Did Shakespeare ever write anything bad? I realize it’s strictly an opinion question, but one I think is interesting. Several times recently I’ve run into people with this idea of reading everything Shakespeare wrote. Having done it once upon a time, it never really dawned on me that this is not a common thing. But, having done it, I still find myself gravitating toward the more well known plays. Give me Macbeth over Timon of Athens any day, King Lear over Pericles Prince of Tyre.
How about you? Have you already read them all? Do you plan to? Do you think that some are just not nearly good enough to even worry about? Or has Shakespeare attained such godlike status that, even if you don’t like it or understand it, you’ll still find yourself digging for the beauty that must be there and is just temporarily eluding you?
There’s something to be said for reading them all, just for the experience. You may, after all, find some particular gem in The Two Noble Kinsmen that personally works for you. More power to you. I encourage you to give it a shot, and I’ll at least attempt to discuss them with you if you want. I freely admit that even thought I’ve read them all I’m not intimately familiar with most.
I expect that you are reading them for pleasure, not for profit. I’m worried for people walking into the complete works thinking “They are all as good as Hamlet, and if I don’t ‘get’ one, it must be my fault.” Not necessarily true, and don’t let yourself be turned off or confused by Shakespeare by thinking that.