“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Anyone who went to high school in the United States knows that phrase like it’s the back of their hand. Throughout our high school years, and even college, teachers have been shoving Shakespeare down our throats, and it’s for good reason, their classics. Although reading the play might be somewhat boring, watching it is a completely different experience. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite Shakespeare plays.
Written in 1605, this play is about a Scottish lord who is persuaded to commit a murder by his wife. Throughout this play we see the couple try to deal with their guilt, as well as the consequences of their crime. Why is it so good? Well, it’s filled with dark comedy and tragedy, charged with the supernatural, and it’s a short read!
I’m sure that if you’ve taken an English class in the United States, you’ve read Hamlet before. Written in 1600, this play is about a young prince named Hamlet, who is trying to avenge his father’s death. The King of Denmark tells his son that his brother killed him, and while seeking revenge, Hamlet falls into a pit of madness.
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Somewhat different from most of Shakespeare’s plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream tells the story of the events surrounding the marriage of the king of Athens and the queen of the Amazons. It follows the story of lovers in the city and the challenges they face in order to be together. Why is it such a good play? It’s funny, has fairies in it, and it includes a bunch of romance.
Written in 1605, this is one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. It tells the story of King Lear who relinquishes his power and land to two of his daughters. Soon after, he becomes insane and a “prescribed Cruz of political machinations.”
Romeo and Juliet
Probably one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, this tells the story of two lovers who aren’t allowed to be together due to the fact that their families hate each other. Filled with passion, romance, and tragedy, this is definitely one of Shakespeare’s best.