Shakespeare. How he influences me.

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, October 1996

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

Shakespeare: As I Like It

"I know you all and will awhile uphold / The unyok'd humour of your idleness." This quotation from Henry IV is the first line from a short monologue that I had to memorize in grade nine English class. An assignment, I suppose, that was to help us appreciate language, understand character and learn discipline. Unfortunately, it was recited to Mrs. Derii at break-neck speed in a low whisper so as not to disturb any of the library patrons snoozing in the nearby study carols. At that time I gave no thought to iambic pentameter, motivation, or subtext. I said my piece and escaped with nary a moment to waste. The world of Shakespeare can be very blurry when seen through the eyes of a thirteen year-old Christian boy. I did not like it and I did not know why.

I did not think we should be studying Greek mythology either.

I thought, "Why study myth when there were so many valuable facts to be learned instead?" The Bible for instance was full of relevant and useful facts that I had learned. I even brought a red, pocket-sized version of the New Testament to school one day to prove Mars was only an idol created by heathen and not the god of war, as we were lead to believe. My plight against the thick-skulled non-believers proved fruitless. Mars had won the battle I thought, but there were many more fields on which to fight.

Thankfully, I no longer see myself as a freedom-fighter shaking my fist at an ignorant school system, albeit still an imperfect one. Having shaken off the coils of my religion, seven years has made me a cynical and embittered old man. This exaggeration is meant in jest, but no doubt I miss...