Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Shakespeare Project

The Shakespeare Project @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I am a glutton for punishment. Or I love setting myself up for failure. But, look at it this way: a year of Shakespeare that fizzles out after three weeks is still three weeks of Shakespeare, right?

I’ve been sucked into two different groups of Facebook friends inspired by A Daily Plan for Reading Shakespeare at First Things. Reading all (yes, all) of Shakespeare in a year, how hard could it be? Added to my Tolkien Project and my Chesterton Project (about which I haven’t yet posted), I really think I’m set. [wry grin]

As of today, I’ve read three more Shakespeare sonnets than I would have without this project. See, successful already!

I found a Complete Works of Shakespeare on my shelf (not the one in the link, but another out of print tome), and I’ll be using it for the sonnets and other poetry and any plays I decide not to buy in a Folger Shakespeare Library edition. I’ve already purchased Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew, so I’m set for a couple weeks. I may eventually break down and purchase the Folger edition of Sonnets and Poems.

Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World as Stage will be my biography choice because it is already on my shelf. I’ve read it, but it has been years and I’m due for a re-read.

The Leon Garfield Shakepeare Stories are my top choice for retellings, and I’m still working through both volumes with my boys.

It won’t be all reading. I’d like to watch as many movie versions as possible, as well as attend local productions and even make it down to Ashland for a performance or two.

The sonnets are a challenge for me. This year is mainly an introduction, but I could use a little help. The following Crash Course video was helpful today. I may also use this online site for helpful explanations and commentary.

Shakespeare's Sonnets: Crash Course Literature 304

It may help to read the sonnets with my ears as well as eyes.

A plain English version is always helpful:


I’ll definitely be listening to Venus and Adonis while following along in my book.

Would you like to join me this year? Or this month? Or even a week or a day?

Dip your toes in; the water’s fine.


Melanie said...

I'm in! Shakespeare immersion in 2017!

oldjove said...

I love this! I have been watching The Hollow Crown on PBS and really looking into these works that I had never read before. I fell in love all over again with the language and reading the sonnets would be lovely!

Rebecca said...

Not to add fuel to your fire (but yes, I guess, I am doing that...) Did you see that Hillsdale College is offering a free online course on Shakespeare this semester? Specifically, Hamlet and The Tempest. Check it out here:

I am a horrible commenter Heidi but I gotta say, I love your blog as much today as I did the first day I found it...which was WAY too long ago. ;-)

I am planning my own New Years' goals- and some of them lofty- so I will be chugging along right there with you. I'll be doing the Hillsdale Shakespeare project and I am probably going to devote a night or two each week to Wes Callihan's Great Books course. Among other things.

One thing I love about you is that you and I share a love for our OWN learning and not just the learning of our children. I am constantly reminded of how LITTLE I know and I desperately want to change that. I see that in you too. And that's why I love ya. ;-)

Happy New Year Missus!