The Top 5 Plays On My Shakespearean TBR

Happy birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

What better way to celebrate than by discussing which of the Bard’s plays I’m most excited to read someday soon?

1. Macbeth

I’ve tried to read this several times before and couldn’t get into it, but since I read Hamlet in 2016 and King Lear in 2017 – two other Shakespeare plays I struggled with in the past – I think I’m ready for it now. Looking forward to the bloodthirsty, tyrannical characters + eerie setting!

2. The Tempest

I want to read this because A) many of my friends love and B) I’ve read numerous books that reference Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, et cetera. And THAT STORM sound incredible! I can only hope that scene lives up to my expectations. The one in King Lear made chills run up my spine, no lie.

3. Othello

I was meant to read this for the Shakespeare 400 course I took in the summer of 2016… but I faked my way through it because I was severely depressed and “out of it” at the time. Oops! (Actually, I’m not so sure I managed to fake my way through, since based on my quiz grades my professor probably knew what I was up to!) Anyway, I’m curious to read Shakespeare’s take on race.

4. Pericles

Not a popular choice, I know! This was another assigned text from Shakespeare 400 that, you guessed it, I only pretended to read. My class saw it performed at Iowa City’s version of Shakespeare in the Park, though, so I’m much more familiar with its plot than with that of Othello. I enjoyed the performance so I figured, why not give this a chance and try to get further than act two?

5. The Merchant of Venice

If I remember correctly, my mom gave me the option of reading this way back in high school? But I chose The Taming of the Shrew instead, I think. Shylock’s name has been mentioned a lot in my English classes and I’m like WHO IS HE???


Well, there you have it. One of these days I’d like to read allll of Shakespeare’s plays, but for now I want to concentrate on these five. It may take me a few years to get around to completing just this list, but that’s OK. I’d rather go slowly and take the time to really appreciate his stories, rather than speed through them without absorbing much of anything.

What Shakespeare plays have you read? (Do you have any favorites?) Which ones are next on your TBR?

P.S. Most of Shakespeare’s works that I read + enjoyed in high school were comedies. (I can give you specific titles if you’d like.) Based on my taste in his plays, as well as in literature in general, do you have any recommendations as to which of his other plays I should tackle after this bunch?

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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1 Response to The Top 5 Plays On My Shakespearean TBR

  1. orphu44 says:

    I really like Macbeth! It’s my favourite of the (admittedly limited) sample of Shakespeare I’ve read. Of the rest, Othello’s the only other one I’ve read. Though I have also run into enough tempting references to The Tempest to really want to read it at some point. (Typing ‘tempest’ so soon after typing ‘tempting’ made me type the title as ‘The Temptress’ at first.)
    I think Shylock was also one of the answers in the giant crossword puzzle I did with my mum over the holidays, though I don’t remember what the clue was, PROBABLY because I’ve never read The Merchant of Venice.
    Also, hey, I remember that photo of yours! I really liked it, I’m glad it made a reappearance in this post.

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