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5 Tips for Reading Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's King Lear One of my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays, my copy of King Lear dates from 1922. 

On April 23rd, 1616, William Shakespeare died. If you’re any good at math, which I’m not, you’ll know that that was 400 years ago. This milestone is a terrific excuse for Bard lovers to produce even more material about good old Will.

I happen to be one of those Shakespeare enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know the frustration his work often elicits. His position in the Western canon means that he is frequently assigned to high school or college students, many of whom suffer through “thee” and “thou,” and leave Shakespeare 101 with a decided bias against the Bard.

Now I, as I’ve said, happen to love Shakespeare. Perhaps this is because I had a series of excellent high school teachers and college professors who taught his works in ways that were exhilarating, provocative, and memorable.

Whatever the reason, from these happy experiences I’ve gained a few suggestions on how to make your own Shakespeare experience a fulfilling one. Here they are, and I hope they help you!

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