Understanding of Tragedy Given Through Comedy
In Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor Chapter 6, 9, 11-14, an earlier thought of mine was verbalized in the quote: “For a lot of us, that particular show was either our first encounter with the Bard or our first intimation that he could actually be fun, since in public school, you may recall, they only teach his tragedies” (Foster 38). How many times had I thought to myself how unpleasant Shakespeare was? Up till 12th grade I had stubbornly maintained a dislike of Shakespeare. I think this was mainly because of the fact that we had only read tragedies in school. Hamlet, Macbeth, all they managed to do was depress me. Then my senior year, I took a semester class in Shakespeare. My perspective of Shakespeare was radically changed by that class. We read the comedies, “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Twelfth Night”. We read the “Merchant of Venice”, part of “King Lear”, “Richard III”, and “Othello”. I saw a complete other side of Shakespeare. Foster makes a good point that Shakespeare can be fun. Once I had read some of the comedies, and I had more of an open mind, I was able to enjoy his other plays more too.