Do you read Shakespeare for fun?

Do you read Shakespeare for fun?: has a simple poll up, do you read Shakespeare for fun, yes or no. Right now it’s just about 50/50, with Yes edging out No 51% to 48%. So go stuff that ballot box!

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7 thoughts on “Do you read Shakespeare for fun?

  1. Perhaps the better question would be, ‘Do you enjoy watching Shakespeare?’

    Just one of those little irritations in life: Shakespeare wrote for performance and the real enjoyment comes from performances.

  2. I hear what you’re saying, Alan, though I think there’s merit to the question as written. You can own a copy of the complete works and read it whenever you like. The plays, you’re limited to what might be showing at any given time – not to mention the cost. It’s kind of like asking whether you prefer to read the book or see the movie (although without the obvious quality implications that are present in the latter question).

    I don’t think that reading Shakespeare is without merit, either. You get to see the source material that the actors are working from. Each performance is more the work of the director and the actors than of the playwright (having written plays, I can vouch for that ;)). Reading the source gives an appreciation of the commonality across all performances. Not only does it provide things for you to watch for during the next performance, but it helps you to imagine your own performance in your head if you don’t get a chance to see that many Titus Andronicuses. Andronici?


  3. Certainly the plays were meant to stimulate thought and debate – and in modern western culture that is frequently stimulated by printed material.
    I ‘access’ Shakespeare through the printed page much more than through performance – and therin lies the rub – we loose track of the sensation of being in the audience – and it does alter our perception of meaning and our experiences.

    Now, what is the internet, and sites like this, doing to old Willie?

  4. Well Alan, I certainly could make this site a spot to review this performance and that, as there is certainly enough fodder in my morning google searches to do so. But I don’t, for the reasons you say — it loses something by simply writing about it.

    I hope with this site I’m managing to hit my chosen target a little better, namely the whole “Shakespeare’s permeation of modern society” thing. Movies based on his work, football coaches quoting him before the big game, the Simpsons sneaking in some Shakespeare jokes, that sort of thing. I try not to take him too seriously, lest I become a old fuddy duddy.

    I’m hoping soon to crank out a “Shakespeare Trivia” feed to try and drive up interest with some of the more colorful bits of the man’s life.

  5. Actually, I think the internet and blogging and all the stuff I really don’t comprehend could give a whole new life to the work.
    In school, we are told what to think, the meaning is explained and we are sometimes encouraged to reflect – but there really is no time to do it.
    In these blogs we have the chance to express, reflect, debate – just like the audiences did of his time.
    It does not matter if we are off the accademic compass – Shakespeare wrote for real people.

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