A few numbers for you:
Broadly 100 posts a year …
Just short of 200,000 words …
Plays read for the first time: 9 (of varying quality) …
Here I am, 300 not out!
Thank you to everyone who has read, liked and commented.
Were I writing simply for dopamine micro-hits I should have chosen something a little less recherché, as Sherlock Holmes might put it – Shakespeare is a bit too niche to turn me into any kind of ‘influencer’ (God I hate that word) … but it is nice, of course, to believe that someone’s listening.
But it’s not for anyone in particular (suggesting that students read my Forensic Fridays as they were written to assist their studies has proved largely pointless, for example) – it’s for me. The blog has definitely become a cathartic thing, and I get twitchy and resentful when work necessitates gaps between posts. It feels good to have been engaged on this project for three years now, and to have stuck at it, or returned to it after minor gaps or discouragements.
It’s also been, and continues to be, absolutely worthwhile to immerse myself in Shakespeare. I’ve learned to avoid any Shakesnobbery – not all Shakespeare is good Shakespeare (Love’s Labour’s Lost), and also to set aside any Shakesphobia about certain plays: Titus Andronicus isn’t crap, and nor are the Henry VI plays, actually – far from it.
The act of becoming ever more familiar with a writer’s world and oeuvre is not just fascinating as you make intertextual links between the plays, but a welcome distraction from the world – especially if you are the type of person who finds it difficult to switch off. And the plays, with their wonderful depictions of the human conditions, of their hopes, dreams, dilemmas, faults, triumphs and disasters have, I think, helped me make sense not just of the world but of who I am.
Thanks, William – here’s to another 300.