The Author’s Shakes-Creds

Works Read or Seen

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Julius Caesar
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Hamlet
  • As You Like It**

Works In Progress

  • The Tempest
  • Macbeth
  • Many of the histories

Keep this in mind when considering what I choose to write about. I would obviously prefer to write about what I know, hence my limited scope.

I have put asterisks by As You Like It because I have only seen it, not read it, and it was several years ago at an outdoor theatre from a distance, so my understanding of it is far less than satisfactory; certainly not enough to write a post about. I am much more familiar with Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer, and Hamlet. I also am familiar with Julius Caesar but I’m less emotionally invested in it, so I haven’t given it quite as much thought, even though I do like it and I do think it is ripe with political potential. Therefore, the majority of my focus is only going to fall between a few plays, from the character notions I have of them to productions or adaptations I’ve seen.

A scene from The Tempest. What’s happening here? I have no clue. Illustration by William Hogarth [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.
I started reading The Tempest last year after seeing images of Colin Morgan’s Ariel, but life has since intervened, and I’m still not even out of the first act. I have promised myself that I will continue to try to make progress with it–it has fairies, for one, which is part of what endeared me to Midsummer so much, and I also know that it is ripe with race and imperialism messages. But without a classroom setting, reading Shakespeare becomes more challenging; who would have thought. Nevertheless, it is on the to-do list, so I expect that to enter my Shakespeare vocabulary at least by this year.

I have not started Macbeth, but with the richness of its lore and my sister’s participation in a Star-Wars-ified version, I do feel the imperative to read it. It’s one of the greats, after all. It’s next on the list after Tempest, and in fact sits next to my copy of it on my shelf. (My Shakespeare action figure currently stands guard in front of both). The histories, on the other hand, are far more daunting and I’m not even sure where to start, but they are akin to Macbeth in that I know they are highly relevant to Shakespeare’s body of work, and frankly, I want the academia points for being the type of person who’s actually read the histories. But those are a goal that’s a bit further off; I wouldn’t suggest waiting on the edge of your seat for my casting ideas for Henry or Richard or anything.

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