- Don’t worry about the fact that you only understand about half of what you are reading. (Eventually you’ll start to pick up some of it. Eventually)
- Listen to an audio version. (Lots of options on YouTube for free)
- Read it out loud. (This was easier to do when I was alone. When the family came home, it got weird)
- Read it in conjunction with a modern translation. (No Fear Shakespeare)
- Watch a production. (My Netflix DVD queue is getting very long)
- Remember that it isn’t as long as you might think. A staged production is usually only about 3 hours!
- Read it again. (Repetition, repetition, repetition)
Friends on Goodreads know that I can crank out over 100 novels a year. Reading Shakespeare is requiring a pace somewhat (OK, a lot….) slower than what I normal use.
When I read my first Terry Pratchett book, I was underwhelmed. Then, I listened to one of his books as an audiobook and I was HOOKED. Completely. I needed to hear every word to get all of the humor and word play. I need to remember that ANY time I need to read something closely, reading it out loud, or finding an audio version, and following along with the text is going to be the way to go.
Clearly it’s working with Shakespeare. I’ve now read Romeo & Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus the first three acts of Othello and and I’m in the third act of Henry V. All of that reading has included some version of listening or reading out loud.
I think Henry V is the hardest for me, so far, but I’m not willing to give up, and I’m not afraid to admit that part of my stubbornness stems from the fact that my reward will be watching Tom Hiddleston in The Hollow Crown: Henry V.