When I was in the ninth grade, our English class did a whole week on Shakespeare. Or was it a month? I can’t remember but it seemed like a long time at the time. Our teacher, Miss Edwards, gave us handouts (including a full page picture of ol’ Will’s face with the instructions “Do not deface the face”) to place in a folder, which would be our guide and Bible during the lessons.
(As an aside, much later on during the month, someone made photocopies of Will’s head, defaced them and hung them up in various parts of the school. We thought this was the height of comedy).
Our play for study wasJulius Caesar. Miss Edwards had all sorts of activities planned for us beyond the standard read-the-play-aloud fare. The one thing that sticks out in my mind the most is she had each choose a monologue from the play (besides the “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”) to memorize and then perform in front of the class for a grade.
To my performance-loving heart, this was an assignment I could ace. I chose a speech by Antony, given just after Caesar is killed by the conspirators. My performance was a hit, so much so that Miss Edwards refrenced it when signing my yearbook. To this day I can still recite most, if not all of it, from memory.