Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Was Shakespeare?

Well from what I can remember from English class he was a play-write who lived in England around the 1500s and his plays were preformed in the Globe Theater in London. His plays (all 38 of them) were written in Iambic Pentameter, the style of speaking/writing the strikes fear into the hearts of high school students. As it turns out Shakespeare in fact did not get famous off of his plays but instead from his poem "Venus and Adonis". The Elizabethan Era in which Shakespeare live actually viewed him as an uneducated man, and his writing as for the common man. If in his time he was viewed as little more than a commoner then why is his worshipped as a literary genius in our time? And what is it about his works that cause students to drop classes simple at the sound of his name? The first question I truthfully have no answer to, I wonder that myself, but I can shed some light on the latter question. What sends students running for the hills when Shakespeare is mentioned is partly the Iambic Pentameter, a strange way of writing/reading to most it cause most to just put down the play immediately. Once you get past the Iambic Pentameter you have to deal with interpretation. Interpretation is always a difficult part of literature but Shakespeare makes it especially difficult. If Shakespeare said "The curtains were blue"there will always be that teacher out there who says that "The use of the color blue signifies that the main character has a deep feeling of sorrow that causes him to become suicidal and he jumps off a cliff trying to fly, or become free, in the sky which is also blue." while 90% would agree that we were just trying to get the color of the curtains and nothing more. Shakespeare is probably the most dreaded subject known to high school and it will stay that way.


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