When I began writing this blog, I think I intended it to be sort of a celebration of all things Shakespeare. Really, the primary reason I started it was that I wanted to talk about Coriolanus (the play itself), but not necessarily about Tom Hiddleston. And while I did do a lot of talking about Hiddleston (and I likely will do more; I am seeing Henry V at Chicago Shakes in May, and I kind of feel like I will have to reference The Hollow Crown), I also got to talk about the play, about the questions it raised, the impressions I had, the things I did not understand. And I think that is actually what this blog is about — not necessarily profound pontifications on Shakespeare, but my relationship to Shakespeare. I changed my tagline from “one woman’s musings” to “one’s woman’s discovery” because that is what it is — a record of me, learning about Shakespeare. Because I have found I really do not know very much about Shakespeare at all.
Think of it as a long, DIY, auto-tutorial course on Shakespeare. Yes, I could take a class. I am sure there are many local and on-line courses that I could take advantage of. But I do not want anyone to tell me what to think, or to tell me that I am wrong. (When I get my other blog up and running, there will be an essay on the collaborative nature of writing and reading. I believe that, basically, as far as interpretation is concerned, there IS no wrong.) I do not want to hear the conventional wisdom. No, I will not be saying anything new; after 400 years, I doubt that there IS anything new one can say about Shakespeare. I will likely reinvent the wheel, many times over. But the point of it is that I will be doing the thinking, I will be drawing the conclusions, I will be using my oh-so-rusty brain for its intended purpose for once. For some reason I cannot yet fathom, these plays have made me feel energized in ways that I haven’t for a very long time. I want to understand why, and to keep that feeling alive for as long as possible.
The format of the blog won’t change; really all that is changing is my realization of what the blog actually is. I have discovered it works best if I see a performance before reading the play; then I can use the text to explore ideas, questions, and feelings that the performance has raised. I will also be using the plays as a jumping off point for investigating the historical and cultural aspects of the plays, as I did with homoeroticism and Coriolanus. And I still intend to look at works inspired or influenced by Shakespeare (I have some Pratchett lined up soon that you are going to love.) I hope you find it interesting. I’m pretty sure I will.