2013/06/19

A Letter to William Shakespeare


Dear Bill,

Can I call you Bill?  I hope so.  I also hope you won't think I'm strange when I say that I love you.  Very much.  Thank you for some of the most interesting, insightful pieces of literature I've ever read. This spring term, I took a class about you.  We read six comedies (The Tempest and Measure for Measure were my favorites).  This means I have some catching up to do on your tragedies and histories, but that's fine by me.

How do you do it?  How do you take the most complex, inexpressible emotions and thoughts and articulate them so simply and eloquently?  How do you make me conflicted over whether a play is a comedy or tragedy, I mean those are opposites right?  How do you make me want to strangle a character, and simultaneously pity him?  It's frustrating and wonderful because I sit there, determined to make these things out, and at the end I still come to no conclusions.  Other than, "well that's a really tough question."

I love your wit. Your charm.  The way you play with the meaning of words so that entire scenes hinge on one pun.  I love that you often put the moral of the play in the mouth of a minor character.  Your sonnets are absolutely beautiful.

But maybe my favorite thing about your plays is the way that you make me want to do something.  To change my behavior, to think more carefully, to tell everyone about your plays and work the morals out until I'm exhausted.  I love that you make me want to actively engage with the texts and with the world around me.

So thank you.  Thank you so much.

Best,

Allyson Austin

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