A little Shakespeare in your life, can make the difference

My life has really changed since I found Shakespeare. It has not only been a subject from my thesis, but it has also motivated and inspired me over the time. This is no way, me forcing you to read Shakespeare or to like it, but I want to show you which world could open for you when embarking on this beautiful journey of words and poetry.

In the Netherlands you don’t get too much Shakespeare. To be fair, I had one little piece of Shakespeare in my education up to the age of 18. It was Hamlet and I found it boring. Like proper boring, but now I realise that was my teacher’s fault. He was just a very boring tosser.

So like most of my generation, Shakespeare didn’t appeal to me at the age of 16. So how did this change Marc? I went to study ‘Teaching History’ and in one of the globalisation coursed there was a mention of Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth and that really made me curious. At this point I thought (and still do) that everything that has to do with history is interesting. Yup, everything is interesting to me.

I read the historical play called King Henry the Fifth and I devoured this play to be honest. It was so interesting to read and not only the historical story, but also the different nationalities: Welsh, Scottish, Irish. I really loved it, but I think I liked the play more than Shakespeare. I didn’t know anything about Shakespeare or his style, because I only read one play.

I read all the historical plays in old English, because translations suck. It’s kind of hard to understand all the words and sayings at first, especially if you English is your second or third language. A lot of people are discouraged because of it. But there’s one thing that made me understand the words and sayings better. This might be blasphemous to say, but this worked for me: Read the play, watch a film or actual play about it and then read it again. I can guarantee you, it will all make more sense. Seeing emotions and paces of conversation, gives you an idea of the world Shakespeare meant for us.

Since then I read Shakespeare quite easily and I can see the beauty in it. I could easily fill my days with saying quotes from Shakespeare that do inspire me and make me inspire others. It can really take me away or pull me back into reality. It can make a difference and quite proud of it. I’m so happy I’m able to read and understand Shakespeare and I would like to end on of my favourite quotes:

“The earth has music for those who listen.”

If you have trouble reading Shakespeare, watching films can do the trick. The BBC series the Hollow Crown is really good in my opinion to have a decent introduction to Shakespeare’s world.


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  1. juli 30, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Hang on, BRB, just going for a little cry because your school made Hamlet boring…My school taught Hamlet amazingly! Also A Midsummers Nights Dream, and The Taming of the Shrew, and Richard III. We were encouraged to put on plays, and go and see plays, and create modern stories based on his work. It was truly a magical time. I also enjoyed his sonnets, and did quite a bit of work on them in English class. This is something else we can talk about at full length 😛

  2. augustus 3, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    I totally get the crying bit. But I'm fortunate enough to make myself interested in those things and now I love it! Oh my god, if only I went to school with you. Sounds like proper heaven. Haha yeah because we don't have enough subjects to talk about already, we could literally talk forever mate.

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