April 23 is no ordinary day at Saint Anselm College. It is the day of Shakespeare’s 449 birthday, and the 25 anniversary of an Anselmian style celebration dedicated to this event on campus. Many of Shakespeare’s works will be read and performed on the Joan of Arc quad all afternoon in honor of this poet’s timeless works.
Each Conversatio class, which is the course being integrated into the curriculum as a replacement for humanities, will be giving a reading of one of Shakespeare’s poems or plays. Brother Isaac Murphy’s class will be performing Sonnet 68. In this class, one student has volunteered to read the poem as a soliloquy. The other Conversatio classes have decided amongst themselves how they would like to perform their pieces.
Since it is the first time Conversatio class has been taught at Saint Anselm, it will add a bit more variety to the mix of readers.
This semester, Conversatio students have been reading some of Shakespeare’s works and incorporating discussions about them into class. One of the works was one of Shakespeare’s last plays, The Tempest. The Conversatio classes delved further into the meanings behind the poet’s works, even to the point of analyzing his reasoning for using certain forms of iambic pentameter over others. This series of lessons, lectures and discussions was an aspect of Conversatio’s Beauty and the Arts section, where Shakespeare demonstrated the art of poetry.
Hope McCarthy, freshman Math major from New York, said, “I really enjoyed learning more about Shakespeare. It’s interesting to realize how many tiny details he’s incorporated into his plays and poems. His language flows so well, no wonder he’s famous even after 449 years!”
An open invitation stands to anyone who would like to attend the event or anyone who would like to contribute their performance.
Patrick Hollister, freshman Business major from New York, said, “It’s unheard of today to meet someone who has not read something written by Shakespeare. His words infiltrate almost any form of education, whether it be public, private, or any of the sort. His works carry meaning that can still be interpreted and applied to our society today, and that’s one of the greatest reasons we are still able to celebrate him with such an event on our campus. His words are truly timeless.”