Around Thanksgiving my friend Erin texted me to tell me that there would be a broadcast of the play Coriolanus (by Shakespeare) in Salt Lake City in late February and obviously we needed tickets so we could go see it (partially because she is a big fan of Tom Hiddleston’s work, and I’ve been coming around to it, but mostly because we both enjoy all that stuff and it will keep us from bricking ourselves into our homes).
I responded with, “I don’t know what that is.”I actually did know what it was. I had read the play in college but in the context of our text message conversations I had zero understanding of what was going on. So, after figuring everything out, I insisted that I would have to read the play before we went to see the broadcast.
Erin and I went to the bookstore and unfortunately Coriolanus is not one of the six Shakespeare plays that Barnes and Noble actually carries. I bought the big super fancy copy of all of Shakespeare’s works (I wanted the annotated version with the big margins but that one cost a lot of money) so that I could read the play before we went to see it.
(I promise this story is relevant to the actual topic of this blog)
You see, when I was in high school and college I was kind of a nerd. I’m still kind of a nerd but back then it still had a social stigma attached to it. I was one of those annoying smart kids who was always working on things during class (generally writing stories and not paying attention to what was going on in class) and the “cool kids” made fun of me. But… you know, in a good way.
Because I was kind of a nerd I was very oppositional toward those other kids who thought they were so much cooler than I was. For example, I really enjoyed the Shakespeare classes we had to take and got really annoyed when they would complain about the plays and movies or would make fun of them. I didn’t actually like Shakespeare all that much back then. Mostly (and this is hard to admit) I did not really get Shakespeare when I was a teenager (that is hard to admit because I don’t like admitting that I’m not as smart as I’ve always thought I am). That is the truth though. I pretended to like it and probably did like it more than a lot of the other people in my class but at the same time I still kind of thought it sucked.
It was always the same three plays over and over again in every English class. Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Ceaser. JEEZ! No wonder everyone hated it. I’m surprised my English teachers could stomach those plays after years and ears of teaching them, I couldn’t stomach them after two years of that nonsense.
However, Shakespeare doesn’t suck. I came to that conclusion in college and have grown more into as the years have gone by. There are some fantastic things in Shakespeare that I didn’t catch when I was reading it just to write a paper. Things like the best way to say good luck to anyone ever (Now the fair goddess, Fortune, fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms misguide thy opposers’ swords!).
I’ve been being super pretentious this year and reading all of Shakespeare’s works (seeing as I have the book now) and the ones that are not the six that we read in college and the three that we read in high school are really great and those other ones don’t suck that much either.
Trust me I have a degree in this stuff.