Shakespeare is Killing Me

If you’ve read some of my other blog posts (or my about page), you might know that I am currently in graduate school studying English and creative writing. For my program, I have to take a total of three literature classes. I really enjoyed my first lit class, Medieval Literature, and surprisingly ended up with an A even though I didn’t actually finish reading Beowulf until the class was over. Because I liked Medieval lit so much, I decided that I was going to eschew modern literature and stick with the classics. I signed up for Romantic Literature (next term) and Graduate Studies in Shakespeare (current term). I’m not so good at picking easy classes (obviously).

In my grad school experience so far, I usually get burnt out around week seven of each ten week class. But then I only have a few weeks left, I cram in a term paper, and I’m done. And then I get a week off before I start an exciting new class. Today marks my fifth day of Shakespeare, and I already want to bang my head against the desk. We haven’t even read anything written by Shakespeare yet. (Although, I did try to read Macbeth to get myself in “Shakespeare mode,” made it through three scenes, and haven’t touched it since.)

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m just coming off a six week reading slump, but I have absolutely zero motivation in this class. I had the entire week off from work, and I still didn’t do my homework until the very last minute. And even then, it was a bit half-assed and I still haven’t finished this week’s reading. I’ve been slogging through one paragraph at a time. Of about a hundred pages of reading. So, basically, it’s going to take me forever.

Normally, I if I were having this much trouble with reading, I’d put it aside and come back to it (which is why it took me about nine months to finish Anna Karenina). But I can’t exactly do that when I have homework due every week. Blarg.

I guess it’s not really Shakespeare that’s killing me. It’s that my brain is melting and forcing myself to study the bard is just speeding it along. And because I have a blog and no one I know in real life would appreciate this problem (or consider it an actual problem), I’m venting to the internet. So, thanks to all three of you that actually read my blog! And I promise not to write too many complaint-filled posts in the future.

P.S. Any suggestions for reading motivation are welcome!

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3 thoughts on “Shakespeare is Killing Me

  1. I feel your pain! I remember slogging through some daunting readings when getting my MFA. One thought that might help with Shakespeare is to rent a production of one of his works (I like the PBS Macbeth with Patrick Stewart) and watch it. It might make you a little more eager to read him and also help you to get into the rhythm and dialect. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! I actually just started watching Richard III with Ian McKellen to help get me through this week’s assignment. It is definitely helping! I’ll have to check out the PBS Macbeth. (P.S. Have you seen the previews for the new Macbeth film with Michael Fassbender? It looks amazing!)

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