At best, Shakespeare’s plays are bit difficult. At worst, they are a baffling jumble of non-words and should be thrown into the fire immediately. I spend most of my time looking for Shakespeare lines that I can take out of context to suit my own nefarious purposes, so I know this well.
But some of Shakespeare’s plays are easier to make sense of than others. For your convenience, I’ve ranked them in order of how accessible they are to the modern, barely-interested reader.
Disclaimer: I have not listed all of the bard’s plays, but I think we can all agree that I have at least listed some of them. I tried to include the ones you’ll most likely run into over the course of your studies. I did not include Timon of Athens, for example, because nobody on earth is reading that.
There have only been two good inventions in the history of mankind: texting, and Harry Potter. (I guess fire, penicillin, and the internal combustion engine are also up there, but for the sake of this intro let’s pretend they’re not.)
Texting allows me to talk to people from the comfort of my own couch while I’m elbows-deep in Netflix, potato chips, and self-loathing.
Harry Potter was the book series that shaped my childhood.
And if there’s anything we’ve learned from peanut butter and jelly, mac n’ cheese, or The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour, it’s that you can always mash two good things together to create one really great thing. With that in mind, here’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as told in texts.
Looking for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as told in a series of texts? We’ve got you covered.
Everyone likes to say there are two kinds of people, but that is false. There are actually three kinds of people: introverts, extroverts, and trickster gods who worship chaos and may very well doom us all.
There are many types of dad. Good dads, bad dads, dads who embarrass you in front of your friends and dads who go above and beyond by dragging your boyfriend through the sewers of Paris to save his life. With all these dads milling about, it stands to reason that some are better than others. So in honor of Father’s Day (otherwise known as the Day of the Dad), we’ll be ranking literary fathers from “best” to “YIKES.”
A dad joke is any joke that’s so terrible it elicits groans and ruins lives. It need not originate from a dad, per se, but the common cultural understanding is that most of them do. You’ll find them in wedding speeches, rogue Facebook comments, and conversations in line at the hardware store. From there they pervade the very fabric of our society so that even the best of us, dad or not, feel compelled to hit every “I’m bored” with a “Hi bored, I’m Dad.”
Shakespeare was the father of English literature, but he was also the father of three actual kids, so it’s no wonder his plays are full of puns and anti-jokes so objectively corny you can practically hear sixteenth-century audiences shouting, “COME ON, WILL.” These were his worst (and by worst I mean best) offenses.
Sometimes you hate a fictional character so passionately that it almost feels like a betrayal when you reach the end of the book and they DON’T wind up being eaten by wolves or something. You were forced to watch them being terrible for roughly 52 chapters; the least the author could do is dole out some good old-fashioned karmic JUSTICE.
Unfortunately, not every fictional jerkass gets the comeuppance they deserve. In fact, plenty of them go on to live long, fulfilling lives. Here are just seven of them (give or take).