EventualDay wrote:On-topic, I'm prepping for a class next semester by reading some Shakespeare (Henry IV, to be exact). And though I really really should never admit this as an English major, I don't love Shakespeare. I don't even like him a little bit. Oops.
Fear not, my fellow English major! Your fate is shared by many...and really, even though everyone talks like you have to love Shakespeare or you're an uncultured swine, it's really not necessary. It depends a lot on the professor you get, I suppose, but I hated Shakespeare until
I studied him in class. I thought his plots were lame and boring and awfully melodramatic, but once I was forced to study them in more depth, I realized just how ingenious he really was. He had an unparalleled mastery over the English language, so even though I still
don't think much of most of his plots, I enjoy reading him just for the beautiful turns of phrase. It also really helps if you can watch the plays, rather than just read them. Things that seem stilted and awkward on the page come to life on the stage, and you realize that's really the best (if not the only) way to experience the stories. My college put on a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream,
which is my least-favorite of his comedies...and I loved it! It was hilarious.
If there's no other option, at least check out a movie version of the plays you're reading. Especially if it's got Kenneth Branagh in it
So yeah, you don't have to love Shakespeare, but you have to admit stuff like this is beautifully wrought:To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
...Anyway, to get back on topic, I recently read The Hero of Ages
by Brandon Sanderson. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN' AMAZING, BY THE WAY. What a wonderful end to the trilogy. It was so exciting, so suspenseful, so unexpected! Loved it. And now I'm really curious about The Alloy of Law....
I also read Death Comes to Pemberly
by P.D. James, which was...less amazing. The book's only real selling point is that it's a published piece of Pride and Prejudice fanfiction. It involves a (rather lame and boring, if you ask me) murder mystery on the grounds of Pemberly several years after the events of Pride and Prejudice. I could see right through it almost from the beginning, and I'm horrible
at figuring out mysteries. So I wasn't impressed.
You can find out things about the past that you never knew. And from what you've learned, you may see some things differently in the present. You're the one that changes. Not the past.
- Ellone, Final Fantasy VIII
"There's a difference between maliciously offending somebody - on purpose - and somebody being offended by...truth. If you're offended by the truth,
that's your problem. I have no obligation to not offend you if I'm speaking the truth. The truth is supposed
to offend you; that's how you know you don't got it."
- Brad Stine