2022: The Year of Shakespeare

At the turn of year, but on the spur of the moment, I decided to devote a good portion of 2022 to reading the complete works of Shakespeare. To begin with: one play each week, one act each weekday, from the first full week of January until mid-September. Thereafter: a couple of sonnets each weekday for the fifteen weeks before Christmas, then an extra pair on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, until I’ve read all one hundred and fifty-four.

I’m not unfamiliar with Shakespeare, of course. I’ve taught Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth in the classroom; I’ve co-directed student productions of Romeo & Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing; I’ve seen all of those plays performed by professionals, and I’ve also read and seen King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II and Richard III, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. But there are some major plays with which I’m totally unfamiliar — Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and most of the comedies — as well as others I must have glanced at when I was in high school, though never again. So, out of admiration and curiosity, I’m going to take the plunge; and as I go along, I’m going to use this space to record my impressions — some rudimentary, some more fully-formed.

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