WEBER READS: SHAKESPEARE
2015–2016 book selection
William Shakespeare is the most widely-read author in the English language. When he died in 1616, he left behind plays, sonnets, poems, and a reputation that is unmatched in the English-speaking world. Four hundred years later, he is still a celebrity.
Shakespeare is everywhere: in the movies, the theater, the bookstore, the library, and in our language and the sayings we utter every day. How do we account for this astonishing influence?
The novelist Isabel Allende says, “People have found truth in his writing everywhere in the world since the sixteenth century because the human condition is common to all and remains unchanged … I believe that in spite of the fathomless depth of his work, which has kept thousands of scholars and millions of readers busy for more than four centuries, he didn’t take himself too seriously.” (Carson 491-492) First and foremost, Shakespeare was a storyteller writing for the stage. His comedies, tragedies, romances, and historical plays were created to entertain and move the audience.
Weber Reads programs are funded in part by the Ralph Nye Charitable Foundation.