Reading Shakespeare

William-Shakespeare-007After what looked like yet another failed resolution, I’m making way with Shakespeare. In February I mapped out a plan: read one play a month, have all plays read by the end of 2015.

The excellent advice of my literature-loving sister-in-law—read through the entire play in one sitting—eliminated bedtime reading. I would fall asleep before I got through Act 2. The Big Gulp approach made sense to me. Who ever went to a play to watch Act 1 with a notice to come back to Act 2 next Friday?

I pulled out an old trick from my treadmill-reading days: read along with an audio version. The printed words help you listen and the audio helps you focus on the reading. The actors’ inflections grease the rails of comprehension. I could pause the audio to read a footnote, but not get dragged down too much in details.

After this epiphany, since November I’ve read/listened to The Tempest, Love’s Labor Lost, and Twelfth Night. My local library has about a dozen Shakespeare plays on CD; my internet library, using Overdrive, has them all. Even the sonnets. As the kids would say: Booyah!