"William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon".[...] His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright "
I love William Shakespeare.
I'm in love with Shakespeare. He is fresh and actual, even if his works were composed 500 years ago. He was an absolute genius and I believe everybody should study him at school. Morover our teacher really likes him and her passion is influencing me a lot, so that, sometimes, when I have nothing to do, I read his poems out loud to pass the time.
Shakespeare is said to be the inventor of 1,700 new words. In reality many of these words would likley have been in common parlance, just not written down prior to Shakespeare. I was amazed by the fact that most of these words have survived trough centuries and, even today, we use them without realizing that they are almost 500 years old.
My mistress' eyes
We analyzed a few poems with the help of our teacher. I liked them all, but my absolute favourite is My mistress' eyes.
In this sonnet, the writer describes his lover in a totally new way. In fact, Shakespeare wants to subvert courtly love; to do so he abandon the exaggerated metaphores that are tipical of the courtly poerty and he gives a realistic portrait of his woman. Even if his mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun and coral is far more red than her lips red, he concludes the sonnet stating that he is in love with her regardless of her not being perfect, which is, to me, the most romantic thing he could say. (I like romance, could you tell?)
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies and my personal favourite topic we have dealed with in literature this year.
We analyzed the plot and some of the dialogues, such as Hamlet meets the ghost and Have you eyes?
To be or not to be
To be, or not to be--that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep-- No more--and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep-- To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprise of great pitch and moment With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action.
In this soliloquy Hamlet face one of the most difficult question every man needs to ask himself at least once in a lifetime: To be or not to be?
I am genuinely in love with this passage, so much that I have also memorized half of it. I am fascinated by Hamlet's desire not to be a pawn in the game of life, but also by his fear of death. I love the inner-fight the protagonist has to decide wether it is better to end all of his problems by committing siucide or to survive and not to risk something worse.
My favourite interpretation of the soliloquy is the one by Kenneth Branagh, because I find it really expressing, as it represents Hamlet's indecision.