Tuesday, January 07, 2020

So, The Shakespeare Re-Reads...

Fans of the blog and/or literary analysis have probably noticed that I haven't posted a "Shakespeare re-read" in over two years.  The last entry was King John back in November 2017, and since I was doing the history plays in historical chronological order, the next play up in the queue was Richard II --- I've had a copy sitting on my desk, ready to roll, for the better part of those two+ years.

And yet I just never got around to it.  The original conceit of the Shakespeare re-read (which started back in 2012!) was to read all 38 plays in one year, and that quickly morphed into one play per month so I could write a post about it, and then the posts just got more and more sporadic.

And now, I'm officially called the series quits, more or less.  I ran into two notable problems with motivation...

* I felt like I was repeating myself a bit too often with the reviews, falling back on similar themes of finding the comedies mostly seeming flat on the page, and the dramas getting bogged down in plot and repetitive verse.  Maybe it was just a case of hitting a string of semi-mediocre plays all in a row, and not even Romeo & Juliet (the entry prior to King John) was enough to snap me back into it.  In hindsight, I should've planted a few more surefire favourites along the way to keep my own interest up; for instance, rather than save Hamlet for close to the end as a "big finish" type, I could've used that one as the lead-in to the history plays.

* perhaps I should've saved the history plays for last, since of the ones I read back in the day, none overly grabbed my interest.  Richard II was probably my favourite of the history plays, yet weirdly, I just didn't really have any yearning to go back to it 15 years after university.  It took me a while to even get to King John, perhaps because I was daunted already by the prospect of spending the next several months and let's be real, years writing about 10 plays that held only lukewarm appeal.  Basically, my plan to go through the history plays in one big block ended up being a trap for myself.  One exception: I've somehow never read Richard III, so I will get around to that one out of curiosity, and mayyyyybe even write about it if the mood strikes.

In short, I hope you aren't too disappointed about not getting to hear my take on, say, the Merry Wives of Windsor or anything.  I can give you a take about Windsor, Ontario if you wish (in a word: meh).  It is somewhat embarrassing to start a posting series with a clear end-date in mind and then simply halt halfway through, but perhaps consider this to be an abandoned plot.  Decades in the future, historians will discover my 21 Shakespeare re-reads and assume I wrote the others, leading those unwritten posts to be lost masterpieces.  Uh, so, let's hope they don't also find this explanatory post.

All's well that ends halfway through.

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