Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not for an Age

A to Z BLOGFEST – click sidebar button for more ‘A to Z’ers

T: Theatre as Literature

4959I write novels. I guess that makes me a novelist. You would think because of that, my favorite writer of all time would be a novelist – you know, following-in-the-footsteps kind of thing. Yet not only did he never write a novel, but the very concept of the novel didn’t exist while he lived. He was a poet and a playwright (of which I am neither), and today is his birthday.


Despite a childhood dominated by Star Wars and an adolescence influenced by Star Trek, Monty Python, and Comic Books, there’s not a time when I don’t remember at least knowing about William Shakespeare. Not until my teens did I actually begin to understand him as well as the awesome potential of the written word. I devoured all his works; I saw every Shakespeare film I could get a hold of. I acted in Shakespeare’s plays.

Now that I’m “grown up,” and no longer think it’d be a great idea to write a play in iambic pentameter, my love of Shakespeare has only grown. Through contrived plots, stylized dialogue, and low brow humor to rival the Farrelly Brothers, Shakespeare somehow managed to create a window into the human condition like no other writer before or since. He explored the psychology of his characters centuries before anyone knew what Psychology was. He wrote plays that were both fantastic literary achievements and completely accessible to all audiences, even a rowdy auditorium of high school students four centuries later. He was a master. The master.

Happy Birthday, Will.


  1. Today is his birthday? I didn't know that! And yes, I agree, he IS the master :o)

  2. Thanks for sharing. I'm taking part in Script Frenzy this month, which includes the writing of plays as well as other scripts, but I've never finished one myself. I also remember taking a 'Theatre as Literature' class in college, where I managed to entirely bomb one paper by not really including a thesis. :( Oh well.

    I'm starting up a 'Critiquing Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

  3. Love Will Shakespeare! Great post.

  4. Shakespeare is one of my favorites too. Hard to understand his language sometimes, but the stories were interesting. I have a giant book with his complete works. I doubt I've read them all.


  5. I had no idea today was Shakespeare's birthday. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Happy Easter! I'm stopping by on the A-Z Challenge.

  7. I love Shakespeare and I love watching Kenneth Brannaugh act in Master William's plays!

  8. Just the way he words things, plots sequences together and how many words he actually made up for the dictionary is actually astonishing! I still struggle from time to time reading his plays in Olde English, but it doesn't mean I love him any less.