and I'll have to get that down and read it, to see whether I can recommend it to you!


I haven't managed to pick up a book by Shakespeare to read for enjoyment - yet. But I can offer a recommendation for some terrific Elizabethan background music! Songs from the Labyrinth by Sting is a fabulous CD.



Check out Shakespeare Our Contemporary by Jan Kott, if you are interested in essays on the Bard. It is the best essay collection ever written on some of Shakespeare's plays, although not for the light-hearted. Peter Brook often refers to it as well.

Margaret Powling

I have never willingly read Shakespeare. We had to 'do' Twelfth Night for 'O' level English Literature. For folks younger than me, that is an examination which pre-dates GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education.) Aged 16 or thereabouts I didn't really appreciate the nuances of Shakespeare (although I loved King Lear when I studied this play for 'A' level). But I was a crafty monkey even in the late 1950s. I didn't want to read Twelfth Night, I had better things to do with my time,or so I thought. So I listened carefully in class whilst the pupils discussed (with our teacher) the story, the characters, etc. When it came to the exam (and I still hadn't opened the play) I simply drew on these discussions adding little flourishes of my own. Did I pass? You bet your sweet life I did!
Re King Lear. As this was our 'A' level set play, we were taken, by coach, to Stratford upon Avon to see this in November 1962. It was the famous (or infamous) Peter Brook production with Paul Schofield as Lear and Diana Rigg as Cordelia. It was an astonishing performance and I can still recall scenes in detail, 47 years later.


Dorothy--Certain words and phrases I've noticed are popping up that are becoming familiar. I do think the more I read the easier in some ways it will be. The Garber book is really good, too in explaining things--taking speeches out and interpreting them and making connections to other plays. I like the idea of working on them as a whole rather than reading one here and there.
Litlove--I probably have a little ways to go before I become a scholar...but things do seem to be starting to come together! :) I would love to hear about the Germaine Greer book--the perfect book to read in March right--for Women's history month!
Darlene--Oh, that sounds good. Music to go along with my reading. I like listening to the music that they have in the plays. The reading is still a challenge, but I am losing my fear of reading him finally.
Eniko--I'm not familiar with this book, but I'll see if my library ahs it! Anything to help me while I'm reading is a welcome thing.
Margaret--I read King Lear in high school, but remember nothing from it! Isn't it amazing what you can pick up just from listening--tricky of you! :) Still, if you still recall scenes--something worked!

Carl V.

I love Twelfth Night. And especially love the Trevor Nunn film. We have watched that one many a time in our home and I'm thrilled that my now 16 year old daughter took such a liking to it. It is one of her favorite films and she watches it even more often than I do, which is saying something.

I find that I always enjoy Shakespeare more after I've watched either a film or play version of it. See the language spoken in context makes it much easier for me to just open the book and get right into the flow of the story. I think Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth were the only ones I've read before seeing a performance. I read Macbeth for high school and then we watched a film version. I read Midsummer before seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company perform it on Broadway several years ago.


Carl--I can see why your daughter would love this film. I liked it so much that I also bought it and look forward to watching it again. I also watched another version that closely followed the text and read along(well half read as I was watching), and that actually helped to see the words and hear them spoken. I think the more times I'm exposed to the plays the more sense it will make. I hope so anyway. I would love to see something performed eventually. Someday!

Carl V.

I tell myself every year that I am going to go to the Shakespeare in the Park festival that we have here in KC and yet every year it is in the middle of July and it is upwards of 100 degrees and I just cannot make myself sit in that heat. I don't want my love of the bard to be tainted by my melting out in the heat. :)

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