Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Shakespeare, William

Recently I read a book written by Bill Bryson about William Shakespeare. I am naturally a fan of Shakespeare in fact there may have been a small amount of squealing when I got a confirmation email about a tour I'd planned to Shakespeare country (but that's another post altogether). My favourite sonnet by the Barb would be Shall I compare thee...while my favourite play is Romeo and Juliet. I didn't always favour Shakespeare's tragedy of the two star-crossed lovers. When I read it for an English class at high school I did not have favourable opinions about it, while the writing is superb I was of the opinion that Romeo was fickle and Juliet was young and stupid.

When I sat down to read Bryson's biography I asked myself a question: How much do I really know about William Shakespeare? I know the plays and some of the sonnets, I know he was from Stratford-upon-Avon. I know he was married to Anne Hathaway. After that I couldn't come up with anything else. So, I was expecting Bryson's biography to unveil some new information or exciting tidbit but to my disappointment it was mainly made up of assumptions mixed in with the few legitamate facts the world actually have. This book while a slight disappoint in terms of new information is wittily written. Perhaps Shakespeare is going to remain somewhat of a mystery but that doesn't deter from the brilliance of what he was: one of the greatest writers of all time.

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