Monday, January 18, 2016

Shakespeare for 2016

In my list of remaining works, there are 13 plays by Shakespeare, broken into four groups:
  • Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It and Twelfth Night
  • Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus
  • Othello and King Lear
  • Richard II, Henry IV (both parts) and Henry V
I've decided that in this year, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, that I'll try and complete all of these works.  My normal approach to Shakespeare is to try to see the play (live or recorded) and then read through it.  The language barrier can be an obstacle, but seeing real live actors perform usually overcomes that.
I'm going to change that here.  Instead of waiting for a live performance or DVD, I'm going to look for YouTube or similar versions.  While watching the video, I'll have the text in front of me.  That way, if there is a large edit, I can pause and read through what was cut out.  I've tested this out on a couple of the comedies and it seems to work really well.
I hope to have all 13 of the suggested plays done in a few months.  If things go well, I may simply continue for the rest of the year and go through all of them.  I'll post standalone reviews of each, along with the link of the version that I watched.  I've set a (soft) goal of seeing all of Shakespeare's works in this year.  This may be the only realistic way of doing so.

In other Shakespeare news, I've started working through the book 'How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare' with my 8 year old daughter and it's going really well.  The book is set up in a number of passages that you work together to memorize.  For each passage, some background is provided so that you can pass that on to the child.  Things like what play and what is happening.  This way they have some grounding to go with the sheer fun of it all.
If you follow the link, you'll see that the author has provided printable 'worksheets' for each passage.  So far they do the trick.  She is excited to tackle each new passage and even sharing them at school.  I highly recommend the book and its approach.

Update: I meant to attach this list of screen adaptations.


  1. If I'm reading a play for the first time, I usually watch a video of it while reading, too. I'm trying to focus on my Shakespeare project this year, as you are. I have many more left to read than you.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I've bookmarked the website.

    1. I hope you find it as good as I did.