Shakespeare and the Digital Age

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So I’ve mentioned this on my blog before, but I’ve recently started reading Shakespeare, first merely out of curiosity, and now just because he’s one of my favourite people, like, ever.

I’ve heard several people say that Shakespeare shouldn’t be read, but only seen on stage. And while I’m sure seeing his works performed is a wonderful experience, I’d have to strongly disagree. Reading his plays is such fun!

I’ve so far only read three of his shorter comedies (Much Ado About Nothing, which is brilliant; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I adored and A Comedy Of Errors, which I found in places a bit over-the-top-comical, but still massively enjoyed) to try and ease myself into reading him (please remember English isn’t my first language, so especially in such old works, the language can still set a challenge here or there), but in doing so I was very surprised how accessible I found them.

Like, literally, I went into his works with a mindset of “Going to read some classics, see what he did, getting educated, look at me, mum” and went out having had a good laugh and wanting to read the next one, just because of plot and wit and great dialogue.

As I’m German, Shakespeare is literally not taught AT ALL at my school, not even in a German translation, so my background knowledge about the period, the historic circumstances and his own life is rather lacking (non-existent), and although I’ve slowly started puzzling myself a picture together through the internet and the info in the app (don’t you worry, we’ll talk about that in a sec), I’m really intrigued to read some more about the person behind the plays (and different theories on who actually wrote them…).

So yes, as far as content goes, I’m absolutely blown away by how funny, accessible and yet really witty and quotable I found Shakespeare’s plays.

But then how do I read those wonderful pieces of literature I hear you ask?

Well, let me introduce you to my favourite app of the universe, my Shakespeare app!

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It’s literally just the complete works of William Shakespeare, downloaded onto my phone in a very nice layout and available even offline, a.k.a. the ultimate travel companion (because light) and boring-lesson-activity (because not attracting too much attention).

This is literally the thing that even motivated me to start reading some of his writing, because it felt so incredibly convenient and easy to start.

So let’s conclude: don’t be scared of Shakespeare, just let him intellectualize your phone and keep you company at all times, because he’s freaking brilliant.

At least, that’s how I face life’s responsibilities: Reading Shakespeare underneath the table. How damn grown-up of me.

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