Ooooh.. there's conspiracy that Shakespeare was a woman, writing as a man?! How interesting. I haven't dove deep enough in his work to hold a genuine appreciation, but you've inspired me to at least check out Prospero on a movie night sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

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Hi Vickee,

You must have been a precocious teenager. Your 15-year-old self showed a snappy wit. As an adult, it must be satisfying to have come to appreciate and enjoy Shakespeare so much. And not be snobby about it, either.

I wish I could say that Shakespeare occupies a special place in my literary life, such as it is. But I never was all that drawn to his work even after reading him each year in high school English classes and as an undergraduate in my liberal arts college.

My main early recollection about Shakespeare is that we had to read Midsummer's Night Dream in 9th grade, and I had a crush on a girl seated close to me. I remember the crush and, vaguely, the character of Puck. But mainly the crush. Then, in 1968, I saw Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (the movie) at a theater near Central Park, NYC (about an hour from my hometown) with my first true love. I was wildly in love with this young woman, and I loved the film because it was so utterly romantic. But, again, the specific elements of Shakespeare's art seemed to dissolve from my memory. The memory of first love abides.

I have seen Shakespeare's talent in some of the quotes that circulate in popular culture from one work or another. I remembered one about our doubts betraying us, which captured something I've often felt, and one about the hidden sweetness of adversity, which I reluctantly have experienced. I looked up the quotes online and found that they go like this: "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt" and "Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head." Love the imagery in this last quote. Thanks for getting me thinking about Shakespearean themes, even if they are not much about his artistry.

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Lack lustre teachers suffocating with ennui are responsible for murdering students’ interest in so many subjects!

At that age, I too rebelled and wrote my own riposte to the bard to piss off my teacher, but a couple of years later, at a different college with enthusiastic teachers, the glory of Shakespeare was introduced to me.

I’m fortunate to live an hour’s train ride from London and before illness (and covid) I was up at The Globe (only a fiver for a standing ticket!) as often as possible.

I even had the enormous thrill of seeing an actor friend of mine appear there in Much Ado!

My most memorable film adaptation was Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes.

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So true Valerie! Many of my high school teachers were there temporarily while pursuing other endeavors and I had A LOT of long term substitute teachers as well. There were very few that seemed to have any kind of passion for what they were doing. :-(

I'm so jealous that you live so close to London and the Globe! That sounds wonderful. I hope you get to get back there for more shows again soon.

I have yet to see Coriolanus, so I'll have to add that one to my movie list.

Thank you for sharing! :-)

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