BH Bard

Shakespeare Library


About 400 years ago, William Shakespeare wrote a warning about the Ides of March and whether you read Julius Caesar in 7th grade or saw the play performed at the Acropolis in Athens matters not. No one can forget that on March 15, Caesar had his toga handed to him.

Don’t you just feel smarter after reading Shakespeare?

The greed and lust in his plays are so supersized they make the NY Posts’ Page Six sexting scandals look tame. That is, if you can get through the barrier of Shakespeare’s language.

This month, my High School Kid read Macbeth. And I re-read it. No I’m not doing his homework for him. My brain keeps the same hours as most banks, so I’m in REM by the time he’s answering study guide questions. I just like comparing how different Shakespeare looks from when I read him as a teen.

For instance, in the 80’s, those of us reading Shakespeare relied on a bright yellow booklet with black stripes known campus-wide as Cliff Notes to get us over the language hump. Cliff Notes are still around but my High School Kid reads No Fear Shakespeare or SparkNotes. He’s not alone.

His Grandmother is taking a Shakespeare class and when she found SparkNotes, she was more gleeful than Lady Macbeth after plotting to have her hubby stab someone to death. Readers are divided on whether or not Shakespeare’s language should be updated. Personally, I think that making Shakespeare’s work more approachable and less alienating is a good thing for teenagers.

Having said that, academics and bibliophiles may be plotting my demise.

Until then, Good night! Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow.

And, oh yeah. Beware the Ides of March.

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Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 2 comments. Add yours

  1. 16th March 2013 | Elaine says: Reply
    Another impressive post...only topped by the fact that your mother is taking a Shakespeare class...I'm starting to feel like a slacker.
    • 16th March 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Someone once told me to surround myself with intelligent, talented people. Mom's one of them. So are you.

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