Me and Billy Bob

For the sake of blogging about it, I recently sat down to finally jut down a William Shakespeare Pro/Con list. I hoped it would be a cathartic experience, that maybe I would be able to find some joy and enthusiasm in future attempts at Shakespearean anything. It didn't work.

Here's my Pro:
His work influenced and inspired countless authors who produced works that I love.

And that's it.

I have little patience with the man. His sonnets aren't too unbearable, but the plays! First of all, they were meant to be watched, not read. Honestly, how much time would be saved and how much would the participation increase if teachers showed the movie version of the play instead of everyone pretending they were actively reading it at home. Even then, though, the plots are so far fetched an ridiculous. I once had someone say to me that their favorite thing about Shakespeare is that every one dies in the end so there's no risk of a sequel. I'm on their team.

In my mind, Shakespeare was great for what he was, and I'm not questioning his genius, but rather doubting the relevance of his complex and largely unrealistic scenarios in today's world. I can appreciate the themes and morals that he incorporates, but why an;t we examine those in works that are more applicable to modern life.


  1. I do wish we watched them in class, think how much time it would save! Especially back in my high school years!

  2. If you get the chance watch the "Much Ado About Nothing" which was produced, I believe, in the 1990's? It has Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington to name a couple of the profoundly talented actors and I dare you not to feel more connected with Shakespeare at the end!