Laurie, over at What She Read, has a hop that closes today (you just have time to join in) celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday. What She Read is a great book blog that also asks its readers to think about doing more than just reading, and that’s a great idea. Her question is, Which character from William Shakespeare’s plays has most dramatically or lastingly shaped your thinking and actions? Why?
This is kind of hard one. Yes, I’ve read Shakespeare, but I don’t know if I think of Shakespeare characters particularly shaping my thinking and actions. I think Romeo and Juliet quite disgusted and disturbed me with their going-on’s. Not very romantic, but does anyone ever remember that in the beginning of the play, Romeo’s actually head over heels in love with Rosalind? I mean, spouting the same kind of stuff that later gets directed at Juliet? I think this play confirmed for me, if I needed more confirming, that being in love seems to make you mildly insane. And that there’s such a thing, especially when you’re young, as being in love with being in love.
Beyond that, I think just the humanity of all of Shakespeare’s characters have had some effect on me. They speak the same things you feel from a distance of 500 years. And I appreciate Shakespeare’s healthy cynicism.