Shakespearean Sonnets Revisited.

This post ran seven years ago, so it has drifted deep into the archives.  I thought I’d refresh it and bring it forward. –t.

I’m almost afraid to mention Shakespeare.  There is a whole generation of readers out there, including my kids, who had Shakespeare in Love shoved down their throats in English class at highschool.  They studied the movie and everything to do with Shakespeare for ten very long weeks, to the point where none of them now will sit still for anything to do with the bard.

I suspect there is a big slice of the general reading population that feels exactly the same way.

Which is a pity.  Shakespeare In Love is, in my opinion, a great movie, a great romance, and a perfectly accurate portrayal of Elizabethan London.

William Shakespeare was born on this day in 1564, and he died on this day, 52 years later, in 1616.  He was a common playwright, who enjoyed commercial success and the queen’s favour…but his plays, unlike most of his contemporaries (Christopher Marlow, for example), continue to enjoy commercial success even today.

You have to wonder what quality it is about Shakespeare’s plays that makes them so mass-appealing, after so many centuries.  They’re considered great works of literature now, but Shakespeare was writing purely to pay the rent — he wrote what was popular, what the common man want to see.  He wrote to entertain.

Perhaps that’s the secret.

What is your favourite Shakespeare story?

Mine is the Scottish play–and I love the superstition that goes with mentioning the actual name!

There’s also a real historical figure that inspired the play — I may do a post on that particular king (still not saying the name!), one day.


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