Here's the Thing About Shakespeare

If you enjoy theater then Shakespeare is kind of unavoidable. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of his works.

It’s difficult to enjoy something when you read it and think you get it until someone tells you that it actually means something completely different. It’s just hard to understand. The dick jokes get old - once you can find them. And I’d like to see a better representation of the female population.

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Yet, the act of being in a Shakespeare show somehow has a way of creating a deeper connection with the work. I’m pretty sure that part of it is the fact that you hear the words so many times and see the corresponding actions and emotions that it eventually makes sense.

Then there are those super cool moments where you’re confused about a line, so someone looks up the confusing word and context. And suddenly you’re laughing because that’s such a subtle joke or jab that you wonder how you never noticed it before. This is one of those details that made it difficult to read the play but add life to it when it’s being performed.

The show is still long and boring, but you’re somehow in love. You laugh and almost find yourself crying - even when you never would be if you had just been reading it.

And that’s the thing about Shakespeare! It’s not a book to be read. It’s a script that’s meant to be acted out and experienced.

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So never beat yourself up over not getting it. Don’t be afraid to see it a few times. Allow yourself to get drawn into the world that’s being created. Look past the words into the emotion and humanity.

Cover Image via Iowa Public Radio