“Me thinks I shall take on Shakespeare this year.”
The Bard. William “F-ing” Shakespeare, as a friend of my used to say. Shakespeare. The mere word sends shivers down the spines of most young males, conjuring images of fiercely cruel language arts teachers, senseless drivel, and a looming conspiratorial theory the educators of today must be receiving a royalty kickback from the descendants of the Bard.
Now that I have that Shakespearean rant off my chest, I have an announcement.
I am making this the Summer of Shakespeare.
That’s right, doubters of my intellectual inspirations and motivations. I am going to spend the wonderful Summer of 2014 reading me some Shakespeare.
What gives, you ask?
Well, the Mrs. Hays just finished a two-year teaching stint of freshman English at the local high school. She really got into the Romeo and Juliet. In fact, she even convinced me to listen to the audio CD version she bought for her classroom. I did. It was good. No, it was a very awesome, great kind of good. Much better than I remembered from my junior high days when I may have bribed someone to read the play and supply enough modern, translated information to pass the exam.
(NOTE: I did enjoy watching the 1968 Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet movie in a 9th grade assembly and was wondrously impressed we freshmen were allowed to view a movie with nudity, albeit partial and fleeting, in the name of “art”. And coming from Catholic school to my first year of public school…Go art!)
So, at 49 years old, with my new, slightly-skewed-toward-the-positive, personal worldview of Shakespeare in place, Mrs. Hays sent me a link several months ago to a free app download from PlayShakespeare.com. An app which contained the complete works of one William Shakespeare. Now, “All the world’s a stage…” and I have access to read and learn more about Shakespeare than I ever dreamed I’d need or want.
Thus was born, the Summer of Shakespeare. I am going to read Shakespeare this summer to go along with my #MeReadBook philosophy. My plan is to flip between tragedies and comedies to squeeze in as many of the plays which I have always been curious to read but never “got around to it”.
So to start the Summer of Shakespeare, I am reading Macbeth. We’ll see how this goes, friends.
Please join me if you are so inclined and join the Shakespearean fun. Check the Twitter hashtag, #MeReadBill to keep updated on current reads and any idiotic Coach Hays commentary.
Maybe I will survive and move out of the Summer of 2014 a changed man…