Happy Birthday Wullie
Today is the four hundred and forty fourth anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.
I first encountered him when I was given Julius Caesar in first year at school. I thought it was rubbish and couldn’t understand a word. I blame the teacher, who failed to point out the subtleties and fun in his work and that this great bard added more new words to the English language than almost anyone else, but maybe the teacher didn’t get it either.
In second year The Merchant of Venice needed no translation, I was mesmerised by Portia and thrilled by the ending.
Macbeth was next and this time the school took us to a performance at the newly opened Macrobert Centre in Stirling (I am showing my age here!). We had great fun shouting out the name of the play to the cast while they tried to perform; it was all very juvenile.
They kept the best till last and gave us Hamlet for ‘O’ Level. I can’t remember the play for the Highers, I suspect it wasn’t Shakey.
I still have the books in my bookcase, I must have ‘forgotten’ to hand them back to the school along with the copy of ‘1984’. Even at that early age I had a tendency for hoarding books, but that is another story.