I have no idea how to write this without sounding, well, un-ed-jee-kated. Coz, unlike many English students/graduates/professors, I firmly believe that Shakespeare should be SEEN and not READ. I try once in a blue moon (granted the last time I tried was, oh, about 17 years ago when I was in college) to read a Shakespeare play, and, I’m sorry to say, it always ends up with the same result. I. Don’t. Get. It.
I remember my high school AP English class, struggling through Hamlet, until my mom suggested that she and I read it aloud. All of a sudden, it made (more) sense. Since then, I’ve been a big fan of seeing the Bard’s plays, but not so much reading them. I’d like to say that years and years of not reading Shakespeare would make a difference. And maybe since this play is one of his comedies that would make it easier, but, sorry, no. I read the words, and even managed to be surprised that “all the world’s a stage, and the men and women are merely players” turned up in the play. But, I just don’t get the appeal of reading the words on the page. It’s a decent play, and I think I got the gist of what was going on. But, I think I would have enjoyed it (and understood it) so much more if I’d seen it.
My question then, I suppose, is for Carl: If I go see Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday, do I still have to read it?