April 23, 2015

Bard on the Blogs || Shakespeare Starter Pack

I'm very excited to be teaming up with Alyssa of Books Take You Places for Bard in the Blogs! Alyssa and I share a mutual love for William Shakespeare and his work, so we decided it would be an excellent idea to celebrate with a little blog event. I'm so thrilled to have so many wonderful people guest posting on both my blog and Alyssa's blog, so a big thank you goes out to those who volunteered to share with us! I hope you enjoy all the posts (and look out for the giveaway too)!

It seems particularly fitting to start off this event with a post from Miguel of The Quirky Reader, who signed up to share his personal Shakespeare starter pack for newbies to the Bard and his work. Without further ado, please check out Miguel's guest post below and give him a warm welcome!


I’m sure you’ve heard of this clever bloke named William Shakespeare. He wrote Romeo and Juliet - the story that both touched and crushed hearts of romantics all around the world – and that famous one-liner – Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 

There’s plenty of Shakespeare to go around, but how do even crack this amazing mind’s bibliography? Well, I’m here today to help you out, and by the end of this post you’ll be reciting dialogues and sonnets all day.


My advice is to start with the classics or his most popular plays especially his comedies. Other than his comedies are short and easy to read, it’ll give you a taste of how his writing style works. So by the time you graduate to his tragedies, you’ll feel at ease. 

Here are some of my recommendations:
  • Much Ado about Nothing – Synopsis in a sentence: Matchmaking to the craziest level. 
  • Love’s Labor’s Lost – Synopsis in a sentence: Four noblemen have it bad for four beautiful ladies, but they are under an oath not to give in to the company of women.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Synopsis in a sentence: Badass fairies run the world here.
  • Twelfth Night – Synopsis in a sentence: Think Hana-Kimi but with more drama.

Then you can watch these awesome straight-up adaptations and Shakespeare-inspired films instead!

  • Hamlet – Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, and Billy Crystal.
  • Twelfth Night – Starring: Imogen Stubbs, Helena Bonham Carter, and Toby Stephens.
  • Much Ado about Nothing – Starring: Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Kate Beckinsale, and Robert Sean Leonard.

  • Get Over It – Inspired by the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Starring: Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You – Inspired by the play, The Taming of the Shrew. Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  • She’s the Man – Inspired by the play, Twelfth Night. Starring: Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum.
And that’s it! I hope one way or another I’ve piqued your interest with my love for Shakespeare! Also I have to thank Alexa and Alyssa for letting me participate in this wonderful blog event. Let me end with a beloved Shakespeare sonnet!


Thank you so much, Miguel! I loved seeing what your starter pack includes, and can certainly endorse many of your suggestions myself. Readers, I hope you have an idea now of where you can start when it comes to indulging in works by the Bard (or adaptations of them!).

Now, as promised, Alyssa and I are hosting a giveaway. We're going to be picking TWO WINNERS to pick the SHAKESPEARE RETELLING of their choice. Best part? It's open INTERNATIONALLY (as long as Book Depository ships to your country). For an idea of what retellings you can pick, here's a handy list. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This was a really fun post! To the point and with a lot of useful information. I think having only read two plays of the bard I can safely say I'm a Shakespeare newbie, so this was definitely helpful. I didn't know any of the last two movies were inspired by Shakespeare's work. Very interesting.

  2. Through movie adaptations and play productions, I feel as if I've been reading Shakespeare for years so it's funny to think that I only just finished my first Shakespeare play this year for English class (Richard III). Although long and maybe not the best choice for my first ever Shakespeare play, I did find bits of it really interesting. And it showed me another part to Shakespeare that I had never fully got to experience through visual productions. Mostly because the style of language can often be hard for me to catch on during stage productions when there's no time for me to mull over what has been said. It definitely took me a while before I got the hang of the writing while reading and saw all the clever puns he included and the witty banter and the gorgeous lines that just glazed over me in the audience. So that was really interesting. I might decide to pick up King Lear next as there is a very good possibility I will be seeing that on stage this summer! Hopefully I'll like it just as much, or even more, than I did Richard III!


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