Sunday, July 26, 2009

Story # 205: Shakespeare and I

"Shall I compare thee to the summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate..."

Sonnet 18 was my window into the world of english literature and Shakespeare. Back when I was in high school, english literature was not a part of our English class until my second last year in school. Even then, we only had the opportunity to glance into the marvelous world of literature from a limited amount of selected poems and short stories. Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 was the first poem we studied at the age of 17.

It was a path of no return for me after that. I fell head over heels for literature, especially English literature, and decided I would go to college and major in English lit.

The summer came for me to take a Shakespeare course. Full of anticipation and excitement, I entered the class to a handful of students all eager to learn more about the great master of playwright. In the 2 short months, we tackled "The Merchant of Venice," "As You Like It," "King Lear," "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," "Hamlet," and most of his historic plays.

I learnt so much about Shakespeare's life in the two short months and pondered on the two questions the professor threw at us, "Was Shakespeare a racist" (which I argued yes in my final paper) and "was he a homosexual" (something I am indifferent about). After reading his plays and listening to my professor "bragging" about his experience in acting in those plays when he was in England, I had the strongest urge to fly to England and watch a Shakespeare play with my own eyes. I didn't think Americans cared enough about British lit or Shakespeare. I was wrong.

Instead of flying all the way to England to watch the play, I get to watch it right here in Utah. Something I never dreamed of. As soon as I found out that Southern Utah University up in Cedar City is having a Utah Shakespearean Festival, I marked my calendar and nothing could make me miss it.

Lia came with me too! We had a fun time watching "As You Like It." All the actors and actresses did such a good job portraying the charm and the wit of the comedy. We watched it in Adam Shakespearean Theatre of which the "Experts one of a few theatres that probably comes close to the design of the Globe Theatre in which Shakespeare's plays were originally produced. It is so authentic, in fact, that the British Broadcasting Company filmed part of its Shakespeare series there." I am so proud to be an english major and am grateful that I find it an enjoyment to indulge in literature and everything about it. And I thank Shakespeare for being a big part of this enjoyment.

Anyways, here are some pictures taken at the festival.

picture taken from

Before we went inside

These are the shows performed during the Utah Skahespearean Festival

This play was the one that we went to see

I like how the sellers all dressed up like the people in the Elizabethan England

This was the Adam's Shakespearean Theatre

An outdoor stage where everyone sat and waited to watch the Greenshow before the play started.

Selling Scotch pie or Irish pie.

This girl was super good at playing the fiddle. I couldn't take my eyes off her.

The gypsy dances

In the gift shop. I love the joker hat. But I didn't buy it. I ended up buying a mask instead.

The stage where the play was performed. SO gorgeous.

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