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  • Writer's pictureAnanya Ridenour

What Is It About Shakespeare That Captures The Imagination?

What is it about Shakespeare that captures the imagination? That allows us to dream? Wants us to ask for more and keep on going back to the bard?

I was fortunate to have gone to the Shakespeare Day at the Huntington Library and Gardens yesterday in which I was joined by both my mother and daughter. Although my mother and I know Shakespeare well enough, this was the first time my seven-year-old daughter was exposed to it. The Huntington did a great job in making the activities interactive, so it was easier for my daughter to gain an initial interest and keep it. We were able to see a scene from “Twelfth Night” acted upon the lawn, hear Elizabethan musicians and play games from that time with ladies and gentlemen dressed in appropriate attire. To top it off, my daughter got to partake in arts and crafts activities by making clothes pin fairies and her very own fairy wings, which she proudly wore throughout the park.

Although the arts and crafts were probably her favorite activity, my daughter was still engaged and capitated by the other events as well. She might not have understood all the humor in “Twelfth Night” but she saw people laughing and having a great time. We even took the time to explore the Shakespeare Garden, which has always been of my favorite areas of the grounds. The Shakespeare Garden has plaques that display quotes from his plays that mention a flower that is located next to it.

There were many visitors at the Huntington Library and Gardens that day and I can only surmise that a contributing factor was due to the Shakespeare festivities. Amazing to think of one person who lived hundreds of years ago who had such a lasting affect on people. I think the main reason for his everlasting presence is story. His stories have and always will capture our dreams, thoughts, and imaginations. Luckily, my daughter has now been exposed to Shakespeare and soon her dreams make take flight.

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