I'm not sure why but reading Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade brought to life English for me. The sheer brilliance of Shakespeare's writing intrigued and delighted me so much that I decided I wanted to get an English degree in College. Granted, at the time I read Romeo and Juliet I probably only understood about 30% of it (probably a good thing at my age), but that's what I loved about it. His work challenged me; it was more than just reading, it was dissecting, and it required thinking.
Since 9th grade I have enjoyed seeing several of Shakespeare's tragedies and comedies, and I have relished in his sonnets and dramas. One of my favorites is Othello. Although dark, it has taught me about the importance of disputing irrational thoughts because if they are left to mull over, they become beliefs and those beliefs become reality. Even if the reality is completely distorted. Anyway, it is a great read!
One of my all-time favorite pieces of Shakespeare is sonnet 116. It is, to me, one of the greatest love sonnets ever written. Enjoy!
SONNET 116Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.