What Shakespeare Made Me Realize

At my co-op, my friend said something about the Google tribute to Shakespeare, and how she was thinking about me or something. Another time, another friend was thinking about me when we were reading a book that had a Shakespearian aspect (it actually has multiple aspects) to it. Another person shared a link about Shakespeare’s first folio for me. Another friend once sent me a link to something Shakespeare related and said that when she saw it, she thought I needed to see it. Another special adult tagged me in a comment for a thing about Shakespeare. One of my closest friends even told me that she needed my help writing a Shakespearian love letter.

Yesterday, I was stopped by two moms I know about Shakespeare. The first one was mentioning his birthday a few days ago. I told her it was also the 400th anniversary of his death, and she said she remembered me mentioning that. I think she remembers my (around) ten minute speech from two years ago about Shakespeare. Then, as I was walking, another sweet lady (my brother’s music teacher) stopped me to give me a Shakespeare in music cd. I obviously have a reputation for Shakespeare, and what’s crazy about some of these people doing these things is that some of them I barely know. Now I’m starting to think, and I realize a common thing. Almost everyone I know has a common belief, that I love Shakespeare. And it’s true, I basically yell it out to the world. Even people I barely know seem to know it. And it’s really cool. But it makes me think, ‘What if I advertised my love of God in this same way? What if I talked about Him like I talk about Shakespeare?’ I mean, my reputation is one of a Shakespeare fanatic, and everybody knows it. But if I talked about God in the way I talk about Shakespeare, think about how many lives I could impact for Christ! Wouldn’t it be cool to be known as the girl who is obsessed with Jesus? Sure, my Shakespeare rep is cool, but in the end, what really counts is what I did about Jesus. If I listened to the command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19, ESV), then think about all that I could accomplish! I already have experience evangelizing to people; I just went on a mission trip where we evangelized to people on the beach! Why am I wasting my time talking about Shakespeare when I could be telling everybody how much God loves them, and how God offers a new life to anyone who will accept Jesus, repent, and follow Him? Wouldn’t that be a great accomplishment?

William Shakespeare: A Tribute

 

It is commonly said that William Shakespeare was born on April 23rd. It is also commonly said that he died on his birthday, April 23rd. Today is the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. He is known for writing plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Everyone has heard of Shakespeare, most people probably are forced to read his plays in school, but is there more to Shakespeare’s works than his well-known plays? The answer is yes, of course. Shakespeare wrote more than two dozen plays, and well over one hundred and thirty sonnets. My current favorite Shakespeare play, and one of my absolute favorite plays is the Two Gentlemen of Verona. This post is going to talk about this uncommon play. Whether you’re a student, Shakespeare fanatic, or just randomly found this post, you’re going to learn something from this.

 

The Two Gentlemen of Verona follows the love story of two best friends and their ladies. It is an extremely complicated story (but aren’t all of Shakespeare plays like this?), but  a quick and to the point summary is below. This is by no means a complete summary, but I still must say: THIS SUMMARY WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Proteus and Valentine are two best friends from Verona. Proteus loves Julia, who also loves him. In the beginning, Valentine does not understand love. Valentine goes away to Milan and falls in love with the daughter of the Duke of Milan, Silvia. Silvia is betrothed to Sir Thurio but loves Valentine. Proteus comes to Milan and instantaneously falls in love with Silvia, but conceals it from his friend. Valentine says that he and Silvia are going to elope, and tells Proteus the plan. Proteus tells the Duke, who then banishes Valentine. Valentine joins a band of outlaws. Proteus tries to woo Silvia, who will not have it. Julia comes disguised as a page named Sebastian and sees Proteus’s unfaithfulness. She works for him but is unhappy with his disloyalty. Silvia enlists the help of Sir Eglamour to bring her to her beloved Valentine. They are attacked by outlaws (Valentine’s outlaws, but he is not with them at this moment) and Sir Eglamour abandons Silvia. Silvia is saved by Proteus, and is nearly dishonored before Valentine saves her. The two gentlemen make up and are friends again, Julia reunites with her Proteus, and Valentine and Silvia are given permission to marry.

 

One of of the reasons I love this play so much is because I was in an adapted version of it last summer. And I prepared for the audition passionately. I read about the play, chose my character months before the audition, and practiced my monologue. I had seen the play twice the summer before. I looked for different versions of the play, and watched parts of it. I was definitely interested in getting the role I wanted: Silvia. And all that hard work paid off, because I was casted as that glorious lady. It was one of the best roles I have ever played. I loved it so much, and hope to play her in a full version one day. Some of my close friends were in it as well. It was definitely a play to remember.