Happy Birthday, Will (iam Shakespeare)

Yes, it is Shakespeare’s birthday. At least, this is the day scholars believe is likely his birthday. He was christened three days hence, and in his time, it was typical to have that ceremony three days after the birth. Alas, however, many students and therefore many people in our country have studied very little of the Bard’s works.

My daughter got a good background in Shakespeare, because she took honors English with the absolutely fabulous Janet Schwartz. Alas, my son was not a well-liked or accomplished student, so he was in a different sort of class in high school. His ninth grade teacher began Romeo and Juliet, but abandoned the effort during Act III. When I found out, my husband and I took him to see R & J at the Shakespeare Tavern, in Atlanta. Later, he studied Julius Caesar, but I don’t remember that he actually read MacBeth, but we did see that at the Tavern, too. I’ve enjoyed most everything I saw at the Shakespeare Tavern, although they do like to emphasize the baudy aspects.

As a student at Piedmont College, I took Shakespearian Tragedy with Dr. Greene, and it was sometimes difficult, but I am so very glad I took it. That course covered the typical plays: Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. Apparently, many colleges are abandoning the Bard. I know I’m old school, but Mr. Shakespeare’s works are among the finest in western world literature, so invest some time in reading a play or a sonnet or watching some Shakespeare!

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