Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by AIFS Abroad Customized Faculty-Led
“He is at once the best known and least known of figures” -Brill Bryson
Who is this author referring to? The one and only William Shakespeare! Lately, my world has revolved around this man of many words, literally (no pun intended). One of the classes I am taking is a Shakespearian course which requires me to read one of Shakespeare’s plays each week. It’s Shakespeare all day, everyday.
So far I have read Henry IV Part 1 (“Thou mad mustachio purple-hued malt worms!”), Julius Caesar (“Beware the Ides of March”), and I am beginning Hamlet. There are times when I want to rip my hair out because who the heck knows what “purple-hued malt worms” are? But oddly enough, I keep craving more. Oh has what thou done to me, Shakespeare? Curse thee!
I have a love/ hate relationship with Will. With this being said, I took our relationship to the next level and visited his birthplace. Shakespeare grew up in a small, quaint town named “Stratford Upon-Avon” (just two hours outside of London). While I was in Stratford, I was able to see where young William attended grammar school, where he once strolled the streets, and his burial ground at Holy Trinity Church. I was overly excited-to the point where my friends were embarrassed to be seen with me. Most girls “fangirl” about their favorite boy band; me, on the other hand, I “fangirl” over a dead writer.
Along with reading Shakespeare’s plays and visiting his walking grounds, I went to Shakespeare’s Globe and watched the tragedy of Julius Caesar! The Globe is an Elizabethan playhouse where Shakespeare’s plays are staged as they were when William was first beginning his career. My friends and I purchased standing tickets to add to the experience of seeing a Shakespearian play. The performance was phenomenal! The actors would run through the crowds, lead chants, and splash blood on the audience-this play was nothing like I have ever seen! At the end of the play, the cast performed a jig which had the entire audience standing up, clapping, and cheering. It was hands down the best activity I have experienced in London so far.
The short period that William and I have been together has been unforgettable and hopefully, our relationship will continue to blossom as time goes on. Well, tomorrow I am off to Stonehenge, one of the Wonders of the World. But for now, from the man himself: “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I say good night till it be morrow.”
This content was contributed by Monica Hamilton, who studied abroad in Fall 2014 on an AIFS customized faculty-led program in London, England.