Wakey wakey, Billy Shakey

What ho, lambkins and ladybirds! I hope March has treated you better than it has me. I have been suffering through a horrendous book slump. At this point, I think I might just have to reread one of my favourite series to shake it off. (Dragonriders of Pern? Downside Ghosts?? Every single Richard Sharpe book???) But any rereading will have to wait until May because this month, I am doing a thing, possets. It may be a foolish thing. It may be a thing that reveals my literary hubris. It may be a thing that no one but myself cares about at all. But it is most definitely a thing that I am doing. LISTEN UP.

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The thing is that April is going to be a month of SHAKESPEARE. In the next 30 days, I will endeavour to read every single one of Shakespeare’s plays. That’s right, every. single. one. And blog about my thoughts, of course. There will be gifs, and pictures of my cat with my Riverside Shakespeare, and probably a lot of raging about high school English lit curriculum design. And because 2018 is all about The Brand™, I am gonna do the whole bookstagram strut and surround myself with a maelstrom of hashtags. How about… #30DaysofShakespeare. And #robynreadsshakespeare. And also #monthofthebard. I am the boss of this whole thing, so yeah, those work.

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Why April? Because it’s the month of his birth and his death, and also National Poetry Month, and because I want to. Why do this stupid thing at all? Because I devoted a large part of my undergrad to studying Shakespeare and still haven’t read every play. And because I feel intellectually stagnant and want to challenge my atrophying brain. And because I like themes and challenges and making big plans that will inevitably go awry and end with me cursing my own overly ambitious goals. And because I want to.

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There is only one rule: read every play by old Shakey. I’m gonna go chronologically, which means my month of the Bard will look something like this:

  1. Comedy of Errors
  2. Henry VI, Part II
  3. Henry VI, Part III
  4. Henry VI, Part I
  5. Richard III
  6. Taming of the Shrew
  7. Titus Andronicus
  8. Romeo and Juliet
  9. Two Gentlemen of Verona
  10. Love’s Labour’s Lost
  11. Richard II
  12. Midsummer Night’s Dream
  13. King John
  14. Merchant of Venice
  15. Henry IV, Part I
  16. Henry IV, Part II
  17. Henry V
  18. Much Ado about Nothing
  19. Twelfth Night
  20. As You Like It
  21. Julius Caesar
  22. Hamlet
  23. Merry Wives of Windsor
  24. Troilus and Cressida
  25. All’s Well That Ends Well
  26. Othello
  27. Measure for Measure
  28. King Lear
  29. Macbeth
  30. Antony and Cleopatra
  31. Coriolanus
  32. Timon of Athens
  33. Pericles
  34. Cymbeline
  35. Winter’s Tale
  36. Tempest
  37. Henry VIII

SO that’s 37 plays. In 30 days. Oh, new hashtag (#30days37plays). It’s gonna be one gloriously poetic nightmare of a month.

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See you tomorrow. Now, where the hell is my copy of Comedy of Errors…

xo, R




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