“We are such stuff as dreams are made on”

Helen Mirren in Julie Taymor's film adaptation of 'The Tempest'
Helen Mirren in Julie Taymor’s film adaptation of ‘The Tempest’

I’m a total Shakespeare nut and I’m not even slightly ashamed to admit it.
As much as I adore the subject of English Literature, when people in my classes groan about having to study ‘Macbeth’ during the lessons, I can see where they are coming from.
Shakespearean language is divine, and can transport you to a new height of imagination and emotion. It simply can’t be captured or appreciated within the constraints of a classroom.
I don’t have a problem understanding Shakespeare’s monologues now, but I can honestly say that the ability to read his plays with ease has come from an education in Theatre Studies.
I adore the theatre and I especially love seeing Shakespeare’s plays on stage. If done well, they’re brilliant.
When you read the words for the first time, they don’t always makes sense, because they are made to be illustrated by the human voice, not read inside your head.
I totally agree with Helen Mirren in her belief that a person’s first experience of Shakespeare should be from the perspective of an audience member.
So do me a favour, and before you whine about having to study Shakespeare, or claim you can’t understand it, get yourself to a live performance and then feel free to criticise it all you like.

Adieu

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