For the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's Blogging Shakespeare Birthday Project - 23 April 2011
Big Willie, and I go way back. We tight. I guess you can say we've always had what you would call a love/hate relationship. Probably not much different from any other relationship I've had over the years. It all started for me in Jr. High with a school trip to some theatre during their Shakespeare festival with our English teacher that was a Donald Sutherland look-alike. There I watched Romeo & Juliet, (the ballet version), and it reeled me in. It was so beautiful. Yes, he managed to seduce me at my young, vulnerable age when like any other impressionable pre-teen I then fell in love with the notion of falling in love. He made it look so pretty, even if everyone died at the end. This of course was until I realized that they were just two dumb kids caught up in the heat of puberty.
By the time I was in high school, I had already pretty much become a full blown feminist in my own right. We separated for a while. For a long time William's works were a taboo of sorts for me. I believed it was off-limits for a young woman trying to find herself, and her place in this world. There was no room at the time for anything that would even resemble any kind of politically incorrect literature, or form of entertainment. I felt like many of my colleages still feel today, that it was beyond "old school", outdated, and obsolete. This continued throughout my twenties.
I think once I hit thirty, I grew weary of trying to be "PC" about everything all the time. The times were changing, and so was I. I was tired of what I thought was my duty to criticize, and correct every type of entertainment I came across. One day I said to myself, "you know what? Fuck it. I LOVE Shakespeare! I always have. I never stopped." I started reading it again, and more importantly, enjoyed it, guilt free. There are many lessons to be learned with his stuff, such as, do not kill your significant other unless you are absolutely sure without a shadow of a doubt that they in fact, cheated on you. I'm kidding, sort of. Or...don't drown yourself over someone just because they rejected you. At least make sure you get laid first, so you don't die a virgin. Okay, with that one I'm totally serious. Of course there are many more lessons to learn from the Bard. It's all right there if you're looking for it. Drama, comedy, action, suspense. It's better than a night with Netflix. In the end, I just couldn't stay away, because you know, that Shakespeare guy, he really has a way with words.