Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets were a hot topic during the Regency. Love them or hate them, most educated people had read them (or pretended to). But in this day and age, Shakespeare is something crammed down our throats in school, something we endure like a bad dentist appointment. Wouldn’t it be nice instead to parse out a play, have it make sense, and enjoy the process?
Now you can!
PBS produced a six-part series called Shakespeare Uncovered earlier this year. Each episode follows a renowned actor as s/he researches one of The Bard’s plays (or pair of connected plays), consulting historians, Shakespearean scholars, and other actors in an effort to find the meaning and the heart inside the story.
As much as I can appreciate the talent Shakespeare clearly possessed, I’ve never been a fan. But watching this series helped me to look at his works from a historical and a literary point of view, helped me to get past the fudging of facts and mind-numbing word games. I really enjoyed the whole series, and I learned a lot too!
You can catch the whole series on Netflix or on PBS’s website.