A little different blog this week; in belated honor of International Women’s Day, let’s lift up another lady in the Shakespeare blog community.
I started the Shakespeare, Remixed project with, to be frank, no expectation of being noticed. I’m just a tiny student Shakespeare blog in a sea of much more learned scholars, ranting about character approaches I think would be cool. But early on in this Shakespeare experiment, I noticed a stranger like one of my promotional tweets –@dreadpiratemama– and when I investigated (because who would possibly care besides my friends?) I was satisfied beyond expectation.
Deidre Brill is a mom and writer living in north California who also is taking on a Shakespeare-related task: relating his works to present day. Not too dissimilar from my own goal! This includes such wonders as comparing Henry VIII to Donald Trump:
–which makes the histories more palatable, particularly for someone like me who finds them intimidating as all get-out. Deidre also includes “recaps” of the plays before offering her analysis and real-life application, which is always helpful, even if you’re already familiar with the play.
Speaking of real-life application: that may be my favorite element of her blog. I –and many others–have always contended that Shakespeare endures because the themes are relatable and vital and human. Deidre makes that concrete. Reading her “Thoughts and Themes” segments of each post makes me want to point at the screen emphatically and shout, “SEE? See what I mean?” Particularly because the themes she finds in, say, Hamlet are so different than the ones I do–it’s a testament to how widely applicable these works are, how timeless.
I think what clicks with me about Deidre and her blog is that it contains that charming element that I’ve come across before, particularly in high school English teachers, a je ne sais quois that reminds me of looking across a desk, wide-eyed, at a woman more advanced in life than myself, who has learned more than I have, who understands more than I do, who is giving me insights into all that knowledge for free. It’s for this reason that in my head, Deidre is labeled “Shakespeare Mom.”