Do you actually enjoy Shakespeare plays or did you only read them because you had to at school?
We all had Shakespeare forced upon us at school, but does anybody still read or watch the plays since leaving school, and do you think they still have any relevance or literary value in this day and age? If you love Shakespeare, which are your favourites, and if not, what don't you like about them?
I like watching them, not reading them, the way they were supposed to be.
I agree, I love to watch Shakespeare rather than read it. But I have read most of the plays. Hamlet is my favorite. I find the Shakespeare movies of Kenneth Branagh make Shakespeare more accessible.
I enjoy Shakespeare. I took a Shakespeare Comedies class at my university because I needed the literature credit. That's where I learned just how many sexual references are made in the plays. My professor is a huge Shakespeare fan so she knew all of the background information of the plays as well.
Shakespeare built many of his plays off stories and other plays from his own time. So it seems appropriate that many of them are being adapted for the big screen, some using original Shakespearian language such as "Romeo + Juliet" or "Much Ado About Nothing" and others keeping only the main plot (I can't think of any off hand but I know some were mentioned in my class).
Many universities perform some of the more popular comedies and tragedies because much of the storyline is still relevant and audiences will "get it" from how the characters are acting. My university put on a performance of "Twelfth Night" and it was very good and the sexual humor was really played up for the college crowd. It was fun.
All of that being said, I hated having to read the plays in class, but that is simply because I hate reading plays. It's much harder for me to keep track of characters in that format.
For me personally, Shakespeare is an incomparable literary figure. His plays are difficult to grasp, and they take effort to read and analyze, but the more you familiarize yourself with his style and his word choice, the more you'll fall in love with his unique writing. One of my favorites is The Merchant of Venice. It's one of the most complicated plots, but it's comical and moving and romantic, every time I read it. Then of course there's Hamlet. Hamlet is darker, and certainly not comical, but the extent to which Shakespeare delves into the human psyche is incredible. I could go on about this forever, but I'll keep the answer on the brief side To answer the other part of your question about it's modern relevance, I think Shakespeare is a prime example of timeless literary relevance. His plays touch on every aspect of human nature, and his style is one that has never, before or after, been paralleled. I think he's an author relevant to a wide array of subjects. The obvious being literature, but also psychology, history, and philosophy. Okay, I'm really done this time
I definitely ENJOY Shakespeare's plays. He is one of the best with Moliere, Racine, Sophocles, Euripides.
Yes I like reading - there is a lot of innuendo. I loved the movie Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio. The first time I saw it I didn't expect Shakespeare's english and couldn't understand it. Now it's my favorite
I learned to appreciate them more now that I am older. I am able to step back from the story and analyze the themes very well now. As a teenager I didn't care about anything.
I started to read Shakespeare mostly because I had to for school and then continued on my own. My favourites are "As You Like It", "Twelfth Night", "Merchant of Venice" and from tragedies "Othello" or "King Lear".
Thanks for all your interesting answers - it seems there are a lot of Shakespeare fans out there - I was expecting a few dissenters, but they obviously didn't feel strongly enough to comment.
Personally, I am glad I was introduced to his plays at school, where they took the trouble to help us understand them, as I think they are often great stories. The language does make them a little inaccessible, though, and I think a lot of young people are put off by this. Like some of you said, modern films do make them more accessible.
Well, I hate to admit it, but I just cannot get into Shakespeare, never could and probably never will. I can still remember lines from Romeo and Juliet, but I still can't bring myself to enjoy them. The underlying stories are still relevant.
We had 12th Night and Julius Caesar in our syllabus. It was quite boring but for the sake of exams we had to study. Also, there was a lot of dual meaning phrases in 12th Night. Our English Teacher had a tough time to explain such content.
Oh I LOVE Shakespeare's plays! I agree that one of the best ways to understand them is to see them performed (or to perform them yourself). When I was in 8th grade my english teacher brought a small troupe of Shakespearian actors to the school and they assisted my class in acting out some scenes from King Henry V. It was so much fun!
I have to read them at school beause it is require for one of my english class so it depend if it is a play or read the book about Shakespeare. I heard about the play all the time but haven't get to see one in action so I would love to see one in action someday. I read Shakespeare all the time back in High School because it is require to earn credit for class. It can be both if you are reading a book and watch the play or it can be just a book to read or watch the play so it depend on which prefer to learn about Shakespeare.
I prefer Shakespeare's sonnets. I love quotations from Shakespeare but cannot bear to watch the plays. A Midsummer Night's Dream was spoiled for ever because we did it at school, before we were old enough to appreciate it.
I did study The Taming of The Shrew as an adult and quite enjoyed doing so.
I enjoy Shakespeare plays. My favorites are taming of the shrew and Romeo and Juliet neither of which I read in school. I am in wonder about whether or not he actually wrote them if what they say about him being illiterate is true.
I personally live Shakespeare and his works. I have a book of quotes that inspire me that is almost completely filled by his words. I am also a young and aspiring actress, so I find his works enjoyable in many different ways.
I think Shakespeare might be the literary equivalent of eating healthy food. Once you get used to it, everything else pales in comparison. But we all like cake sometimes!!
When I studied his plays, I was amazed at how every word, every line could mean so many things. Shakespeare is meant to be heard, and my best experience with his works is when I studied in London, and the teacher planned our readings to coincide with the plays in the area.
I enjoy the plays (and now movies) but I don't read Shakespeare in print form for casual reading entertainment. My favorites are the comedies and romances, and the sonnets.
I thoroughly enjoy anything Shakespeare. I love his sonnets (my favorite is number 116) and I enjoy his plays. I was in the play The Tempest in high school, and admittedly I didn't enjoy acting in it, I enjoyed the story behind it. I also love Romeo and Juliet. Hamlet is also another one of my favorites.
I LOVE Shakespeare! There is so much to each play that new discoveries can be made with each reading or each time I see the play. I love the variety of interpretations. Students today love it too, if they are given a way to access the work.
School introduced me to Shakespeare, and I enjoyed it then as well as now. Performances are lovely, but I actually enjoy just reading as well due to Shakespeare's manipulation of words. Few authors nowadays are as inventive in my opinion. (There are lists online of the many, many words and phrase he coined, such as http://www.pathguy.com/shakeswo.htm ). Even more than that, I enjoy how he used words in new ways, such as Lady Macbeth asking to be "unsexed" during her famous soliloquy. So, I would say that they do still have relevance and literary value for those traits alone.
Anyway, to spare you further raving, my favorites are probably A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth. Interesting question!
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