Bring on the Tragedy! Shakespeare on Facebook

I recently read the complete works of William Shakespeare. It took me 2 years, 9 months,  and 18 days. I talked about it a lot on Facebook.

In June of 2013, I commenced reading the tragedies.

That’s a bad idea.

Facebook post about King Lear by William Shakespeare

All kinds of crazy men.

Facebook post about King Lear by William Shakespeare

It dawns on me that more tragedy awaits.

Facebook post about a tragedy by William Shakespeare

A letter to a star-crossed lover.

Facebook post about Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

In For the Long Haul: Part I

How It Began

I saw a thick, hardbound copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare sitting on a bookshelf at my sister’s house. She had found it at the local thrift store.

I picked it up and looked at it. The thought crossed my mind, “How awesome would it be to be a person who had read the complete works of Shakespeare?”

 I had experienced Romeo and Juliet in junior high school—I say “experienced” because not only did I study the play in English class, I was also surrounded by lovestruck, Romeo-quoting female classmates swooning over actor Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo in the new film adaptation Romeo + Juliet.

I had also studied Hamlet, Julius CaesarA Midsummer Night’s Dream and some sonnets in high school and college. I had seen more than one performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as performances of As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew and All’s Well That Ends Well. And I had seen film adaptations of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.

Altogether, a pretty scattershot reading, viewing, and screening of Shakespeare works.

So there I was, holding the book.

My sister kindly let me borrow The Complete Works. I took the book home and checked the table of contents. Then, I did a little math. If I read one play per month and then read all the poems, I would be finished with The Complete Works in three years.

Three years.

That’s a long time. And it was scary to think about being three whole years older and to think about where my life would be three years in the future.

But still.

I told myself, “The time is going to pass anyway.”

Would I rather have three years pass and have done it or have three years pass and not have done it?

I started reading in January of 2011.

Don’t be afraid. Set a long goal. The time is going to pass anyway.

Read Part II (How It Ended).