okay but shakespeare plays as siken quotes tho
Midsummer Nights Dream: I sleep. I dream. I make up things that I would never say. I say them very quietly.
Romeo & Juliet: We have not touched the stars, nor are we forgiven, which brings us back to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes, not from the absence of violence, but despite the abundance of it.
Hamlet: What is a ghost? Something dead that seems to be alive. Something dead that doesn't know it's dead.
Also hamlet, but for the hamlet stans: You’re going to die in your best friend’s arms. And you play along because it’s funny, because it’s written down, you’ve memorized it, it’s all you know. I say the phrases that keep it all going, and everybody plays along.
King Lear: Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper.
Tempest: Please keep him safe. Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed to pieces.
Macbeth: You didn’t think you’d feel this way. There’s a gun in your hand. It feels hot. It feels oily.
Julius Caesar: I am singing now while Rome burns. We are all just trying to be holy.
Henry IV: This is where the evening splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard, and make a wish.
As you like it: In a word, in a phrase, it’s a movie, you’re the star. so smile for the camera, it’s your big scene, you know your lines.
Taming of the shrew: Let’s admit, without apology, what we do to each other
Twelfth Night: How much can you change and get away with it, before you turn into someone else, before it's some kind of murder?
Much ado about nothing: The entire history of human desire takes about seventy minutes to tell. Unfortunately we don’t have that kind of time.
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Schools teach Shakespeare poorly and here’s why
Honestly it gets on my nerves how the school system handles Shakespeare, and it’s because of its poor handling of Shakespeare that so many people hate his plays and view them as boring or uninteresting.
I’ve acted in Shakespeare plays for about six years now and after spending just one unit in school on Romeo and Juliet, the reason why people hate Shakespeare becomes so much more understandable. I learned Shakespeare’s plays, his rhyming scheme and scansion through putting on productions of the shows, and that’s how Shakespeare should be taught.
Shakespeare’s works aren’t meant to be read by anyone other than the actors putting on the show. It isn’t supposed to be enjoyed like that. Shakespeare is at its best when it’s being watched or it’s being performed. His plays are scripts for a reason. Scripts are the groundwork for a performance and when schools assign endless reading of his plays, they essentially feed their students the bare bones of Shakespeare.
Acting is what makes the show come alive. In my most recent production, I remember cold-reading Love’s Labors Lost and being so confused about the story and how this could ever be considered a comedy. By performance day, we were up onstage loving every bit of the story, and the audience, who knew as much as the cast had on our first day with the scripts, was laughing at the jokes we initially didn’t get the first time. Acting is what conveys Shakespearean text and the witty lines that are much harder to understand today, but the actor’s choices onstage (be it actions, tone of voice or movement) are there to explain it all.
Shakespeare is at its most relatable and enjoyable when it’s being performed, and that was how things were always intended to be. Making students read these scripts as if they were textbooks is a one-way fast track to making a class confused, frustrated, and hating these plays.
TLDR: Shakespeare and acting are inseparable, and schools need to stop ignoring that fact if they want their students to actually care about these plays.
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