April 20, 2010

In praise of Shakespeare

Even though reading Shakespeare can feel like a lot of work, it is an enriching experience. Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t my favorite play of his, but it does offer some interesting topics for discussion. One of the things I noticed was that there are apparently no mothers in this play. This may explain why everyone runs around like fools. Also, mothers probably would have something to say about death as a punishment for their daughter refusing to marry. So that would create problems for this plot if Mom was around.

Teenage love can be a crushing weight, causing people to run after another. Betrayal of friends also happens sometimes in the name of “love”. I have seen adults do some pretty crazy things as well, when they thought they were in love. These themes are explored in Midsummer Night’s Dream.

During book group, part of our discussion was about the metaphor of living life in a dream state, rather than living to the fullest. Who among us wants to come to the end of our life only to discover that we didn’t live it to the fullest? This gave me the opportunity to reevaluate some of the choices I am making. At this point, I am not making any major changes. Just paying a bit more attention and trying to make the better choice.

Shakespeare’s writing is timeless. The language can be a struggle. However, I think there is a benefit to this. First, it helps us recognize that this story is iconic. These stories have endured for a long time, and this is a testament to their ability to teach important life lessons. Shakespeare actually made up some of the words he used, creating new words that became accepted as their popularity grew. He also includes in his writing a stunning variety of insults. Discovering the gems hidden in his language is worth the work every time.

April 19, 2010

Reason and Love

"And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays."

April's Title Swap

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan
The Headgates(New TJEd article - let me know if you would like a copy)
The Blind Side - DVD
The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
And They Were Not Ashamed by Laura Brotherson
Wife Dressing by Anne Fogarty