The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0109  Wednesday, 20 January 1999.

From:           Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jan 1999 10:20:05 -0500
Subject:        Order of plays?

Larry Weiss was absolutely correct in his assumption that

>Since the moderator of this List usually does not pass along posts from
>students seeking help, he must have found something special in your
>message, such as a well-written expression of a sincere desire to teach

I also received a private message a few weeks ago that I have just not
had time to answer, so in light of the responses to the previous sincere
question, let me offer this posting for consideration by the members of

From:           Theresa Ramseyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 01 Jan 1999 20:45:52 -0500
Subject:        Order of plays?

Hello Mr. Cook - and Happy New Year to you too!

I really enjoy this list.  Last Sunday's post by Marilyn Bonomi started
me thinking.  I have always liked Shakespeare, but aside from Romeo &
Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and the odd sonnet or two, had never really
covered him.  Then I got a hold of Cornelius Hirschberg's great book The
Priceless Gift, which, among other things,  convinced me to go through
all of the plays.  He suggested this order, for a start: Romeo & Juliet,
Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Antony & Cleopatra, Midsummer
Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, King John, Richard II,
Henry IV - 2 parts, Henry V, Henry VI - 3 parts, Richard III, and Henry

I try to read the play every night for a week at first, then go through
it with the dictionary and/or a very abridged version of Samuel
Johnson's English Dictionary.  Then I read through it with the Companion
Cliff notes, and whatever books I can buy or find in the college
library.  Takes time, but it's worth it!

I treated the first 3 plays this way, without problems.  Now I'm into
unfamiliar territory.  My biggest problem is that I miss the interaction
between teacher & student &/or classmates.  For example,  I have never
had a fiery, jealous love like Othello's.  I have no one to say, for
example, "That sounds like my friend and her boyfriend.  He was so
jealous when she looked at another guy, he...."  I have no one to help
me translate some of the plays to my own life, or to point out the
points I'm missing.

I know I can ask questions on this list, but mine seem so simple, I hate
to post them [content, why did they do that, etc.].  Also, most of the
time everybody's discussing a play I'm not even on yet!   [I'm really
kind of shy, and prefer my books, music, and computer to plenty of the
things that many other people enjoy.]

I really need three things: 1) If you were advising me, what plays would
you suggest I read, and in what order; 2) someone to take me under their
wing & work with me on whatever play I'm on [which is King Lear at the
moment], and 3) everybody's patience when I post simple questions! [No
question is stupid, if you really want to know].

I realize number 2 would be really difficult - I come from a line of
teachers & know how busy you all are -  but I really appreciate your
help when you find a question from me in your mailbox!

Thanks - and Happy New Year!
Theresa Ramseyer

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