Before I dive into a brief celebration of the Bard’s birthday (Happy B-Day, Shakespeare!), I want to point out that I have not talked about “Game of Thrones” for three full posts. Please, hold your applause. Obviously, that streak ends here (and I will be bringing it up again) but it needed to be noted.
On the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and (conveniently) death, I’d like to apologize to all those who have only experienced his work as required high school reading. I’m guessing it was probably “Romeo and Juliet” too, which is fine, but there are much more exciting worlds than fair Verona.
And quite frankly, there’s enough teenage angst in high school without adding the Capulet and Montague feud into the mix. No matter what T Swift might have sung, R&J is NOT a love story. IT. IS. A. TRAGEDY. End of story. End of tangent. Probably.
Just kidding…If you want real Shakespearean romance you’ll have to look elsewhere. For example, there’s the source of today’s horribly repurposed title and one of the Bard’s history plays — Henry V. Yes, after all the politics, inspirational speeches, and battles, Shakespeare snuck in a bit of romance.
Okay, so Henry just invaded France and Katherine doesn’t really have a choice, but he is awkwardly charming as hell in two(ish) languages. Don’t judge. It’s very Game of Thrones, alright.
See, I told you “Game of Thrones” would be back. It draws a lot of its story’s elements from Shakespeare’s works. Don’t believe me? Well, challenge accepted.
There’s horribly over-the-top gore — Gloucester’s eye gouging in “King Lear” still haunts me. There are elements of the supernatural — “The Tempest”, “Midsummer”, “The Winter’s Tale.” There’s an obsession with revenge — I mean, “Hamlet”, but also “Macbeth” and “Richard III.” I’ll even bring R&J into this with star-crossed lovers.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
The point is that Shakespeare does not have to be torture (although it does contain some torture), and you probably already indirectly appreciate his work. So, why not give the Bard a second chance. It is his birth/death day.
…just for fun: