Used under cc license via flickr.com
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”
My name is Crystal, and I am a Shakespeare geek (cue support group: “Hi, Crystal.”). I was raised on Shakespeare from a very early age. My mother would read me Shakespeare’s plays as bedtime stories from when I was about 5 years old. After talking to her, I found out that she had some plays that she would read to me at certain times of the year (Hamlet and Macbeth for Halloween,for example). Some people now might call reading to a child in olde English crazy…well, okay, some probably did in the mid-90’s,too… but my mother gave me pleasant memories of Shakespeare by doing that, which made reading him in middle school, high school, and college enjoyable and easier to understand.
Me posing with Falstaff in Stratford-upon-Avon
As I’ve grown, I have taken pretty much every chance that I can to watch/study Shakespeare. This past summer, I was even able to go on a study abroad trip with my school and take my first graduate-level course in Shakespeare at Oxford. Now, I should clarify that before that, having grown up with a taste for fine arts, but living three hours away from the nearest place that Shakespeare would be regularly performed, my opportunities were basically to watch film adaptations with a couple plays put on by a local theatre company. Because of the fact that I read so much Shakespeare when I was young, and then grew up to be an English major (I’m now working on my M.A.), I tend to see parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and various bits of pop-culture in television and in the movies.
Some of my friends (and at times, my parents) say that I was born in the wrong era, and I tend to think that they’re right. Don’t get me wrong, I love things like television and computers, not to mention that I would be completely lost without my iPhone, but many of my hobbies don’t involve those things at all…well, except for the occasional online RPG. The things that I enjoy tend to be more along the lines of reading, playing music on my violin, embroidery, cooking…when I have the energy, and spinning wool to make yarn.
If you are learning about Shakespeare for a class, this blog is for you! It’s amazing how much more interesting people find things when they relate to their everyday life.
If you are an old hat at this Shakespeare stuff, this blog is for you, too! I will not only be posting about various pop culture icons that hearken back to Shakespeare, but I will also post about the social and political climate in which those plays were developed.
I hope you enjoy our journey into Shakespeare, and please feel free to comment, reblog, or contact me about anything.