LauraM

Have You Studied the Works of Shakespeare?

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I'm curious to know if any of the native and non-native English speakers here have studied the works of Shakespeare.  The English of Shakespeare -- Early Modern English -- of course is different from our contemporary English and so it has its challenges for all of us. 

Have you studied in school or on your own?  Has studying Shakespeare helped you in your mastery of English?  What works have you particularly enjoyed?  Have you taken part as an actor in a Shakespeare play?

When I was in high school I studied Shakespeare quite a bit and read several of the major plays, including "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," "King Lear" and others.  We also studied some of the sonnets.  I found the language quite fascinating overall. 

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Shakespeare was present through all my high school years. The earlier grades got simpler ones like Midsummer Night's Dream, while the later grades dealt with harder ones like Macbeth. Most of the Shakespeare books had helpful notations for words that have since changed or died off.

I also took some acting classes in high school, which also heavily featured the playwright. What a lot of people don't realize (or just don't care to recognize) is that he actually is responsible for thousands of common words in our lexicon. So he was the catalyst to the obsoleting of his own era's language. I thought that was pretty interesting.

His capacity to express the motives and emotions of several unique characters was inspiring for me. I was deeply entranced by the loquacious nature of his descriptions.

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Shakespeare is almost always in secondary school curriculum here. By that I mean sometimes they would throw in different playwrights, but most of the time it's Shakespeare. For my senior year we were to study Macbeth for the exams, and the year group before us got Hamlet on their senior year. I liked his works, but the exams were just terrible (but bearable). You can get asked a lot of questions from as easy as Macbeth's character and it's development to the question if Lady Macbeth is pure evil or just doing it for the sake of her husband. There was also a question a few years back that focused on kingship and it drove people crazy (haha) because there's only so much you can say about the other kings like Malcolm (future), Edward, etc..

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I did read a few SHakespeare plays in class throughout middle school and high school but I did not enjoy them at all.  Macbeth was alright but the old english style does not appeal to me at all.  I don't remember any of my classmates enjoying those plays either.

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I had Shakespeare all through middle and high school and now that I'm studying literature, I have it all over again in greater detail! Very honestly, I hated having to study Macbeth and King Lear, I hated his language and style and couldn't wait to get rid of him. It's ironic that I'm now in a deeper bowl swimming with his plays. Lol.

While I like Shakespeare's works as a dramatist and playwright, and I agree wholeheartedly that he added greatly to the English vocab. It is also true that in modern times, you cannot get on using Shakespearean lingo. The Elizabethan Age has been left behind many decades (and centuries) ago. While we can study the plays now to try and understand that era and relate it to Modern Age, it would be a joke to say that the language can be used now.

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I am a native speaker and have studied it.  I do not think it has helped me the slightest in my understanding of the English language, but I do like the works in their own right for other reasons.  I think the language is hopelessly confusing though, and I say that as a native speaker- I can't imagine reading it in English as a non-native speaker.

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Non native English speaker. I had to read the play of 'Macbeth' and 'Hamlet' when I was in college. It's one of our drama class assignments. We had to watch the old Hamlet movie too. I remember a lot of the verses were hard to understand. Poetic I suppose .  Wouldn't say it has helped me master English at all.

I enjoyed Hamlet.

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Non native speaker here. We did Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in school and Macbeth was suggested reading in class 12th although it was not mandatory. Neither of them helped my English one bit.

I have voluntarily read most of his famous works in rewritten in modern English though. They supposedly lose some of their charm in the new format but I don't really mind. Much easier to understand that way.

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Yes, I have studied the works of Shakespeare all throughout high school. To be honest, I found them boring early in my high school career. However, I started to enjoy it more in the later years of high school. You can learn a lot from reading the works of Shakespeare :).

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Non native here!  :laugh: Well Hamlet is part of the program for... 10th grade, I think, but in translation. It was a beautiful one by the way, by our poet Valery Petrov, but since I've always thought Hamlet to be absolutly annoying as a character, I didn't enjoy it much. Since my school didn't focus on English, in original we studied some sonets. Later I read more for my own pleasure. My favourites are Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing. You can guess now my fav genre :)

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I have not studied Shakespeares but I have reas the play Merchent of Venice. I did not read it in the English that it was written in originally but the contempry English. I loved it instantly because of the creativity and skill that was used in it. I can't say that it helped my mastery of English but it was something that i loved to read,

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We were required to study a bit in highschool, I believe it was, but I have not made the time since to partake in his work as I have busied myself with other languages and material that is more suited to my preferences.

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Yes, I am a native speaker, and studied Shakespeare in middle school, high school, and in the college years.  While I, generally, liked the classics, I never was a huge fan of the Bard of Avon.

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I am a native English speaker, I studied Shakespare works for three (3) years throughout high school (Literatures in English student). While I enjoyed his plays and the plots were excellent, I must admit I found the Old English hard and sometimes impossible to read. I was very much glad that these modern Shakespare books comes with their own translation, made understanding a lot more easier.

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Some years ago, I found that the whole works of William Shakespeare were available to download and use on my website.

I though to get them to drive traffic because either way they works matched the topic of my site (English Writing)

However what started like the simple interest to attract visitors, ended up having me studying those works which are a must-read for anyone loving this language.

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At school I studied quite a few Shakespeare's work, including "A Midsummer Knight's Dream" and "Twelfth Night". Even though my first language is English, I found them quite difficult to read; it was like a different language altogether!

I have been to see some Shakespeare plays too which confused me also! I still enjoyed myself though as the imagery always appeared the tell the story. This reminds me of when I was in Paris and I watched a play there. It was one of the funniest and best plays I have seen and I didn't understand the language. The acting was brilliant!

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Shakespeare was part of my high school curriculum and I was required to study several of his plays. It was always tough to understand as the language is quite different and there is a lot of contextual humor and references that were often overlooked by me.

But years later, I had the opportunity to visit Stafford and witness All's Well That End's Well performed by Patrick Stewart. It was hilarious! I think that having it acted out definitely resonated a new found appreciation of Shakespeare for me. It wasn't that I didn't like it before, it was because I not comprehending what Shakespeare had intended.

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Native speaker here.

I love Shakespeare, though I didn't study his works in school. But it was a revelation when I saw them performed and realized the difference it makes to hear the words spoken on the stage, instead of reading them like prose.

Likewise his poetry is better read aloud, imho.

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I had to study Shakespeare in high school. A lot of my classmates hated it (because we were forced to write papers and stuff), but I was alright with it. I thought the plays were interesting so I actually enjoyed reading them  :laugh:

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I took a class in college, Shakespeare. I enjoyed it but I still have trouble deciphering his work exactly. If I could take a class on this subject, I would do it, just for fun.

I've never been in plays but I have a daughter who is a wonderful actress. She has not done a lot of Shakespeare but when she and her sister were little girls, we would read the plays aloud before bed, instead of another kind of bed time story. They still speak of it and they are all grown up!

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Shakespeare was present through all my high school years. The earlier grades got simpler ones like Midsummer Night's Dream, while the later grades dealt with harder ones like Macbeth. Most of the Shakespeare books had helpful notations for words that have since changed or died off.

I also took some acting classes in high school, which also heavily featured the playwright. What a lot of people don't realize (or just don't care to recognize) is that he actually is responsible for thousands of common words in our lexicon. So he was the catalyst to the obsoleting of his own era's language. I thought that was pretty interesting.

His capacity to express the motives and emotions of several unique characters was inspiring for me. I was deeply entranced by the loquacious nature of his descriptions.

I also studied Shakespeare all throughout my high school career. The Shakespearean plays which I have read included: Hamlet, Richard III, Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. I studied Shakespeare as an English major too in my undergraduate years. Some of the plays which I have studied included: Richard II, Troilus and Cressida, The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing. I also re-read and re-studied Macbeth, Hamlet, and Midsummer Night's Dream.

While studying Shakespeare, I learn to admire his use of metaphors and images. I also love how keenly aware he was of the complexities of human nature. He was a very brilliant and perceptive man.

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Being a non-native speaker, I didn't encounter Shakespeare as a required reading. I didn't even get classes where Shakespeare was required in college. That said, I tried reading them myself since there were lots of library in campus and I didn't really appreciate it much. I knew the words but I can't understand the phrases, the imagery used much. I only started appreciating it when someone suggested me to read it out loud and then it started to click a bit. Also helped when I started watching them on plays.

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I've studied the works of Shakespeare both in high school and college. I have studied a lot of Shakespeare's works because I majored in English. "Twelfth Night", "Romeo and Juliet", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are my favorite plays written by Shakespeare. I've studied the works of Shakespeare for about three years (one year in high school and two years in college).

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