Get Thee to a Nunnery-or at least the BPL

Amy Julian

Remember back, if you will, to high school English class. You are sitting there holding a text, which might as well be in the most foreign of tongues, and you are asked to interpret and appreciate, the writing before you. I feel confident that I can say, with little reservation, that I was not the only one totally and utterly confused by the writings of William Shakespeare. The rhythms, the words that really weren’t words, the double entendres-“it was all Greek to me”. Until I learned more about the person behind the prose and learned how to interpret the writings and metaphors and all of the nuances of Shakespeare, I hated him. Now, I can say that some of my favorite books in high school that I (painstakingly) read were texts like “Julius Caesar”, “Macbeth”, and of course, “Romeo and Juliet”.

UMass Boston has partnered with the historic Boston Public Library to breathe new life into one of the world’s most beloved, and often misunderstood, writers of all time. “All the World’s a Page: 400 years of Shakespeare in Print” has given its audience a unique and remarkable glimpse into the masterpieces of William Shakespeare.

With over two dozen items on display, the exhibit surely will ignite a passion that perhaps only Shakespeare himself could convey. The books on display are some of his most famous works and the works that changed the world. A lofty claim, I’m aware, but show me a person who can’t quote at least one line of Shakespeare and I’ll recant my claim that Shakespeare has had an impact on the world. Not only are his famous texts available to the public, but also those that were “responsible for transforming Shakespeare himself,” the BPL claims.

While your idea of a fun day out may not include trekking through the works of Shakespeare, the exhibit it definitely worth taking in, as to see all of his most significant works in one place and have the resources available to you is priceless. And speaking of priceless, it’s free. In a time when movies cost over ten bucks, you can experience art in its truest form for nothing!

The exhibit will be on display at the Boston Public Library in the Rare Books Room through September 30. Support the faculty and students of UMass Boston who helped make “All the World’s a Page” possible; support literature and support one of the world’s greatest writers of all time.