And so I begin a New Year.

2011 is the first year I will attempt anything along the lines of a real Resolution, and that resolution is to read an act of a Shakespeare play every day. I also want to work out more, because I slightly resemble a skeleton in a pirate movie, but that’s beside the point. I have wanted to do this for some time, and with everything going on in my life right now it just seemed like a good idea to carry through with it.

An act a day equals out to about a play every five days. Assuming I slack every once and a while (both a reasonable and healthy assumption) I am aiming for a play a week. That means that it will take 37 weeks or 259 days to read all of the Bard’s plays. Since there are 365 days in the year, I might just keep going on into the poems if I like the feel of it.

That means that I am going to write here on a weekly basis – perhaps more often if I just can’t contain myself – about my thoughts and reflections on each play. This includes favorite quotes and perhaps some research I do on weird words that I’ve never seen before. (Note: Shakespeare invented the word “weird”).

Historians speculate that he was some form of badass in real life.

I’m excited, because there are a bunch of his plays that I’ve never read, and there are some greats that I haven’t read in a long time, either. I look forward to exploring the art and philosophy of this great writer and dramatist in detail.  I have had opportunities to both act and direct his material as well, so I’m no stranger to Billy Shakes.  I also love finding other people who love and appreciate his work, especially the ones who acknowledge his overall subversiveness as well as a notable penchant for penis jokes.  There is nothing more horrible and stifling to good art than restraining it within some silly idea of being “proper” (though the second worst thing is setting it on the moon for no reason other than “you can”). I’m hoping that, on some level, this blog will not only connect other people who love Shakespeare, but also perhaps get casual observers more interested the the really amazing characters and drama.  Or maybe that’s just masturbatory nonsense and I’ll be one of only two people who actually read the thing.  I’m still going to do it.

Oh, and I’m reading out of a volume I picked up at Barnes & Noble YEARS ago, it’s falling apart and looks very handsome. I am going to start in order, though if the fancy strikes me I may go out of order. Only the Shadow knows…

From IMDB: "In 30's New York City, the Shadow battles his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, who is building an atomic bomb."

(the Shadow is a 1930s radio drama that was later turned into the 1994 feature film starring Alec Baldwin in the titular role and also featuring Sir Ian McKellan, Tim Curry, and Peter Boyle. It has nothing to do with Shakespeare, I just felt like making the reference).

And while I’m on the subject, sometimes life will distract me with some other interest, and I might write about that as well.  I’m finishing Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath at a leisurely pace, my girlfriend got me Mark Twain’s Autobiography for Christmas, and I’m pretty constantly wanting to read more  Williams and Albee.  So we’ll see how that goes.

Bill "This is our Indipendence Day" Pullman is fucking a goat. Not ONstage, mind you. But it's still brilliant drama.

And so, for now, farewell. I will see you in a week with my thoughts on Henry VI Part I…


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