Shakespeare: to read or not to read ?

Shakespeare is known as the most extraordinary and greatest writers in English literature. His works have survived for so many years and are still loved among the masses. Though, that doesn’t change the fact that Shakespeare is hard to read and understand. While he may weave beautiful words into comedies or tragedies with characters that are memorable, his writing is difficult to comprehend via just one read.

It is also true that his ideas and characters date back to more than 450 years so it is hard to find them relatable. Those narrow concepts are harder to grasp in this age.

But even still, without a teacher or guidebook or of course, the thousands of adaptations of Shakespearian work, we would be completely lost with the muddling text.

Yes, Shakespeare is said to be the greatest writer but for first-timers, he would sound no more like a rambling madman. It takes in depth reading and understanding to comprehend Shakespeare and an actual vision of it on a stage or a screen to appreciate it. Moreover, adaptations often have their own interpretations of the work. They combine worldly problems with the theme of the play and that makes it relatable.

Shakespeare phrases and references have made it to our generation with the “To be or not be” phrase still upon the lips of youngsters. His ideas, wordplay, complex themes and references can only be understood once you make yourself familiar with his work.

I once read somewhere that reading Shakespeare is more exercise for your brain than solving puzzles and I believe it to be true. Though, the words may look strange and not make any sense at first try, the feeling behind it, the sounds are quite familiar.

While Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy may sound outlandish and outdated, the feeling of love stays the same throughout years. And still when you read those lyrical words about Juliet’s beauty or Romeo’s charm, you are reminded of all that is good in the world.

As for the Sonnets, I have been told that you should read Shakespeare aloud, as if you are saying it to someone and that truly works wonders. It is a magical feeling when those words come pouring out of you.
So go ahead, read Shakespeare. Give it, one, two or three tries. Because once you acquaint yourself with this master of words, there will be no going back.

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