Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

As I sit here throwing ideas around for this blog post, I have also left work behind for a week and now preparing for the annual family trip – this year to Cyprus. I haven’t written a post a week in advance of going live before, but having received an email from my friends AJ and Melissa, I felt compelled to oblige. What are you banging on about, I hear you now shouting?

Well I will tell you. On the 23rd of April it will be Shakespeare’s birthday. AJ and Melissa are in Stratford Upon Avon (the world changing travellers that they are) and working with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Melissa asked if I would read out a couple of lines from Henry V for a video montage, and write a blog about how Shakespeare has affected my life.

My first thoughts were around how I wouldn’t say I have a passion per se for Billy. It has been some years since I studied him for my GCSEs. Also I am not even so big on literature or plays in everyday life. Sure, I visit the theatre in London’s West End and currently have Tony Blair’s book on my Kindle, but not quite the same hey.

Then I thought deeper about what I do know of William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet was a book and film I have thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the way two people who should not be together because of their families and backgrounds, defied this. At heart I am a romantic and I enjoyed how passionate the two characters were and that nothing else mattered to them, but the connection they had with each other. Maybe the fact they shouldn’t be together made it all the more exciting for them? I have had a long distance relationship in the past and can relate to making something work against all the odds. I am now single, but the break up didn’t involve suicide or tragedy, we are in fact still good friends.

Beyond some links between personal relationships and non conformity, I like how Shakespeare has shaped modern culture. We always think about how Hollywood movies shape our view on love, action and life generally. The way I am romantic and like to rebel may come from some Hollywood stirrings in my sub conscious. However if you take Shakespeare’s views in Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet (admittedly about the limit of my full knowledge to be fair) he actually invented story telling, sensationalism in romance and hardcore tragedy.

Just mentioning the word story telling here sparks another point. I am telling my story daily through social media. The more engaged you guys are, the more feedback I get. I can then learn more, hopefully you guys learn new things too, and we enter a state of communication, progression and educating. Shakespeare started these types of conversations many years ago. Through time, changes in our environments and re-telling the stories some things have changed, while others have stayed the same.

We all love, we all go through tragedy and at heart we all strive for something exciting and different. Many just observe and discuss this. I realise I like observing and discussing, but also like doing. That’s why I tell my story, to show disabled people rock and the world should know so.

So what has Shakespeare done for me? He has shown me to stay romantic, defy the norm and become the best story teller I can be!

I am off to climb the balcony of my sweetheart before heading to the airport. Any tips on getting 150kg of wheelchair up a balcony? Answers on a postcard please!

Flickr Credit: tonynetone

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