A few months ago, I set myself the task of reading one Shakespeare play a month in order to finally finish reading his work. Am I a total nerd for wanting to say I’ve read the entire works of Shakespeare? Because I do.
So far, I’ve been enjoying this project, and have read a few new favorite plays. Since quite a few of you asked for my thoughts on the plays as I read them, I thought the I would post mini reviews every three months or so. Full disclosure: I didn’t read these as academically as I have in the past (there are only one or two other plays I’ve read outside of school), so these aren’t in-depth reviews, just general impressions. I’ve also read quite a few plays before starting this project, so this series most likely won’t include those.
Without further ado, here are the first three plays I’ve read this year:
This one, I really enjoyed. It was weird, but pretty fun. It is also my first experience with the more fantastical plays (I haven’t read Midsummer’s Night yet), and I liked the magical elements a lot. It’s also one of Shakespeare’s more lyrical plays, and I thought it was really beautifully written. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite Shakespeare play, but it’s near the top of the list, especially in the comedy category.
I had pretty high hopes for this one, since Richard III is one of my favorite plays. (In hindsight, this was kind of dumb, since the plays aren’t really connected.) It ended up being pretty average for me. For some reason it wasn’t quite as engaging and interesting for me. I don’t think it was a bad play – it was a solid three-stars – but it’s not my favorite.
Several of you warned me about this play, and I’m so glad you did, because if I’d gone into it not expecting how absolutely brutal it is, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it quite as much. This play is extremely violent, but I kind of loved it. It’s so full of drama and revenge, which made it a lot of fun to read. I tend to like the tragedies best (King Lear and Macbeth are two of my favorite plays), so it isn’t too surprising that I liked this one so much.
I didn’t realize until just now that I covered all my bases with these first three plays: a comedy, a history, and a tragedy. Of the three, I think Titus Andronicus might be my favorite, which I wasn’t expecting. Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun with this project so far, and am excited to continue. Just twenty-three plays to go!
If you have any suggestions as to what play I should pick up next, let me know! You can also check out my challenge page to see what I’ve read so far.