Saturday, April 26, 2014

Savoring Shakespeare...

The summer I turned eight my parents took me down to the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah, to see my first Shakespearean plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. It was the start of a lifelong love affair with Shakespeare for me. The next year we saw A Comedy of Errors, then As You Like It and Taming of the Shrew. Romeo and Juliet was my first tragedy. (And, having already seen it onstage, it was that much easier to read later on in school!) Other tragedies followed: Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

It was Jennifer Lee Carrell's novel, Interred With Their Bones, that inspired me to read all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in the order that he wrote them. (Although not everyone agrees on what that order is.) I've made my way through 9 histories, 6 tragedies, and 7 comedies. It's been fun. Some plays are definitely better than others. While I loved A Comedy of Errors onstage, it wasn't that great to read; and while I've never seen Two Gentleman of Verona, it's become one of my favorite plays.

I have to admit that I've read a few of the plays out of order because they went along with some other book that I happened to be reading at the time. Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn led me to Troilus and Cressida, while What Time Devours by A.J. Hartley led me to Love's Labour's Lost. I've read a few other books with a Shakespearean connection--like Kathryn Johnson's The Gentleman Poet which has ties to The Tempest, and  The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips, which is about a made-up Shakespeare play. Shakespeare and storytelling just seem to go together. So, here's to Shakespeare and ALL his stories!

What's your favorite play?


  1. I am a bit jealous about how many plays by Shakespeare you were able to see, how absolutely wonderful! I only recently saw my first Shakespeare play, and I loved it.
    Very commendable you have now read all of his work, what an amazing task to finish!
    As for my favorite play, I saw Julius Caesar and loved it, and I remember seeing movie adaptations of Henry V and Much ado about nothing once, and I also liked those.
    Kind regards,

    1. Those are three plays I still hope to see someday on the stage. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Love seeing Shakespeare plays at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. I would like to read more. I am part way through Much Ado About Nothing, and it has been a good read. One of these days I am going to break down and read I missed reading this one in school, I will never know!

    1. Hamlet is one of my favorites! There's just something about it that I really like.