Shakespeare is up next.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare

One of my kids is reading Julius Caesar in school, so here is the perfect opportunity to broaden my reading. I had a hard time reading Shakespeare in high school and college. I never could get the knack of understanding the verse and the vocabulary always discouraged me from trying. Unless you like deciphering clever puzzles, I think reading Shakespeare can be a struggle. So, in an act of support, I’m reading along with the high school class. Today I read Act I. Knowing the general story certainly helps and I am enjoying it a lot more this time. I did peek at some Spark Notes to help with the tough parts, but I’m appreciating Shakespeare’s great characters, plot and suspense a lot more than when I was a silly teenager.

I wonder if I’m the only one – what about you? Did you enjoy reading Shakespeare in school? Did you have trouble understanding it like I did? Leave a comment and let’s get a tally!

Check back soon for my review of this play about betrayal and Roman history.

Thanks for visiting!


10 thoughts on “Shakespeare is up next.

  1. I also read numerous Shakespeare works in high school and college and struggled through, but I’d like to think I’d have a better appreciation of it now – just haven’t gotten around to trying it again.

  2. My Little One is reading Romeo and Juliet, and I agree with her, it’s hard to read in the original. I just can’t get into Shakespeare no matter how hard I try. It probably doesn’t help that I just don’t like the Romeo and Juliet story, and I’ve even read a version done with vampires and werewolves! I think it is great you can appreciate it more now!

    1. I think if a teacher makes the story exciting and explains in a modern way what is happening, then the kids can appreciate the plot first, and then the characters and then the way the words are used. But if the kids have to read it on their own, many won’t. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Actually, I loved Shakespeare in college (ok, I’m a dork). I wrote my senior honor’s thesis on “Order and Authority in Shakespearean Comedy.” I read Julius Caesar years ago (actually after college) but I will likely read it again in the near future as part of my goal to cover all of Shakespeare’s works on my blog. I’d interested to hear your thoughts. Cheers! – Jeff

    1. Thanks for commenting. I am glad to hear from Shakespeare fans. I just don’t think I was mature enough, or focused enough, even in college, to know what I was reading! I am enjoying Julius Caesar this time around.

  4. Don’t get me started! Schools do more to ruin appreciation of The Bard than any Disney-esque interpretation can ever hope to equal. Please please please regale your kid with the story first: at least try, as teachers never do, to outline the history which forms the backdrop to the play. Talk about the characters and prepare them for such lines – forgive if I do not quote absolutely accurately – as ‘Are they married?’ ‘Aye, by the first turn in the bed’. By bringing the cast to life you can then throw light onto the stage. And, here, for me, is another thing: its currently fashionable to read the script with emphasis on the verse and verse rhythm rather than the sense in the words. It is quite easy to turn that around so the reader gains the meaning of the paragraph before they need to hack it to bits. Sorry! I ranted!

    1. These are great ideas. I always have thought that if kids could understand and appreciate the major plot and characters of any kind of story, they are more than half-way there. Thanks for commenting!

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