Its been awhile since I wrote an article here.As the title says,I will be giving a tutorial on how to read and understand Shakespearean Plays. Drama is my favorite genre of Literature,and so I find this topic really interesting,because I get to share the little knowledge I have here.Also,I finally get to blog about something related to Literature-the course I study in school.
READ LIKE A CRITIC
It goes both ways for other books too.When you take a Shakespearean play,the first thing is to find which perspective to read from. Figure out if you want to look at the psychological aspect of the play,for example; HAMLET can be much more understood when you read from a psychological perspective,in HAMLET we see how he goes through a dilenma both physically and psychologically,as a reader,you will be able to relate more with a character. While I was reading HAMLET,I felt pity for him because,he wasn’t really a villain,he was just trying to do the right thing,but it ended tragically,just like most Shakespearean plays do.
Another way you can read a Shakespearean play is by imagining that you are seeing it live.This would solve the problem of not understanding the words used.The settings and the stage direction would be an added bonus to the image.Also,Shakespearean plays actually gives a clear picture any scene through the dialogue,even without stage directions.
JOT DOWN EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK
Taking notes can help whenever you want to revisit a scene.This would help you to understand the actions that are taking place.Shakespearean Tragedies have a linear plot,so it is quite easy to flow with the action.Sometimes i underline statements that i know would help me understand the play,just because its my book,and I don’t believe that books are meant to always look new or neat. Just don’t write on books you borrow from the library,don’t.
THE EXPOSTION ALWAYS LEAVES A CLUE
The Exposition is one of the most important things to note if you want to really understand a play. It usually comes in form of a narration,a monologue,or a bonus scene.
An example can be taken from ROMEO AND JULIET
chorus: Two households,both alike in dignity,in fair Verona where we lay our scene,from an ancient grudge break to new mutiny,..
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life…
Do with their death bury their parent’s strife.william shakespeare’s romeo and juliet
The Exposition gives an insight to what would the subject matter of the play.A thorough understanding of the Exposition would making it easier to understand the play.The excerpt above is a summary of what the entire plot is.
NOTE THE IMPORTANT CHARACTERS
When I first started reading Shaspearean plays a few years ago,I was always so confused about the Main Character.Identify the main character,that is,someone whom the action surrounds.This way you won’t get confused about what is happening in the play.
We’ve come to the end of this article.I will be doing a review of ‘Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe in my next blog post.Stay clicked!