Shakespeare in Rome: To Read or See a Play

This weekend London's Bedouin Shakespeare Company will be performing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre in Villa Borghese. Best of all it will be performed in English! The theater is an imitation of the Globe Theatre in London where Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed. What better way to see Romeo and Juliet than in such a theatre in the beautiful Villa Borghese? Don’t just read a play this weekend, participate as an audience member during this unique opportunity.


To read a play is pleasant but to see a play enchanting. How often do you sit at home reading a play or spend hours in class discussing a play you’ve never seen before? For most, especially students of English Literature, we spend far more time reading and listening to lectures on how each theatrical piece should look than we do viewing one as an audience member. One can spend hours upon hours imagining the props and costumes and/or trying to dream how the actor might say each line. Should this line be shouted or whispered? Would she stroll across the stage or does she rush? As a student, you should always keep in mind that each play was meant to be enjoyed as a performance. It’s far easier to understand the rhythm of Shakespeare’s verse when you can hear it melodically falling from the stage than trying to lift it from the page on your own. Of course, it’s always enjoyable to stage a performance in your mind. The actors will never falter, the scenes will be picturesque, and it’s all for an audience of one. This is all grand, but don’t be hesitant to escape the classroom or the four walls of your study and see for yourself a production come alive. Watch as the daydreams in your head become animated, as words become more than ink on pages or pixels on screens.


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