It was confirmed today that the skeletal remains found underneath a parking lot in England last year indeed belong to King Richard III (www.guardian.co.uk).
This fascinating discovery led me to think of Shakespeare’s play, of course, and how we read plays in general.
If memory serves me right, the first play I read was Shakespeare’s Macbeth (I can still picture my small, rotund teacher stirring an imaginary cauldron and cackling, “Eye of newt, and toe of frog”). I’ve read many plays since then (mainly Shakespeare’s but some others), but I remember how I initially struggled to understand how one should read a play.
Should I read it aloud? In that case, should I give each character a different voice?
How much time should I spend on the stage directions? Should I mentally construct the stage before each scene?
I think it takes us all a little time to figure out the best way to read a play that suits our personal needs. For me, it turns out that reading aloud in my head works best: giving each character a different voice and “hearing” that voice in my head.
Rest in Peace, King Richard….