Shakespeare Mini Reviews (4-6)

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Just about six months ago, I decided to actively work on reading the complete works of Shakespeare. Because I am that big of a nerd. In the last three months, I have read another three plays, which means it is time for another mini review post (you can read my first one here). Overall, I did really enjoy all three plays. They’re ones I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, and I knocked two histories off my list, which I’m pretty happy about.

Henry IV Part I & II

I decided to bunch these into one for the purposes of this review, because I feel pretty much exactly the same about them. Richard II is one of my favorite plays, and these are a continuation of that story, which I was excited about. While I didn’t enjoy them quite as much, I did think they told a great story, and I liked seeing more of what happens after Richard II’s death. I do wish I had revisited Richard II first, because I would have been able to connect the two a bit better, but I still enjoyed these plays. I always thought I’d like the tragedies and comedies much better than the histories, but that isn’t turning out to be the case. And I’m pretty happy about this. If you are planning on reading these plays, I’d say that you definitely have to read both, and I would highly recommend going with Richard II first.

Twelfth Night

This is actually one of the few Shakespeare plays I’ve seen performed. I also really love She’s the Man – based on Twelfth Night – so I was looking forward to reading this. It did not disappoint. My favorites of Shakespeare’s work (so far), are spread pretty evenly between comedy, tragedy, and history, but I so think this is among my favorite comedies. I really enjoy when Shakespeare challenges societal norms, and this is right up there with Taming of the Shrew in my book.

Out of these three, I’d have to say Twelfth Night was my favorite, but I think I rated all of them four stars. Not my absolute favorites, but I liked them all. Actually, out of the seventeen plays I’ve read so far, the only one I don’t particularly care for is Romeo & Juliet (sorry, it’s Elizabethan insta-love and I have no patience for impulsive teenagers). I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan of the bard.

If you have any suggestions as to what I should read next, let me know (I’m thinking a comedy, since – surprisingly – I have the most of those left to read.

19 thoughts on “Shakespeare Mini Reviews (4-6)

    1. Thanks! I really want to read those, they look great. I’d recommend starting with a story you’re familiar with, since it helps with getting into the language. I usually recommend ones that correspond to movies (i.e. 10 Things I Hate About You = The Taming of the Shrew, She’s the Man = Twelfth Night). Also, when you’re starting out, looking up context is very helpful.

      I wrote a post about reading Shakespeare when I was taking a Shakespeare class in grad school:

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a great challenge for yourself. I did something similar back in college and since then I have come to adore Shakespeare. (One of my tattoos is inspired by Romeo & Juliet) Have fun with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a difficult question! But if I have to, I pick The Taming of the Shrew. It’s one I keep coming back to. (And I was really disappointed when I read it in grad school and a lot of my classmates didn’t get it.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to see you enjoying the plays – I am a massive fan of 1 HIV (Falstaff and Hotspur are two of my favourite Shakespeare characters), and Twelfth Night was the play I did at school for my English O Level some 30-odd years ago, so it has a special place in my heart, I guess.

    Can I just make a slight correction to your post – the Henry IV plays follow on from Richard II, not Richard III. The History plays run: King John; Richard II; Henry IV 1 and 2; Henry V; Henry VI 1-3; Richard III; Henry VIII.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not yet, but only because I know I’m going to love it and I want to save it for later, since it’s going to take me at least another year and a half to finish reading them all. I loved the movie, and it’s also one of the few plays I’ve seen performed live. I am excited to get to it!


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