Share it Please
December 9, 2016
When I took Shakespeare from Dr. Burton in the fall of 2016, I’ll admit that I was pretty terrified about it. My prior Shakespeare experience was limited to Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade and the occasional sonnet from other classes. However, I gained a love for the Bard that I never thought was possible as I got to know his stuff a little better, and I’m sure you will too.
My favorite thing that we did in class was to write a sonnet. I enjoyed studying Shakespeare’s sonnets, then trying my hand at it. I felt like writing in sonnet form was a puzzle that was a really fun challenge to master. Participating in Shakespeare’s work by writing your own helps you to understand some of the process that he went through and just makes it easier to understand the sonnets in general. So…do that.
Obviously, this course is going to require a whole ton of reading, and none of it is very easy. My advice is to watch a performance of a play, such as Hamlet, before you read the play itself. I know that might sound a little backwards, but once I was familiar with the storyline from watching the play, I didn’t have to concentrate on it as much while I read the actual text. I could appreciate themes and do rhetorical analysis as I read instead of just trying to figure out what was happening. I did that when we were reading The Tempest and it was great because that play can get a little weird.
I know that it might sound weird to you, but don’t be afraid to look outside of the metaphorical box for more information. You are not the first person to study Shakespeare, and sources like Pinterest (which I know that you secretly have) can be really useful. Find pictures or infographics to get new perspectives on the plays, and show how Shakespeare is still relevant today. It’s possible, and it’s cool.
Have fun in your Shakespeare class at BYU. I’m still in disbelief that you chose this over food science, but I’m very proud J If you need any help, go see Dr. Burton because he is nice and likes to geek out over Shakespeare.