….Shakespeare, as my college Shakespeare professor would say, is not meant to be read. His works are plays, and were performed in front of live, and often testy, audiences. So how can we hope to simply read his plays and understand them?

It is definitely a tricky thing to navigate! As a reader, we already know to give individual voices to characters in our heads. When we read regular novels, the author knows to give us description in the narration as well as the dialogue tags. When reading Shakespeare, a reader doesn’t have that liberty. Instead, the reader has to infer everything from what the characters say and what others say about them. We don’t get to see them in action. And while there may be cues after a piece of dialogue, such as, “he dies,” that doesn’t tell us how the character dies. Does he simply fall over? Does…

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