Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On My Wishlist: Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?


Out of all of the books, poems, and plays I teach, William Shakespeare's works are my favorites. Every year, I spend quite a bit of time with the Bard. I teach about six or seven Shakespeare plays every year. Some years, I teach more than this. The result? Unlike some of the other units I teach regularly, I don't get tired of teaching Shakespeare. Every year I try to put a different spin on the standard plays I teach (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet) to keep my interest from waning. Kids get super excited to act and perform and the grapple with the language and their excitement keeps me going.

Though I've read quite a few of his plays (and all of his sonnets), I've not read too much about the man himself. I did read one book a couple of years ago called Will in the World. More than answering questions about this extraordinary figure, I was left wondering if William Shakespeare could have possibly written all of the plays and poems attributed to him. I have watched a couple of documentaries about this very subject, but no argument was so convincing that I subscribed to it completely. Maybe this new book will sway me once and for all? I don't know, but I am willing to read it to find out.

I'm not sure that I buy into Shakespeare conspiracy theories, but I'd still like to read Contested Will. At the very least, though, I hope that I will learn more about the man behind all of these amazing works. Whether that is Shakespeare or not, I will continue to read and learn and teach these phenomenal plays and sonnets!

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