I have made another step towards my goal of reading all Shakespeare’s works this year. Last week I finished reading his sonnets. I was originally just reading a few on occasion as some side reading, but I ending up binge-reading over 100 sonnets in one night. I had only read a few that were taught in English classes before reading this whole collection, but I enjoyed reading them more on my own than around teachers. I think it gave me more room to interpret them however I wanted. It’s hard when you get stuck in a class with a teacher or professor that has one opinion, and they believe it’s the right opinion. So, it was nice to be able to read this on my own and think of them how I wanted to versus having one opinion rule the outcome. I’m going to give you how I interpreted these, but I am in no way going to shove my opinion down your throat, like I just previously described past teachers doing.
The thing I loved about this most was that Shakespeare actually tells a story if you read his sonnets in order. You can see him age along with the woman he is writing about. This is probably why I binged and read all of them at once then. Shakespeare really was a smart man. Many people claim that he was base and uneducated, but just because a man likes humor does not make him incapable of writing intelligently, and the way his sonnets unfold is quite genus indeed.
Now, another reason I enjoyed reading these outside a classroom was because many people claim Shakespeare’s sonnets are brimming with love and romanticize them beyond belief. But, if you read these sonnets and interpret them as a story as I did, they are far from something that should be romanticized. Shakespeare’s voice comes across as creepy, needy, dramatized (like the voice Shakespeare is writing from is the biggest drama queen ever), and friend-zoned (which is not something that actually exists, but if did, that’s where this character would be). I read a post on Tumblr. one day that said, “If he writes you a sonnet he loves you; if he writes you 100 sonnets he loves sonnets.” Shakespeare loved sonnets.
And I loved his sonnets. I’m not going to say that you HAVE to read these. I have come to terms with the fact that most people don’t love Shakespeare the way I do, and many don’t even like him. That’s fine. But thank you for reading and let me tell you how I felt about some of his works. I would recommend this to Shakespeare fans who love his plays, but are afraid of his sonnets. They’re not scary, I promise. They are lovely. Also to Shakespeare fans who have been putting of his sonnets because you believe the teachers that romanticized ideas about them. Stop putting them off. They are not what you have believed them to be.