“To Be Or Not To Be”... A Shakespeare Student
Start writing a post
Student Life

“To Be Or Not To Be”... A Shakespeare Student

What it takes to survive in a college level Shakespeare class

“To Be Or Not To Be”... A Shakespeare Student
Google Images

Shakespeare, the great playwright, has transcended the boundaries of time. There is limited reliable information on him and many of his plays would have been lost if not for valuable collections like the First Folio. What we do know is that...well, I’ll leave the lectures to the professors. Shakespeare classes are definitely a challenge, but they can be rewarding. In this case, I am speaking from experience. So, with my shortcomings, and these tips, hopefully I can help along the next round of Shakespeareans.

1) A thick notebook and good pens

Make sure to write down your every thought while reading. It’s easy to lose your train of thought and get lost along the way. Summarize what your professor says, especially about important people or places that are connected to Shakespeare.

2) A passionate professor

For this type of course, you’ll need someone to keep you engaged and curious. It makes all the difference. Especially if it’s an early-morning class. There are so many details and tangents to go off on, and you’ll appreciate someone who can keep up the forward momentum.

3) Patience and perseverance

Accept that you won’t understand everything immediately and take it one play at a time. Find your rhythm and a method of study that works best for you. Seek clarification if you get tripped up and don’t be afraid to ask for elaboration. Your enthusiastic professor will probably be more than happy to keep talking.

4) A willingness to read to understand, not just to read.

First things first, using Sparknotes isn’t cheating. It does no good to try to read a challenging play of which context is unclear. Read a brief plot synopsis or some character summaries so that you have an idea what (and who) you’re dealing with.

5) A capacity for the “big picture”, how everything is connected.

A simple list of facts, people or places won’t get you through the semester. It’s important to seek ways to make connections between those things and understand their relevance. Try to keep answering the famous question, “Why do we need to know this, anyway?” and don’t let a name just be a name or a place just be four walls and a roof.

6) Active preparation for assignments and exams

You won’t want to put off your reading to the last minute and come to find that you now have an essay to write and a test coming up. Try to connect with people who have taken the class before you and ask what the professors’ exams are like and what exactly they require of you. Knowing what’s most important will help avoid overloading your brain and blanking on everything on exam day.

If you’re just looking for a few easy credits, an easy A, then a course on Shakespeare is only going to prove to be disappointing, frustrating and lacking of any depth or meaning to you as a student. However, an introductory Shakespeare class can calm some of your curiosities and help you decide if you want to pursue it further. Good luck, you’ll need it. But with any luck, hopefully you’ll enjoy it too!
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

As Tik-Tokers rise to fame, do their 'copy-cat' dances deserve the clout?

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

Oh, the wonders of social media. Trends come and go just as quick as a story on Instagram, everyone posting for their shot at fifteen minutes of fame, and the ever growing following of a new type of celebrity- social media influencers and content creators. Everyone who owns a smartphone probably has Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and now Tik-Tok, as it's growing to be a major social media platform for teenagers and young adults. Tik Tok became popular in the United States in late 2019 and since then has grown a considerable amount. Personally, I was one to make fun of Tik-Tok and say it was a dumb app like Musical.ly or Triller, and now months later, I spend more time on it than I do on Instagram.

Keep Reading... Show less

Because self confidence is sexy

And as a woman, I want us all to love ourselves a little bit more today.


Women have such high standards to live up to today. We’re expected to do and be so much. The great Tina Fey said “Every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes." This quote is not only hilarious, but also incredibly true! How many of you feel insecure every time you walk on campus, or every time you walk into a party? Even the girls you think are perfect are insecure. Everyone has flaws. Sure some flaws may be more exaggerated than others, but that doesn’t mean that the girl still feels bad about them. My point here is that it doesn’t matter how “perfect” you are, what matters most is how “perfect” you feel.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the dawn of social media comes an entirely new character: the Facebook politician. Usually, articles or posts about politics are fairly sporadic. That is until a major event happens. Suddenly, everyone knows everything about everything. Everyone seems to have a very strong opinion. Everyone is super knowledgeable, and what better vessel of information than they themselves? Which is pretty reasonable, given that people’s emotions run high when something major happens. And I don’t blame them, emotions are good!

Keep Reading... Show less

The Gift Of Basketball

The NBA playoffs remind me of my basketball journey through time

Syracuse Basketball

I remember that when I was very little, my dad played in an adult basketball league, and I remember cheering him on with everything in me. I also remember going to Tuscola basketball games when the old floor was still there and the bleachers were still wooden. I remember always wanting to play basketball like my dad, and that's just what I did.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments