Shakespeare's Globe Theater: Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

Second Globe Theatre built in 1614, after the first one burned down during a performance of Henry VIII.

Reading Shakespeare

To celebrate William Shakespeare‘s 450th birthday, I read all of his works and blogged about and rated each play. I also posted my thoughts after reading all of Shakespeare.

My blogs include a Bard Rating (see explanation below); a few words that capture the message I got from the play; quotes I like. I don’t attempt serious analysis, but my blogs did get much more detailed–with information that helped me appreciate the plays more–as I went.

The Bard Ratings:  The system is based on how much I personally enjoyed the play compared to other Shakespeare plays: one to five Bards, five being the most enjoyable for me. I gave 11 plays five Bards,  six plays four Bards, six plays three Bards, three plays two Bards, and 11 plays one Bard. One important note here, two plays are fabulous plays (The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew), but I was extremely uncomfortable with their treatment respectively of Jews and women and rated them poorly.

(Credit for the rating idea goes to the Washington Post and their Pinocchio rating system for political honesty.) Here were my superficial thoughts at half-way point: Thoughts after one year reading the Bard.

As part of the effort, I also read his poems–Venus and AdonisThe Rape of LucreceSonnetsA Lover’s ComplaintThe Passionate PilgrimSonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, and The Phoenix and the Turtle. I will not blog or comment on the poems, but I have included favorite quotes from each of them on their links above. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, but found little to appreciate in his sonnets.

Blogs on the Completed Plays and Ratings:

Comedies and Romances

Much Ado About NothingShakespeare's 450th

The Winter’s TaleFive Bard Rating

CymbelineCymbeline earns 4 bards

Love’s Labours LostEarns 4 bards

Measure for MeasureShakespeare's 450th

Twelfth Night; or, What You Will

All’s Well that Ends WellThree Bard Rating

Pericles, Prince of TyreShakespeare Play Pericles, Prince of Tyre earns three Bards

The Comedy of ErrorsThree Bard Rating for The Comedy of Errors

The Taming of the Shrew

The Merchant of Venice

The Tempest

A Midsummer Night’s DreamReading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Two Gentlemen of Verona


King Henry IV, First PartFive Bard Rating

King Richard IIShakespeare 450th

Richard IIIFour Bard Rating for Richard III

Henry VShakespeare Play Henry V Earns Three Bards

Henry VI, Part TwoShakespeare Play Henry V Earns Three Bards

Henry VI, Part OneShakespeare's Henry VI, Part One

King Henry IV, Second PartReading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

Henry VI, Part ThreeHenry VI, Part Two

Henry VIIIHenry VIII earns one bard

King JohnKing John earns one Bard



HamletFive Bard Rating

Julius CaesarFive Bard Rating

King LearFive Bard Rating

MacbethFive Bard Rating

OthelloOthello earns five bards

Romeo and JulietFive Bard Rating

Timon of AthensTimon of Athens Earns 4 bards

Antony and CleopatraReading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

Titus AndronicusReading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

Troilus and CressidaReading Shakespeare to mark 450 years