My parents started taking my sister and me to the state's official Shakespeare festival when I was around 12, and we've gone pretty much ever year since then. Tonight I'll be going to see Twelfth Night with a friend, and that has me wondering what your experience with/opinion of Shakespeare is?


Love him!
He's okay!
Loath him!

What's your experience with Shakespeare?

Assigned reading in school
Voluntary reading outside of school
Watching some movie versions of the plays
Seeing some live performances
Reading/enacting the plays with friends
Acting in at least one public production

Any favorites?

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Favourites - Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest, Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, Richard III, Henry V...

Least fave - Winter's Tale
Winter's Tale is indeed an odd one--that opening section with the jealous king is just dreadful to watch. And then you have more of the traditional comedic format in the second part, which feels kind of out of place. Not sure it's my least favorite, but it's pretty low on the list.
Midsummer Night's Dream - the play within the play always has me laughing so hard. I read that on my own and have seen the play on stage. The librarian at my daughter's school reads a rhyming version adapted by a group of lower school kids. It's fun to listen to the fifth graders try to keep track of all the characters. I love Puck's speeches. I had to read Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet in school. I like the St. Crispin's Day speech (not in any of those) and Marc Antony's friends, Romans, countrymen monologue. Lady Macbeth is a fascinating character. Not as crazy about Romeo and Juliet but I took my kid and her friend to see a production of it where Mercutio was cast as a woman because she auditioned best for the part. It really worked well. Of all the ways to take in Shakespeare, seeing it on stage is the best way for me.
Shakespeare is definitely best on the stage--the state's official Shakespeare festival does some wonderful stuff every summer. They like to keep things fairly loose, with a fair bit of improved interaction with the audience, so that every performance is a fresh thing.

Midsummer Night's Dream is wonderful fun--Bottom & Co. in particular. :)
Faves - Twelve Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream.

Dislike intensely, Winter's Tale.

Interesting that we have two votes for Winter's Tale as 'least favorite'. I would've expected something like Timon of Athens or Titus Andronicus (or Troilus & Cressida, which is a weird one).
Twelfth, TWELFTH, damned auto correct!

I quite like Troilus and Cressida because it's utterly oddball, lol.
The performance of Twelfth Night (and I always misspell "twelfth" at least once) I just went to was really delightful--the kind of thing where I wish I could get a recording of it, but so much of the magic is in the spontaneity of a live performance, y'know?
I do know. We have this amazing little set of castle ruins in a place called Bishops Waltham, I used to live there, and the very first open air live performance I saw of anything Shakespeare was performed there. It left such an impression I couldn't wait to go again.

I've actually seen Rufus Sewell playing Macbeth, live, and he was amazing!