You can find anything while scrolling through TikTok, for better or worse. Tips, tricks, Bob Ross, or, if you’re me, Shakespeare.

I’ve been finding recordings of stage performances for years, but recently I found something new. People performing Shakespeare in Southern and Appalachian accents. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but something about it gripped me.

Allow me to digress for a moment. I believe that studying Shakespeare is incredibly important. He single handedly wrote and popularized some of the most prevalent tropes in modern fiction. It’s important to study history and its facets because doing so gives us context for our culture today.

However, I understand that many people dislike Shakespeare precisely because they studied his work in high school, which, fair enough. Reading “Romeo and Juliet” at 14 or 15 and watching a cheesy movie will put anyone off of his work, especially since his work is meant to be watched, not read. And studying a tragedy isn’t fun. I’ll admit, I’m still not a fan of “Romeo and Juliet” to this day, even though I enjoy Shakespeare.

Part of the difficulty of studying and enjoying Shakespeare is how inaccessible it seems. It’s written in a flowery old version of English that scholars still discuss. Which is where TIkTok comes in.

TikTok specializes in short-form content, which means that any Shakespeare performance you find will be a small piece of work. The plays are broken up, making them easier to digest. And there are people like I mentioned earlier who are performing his works in accents and with diction that might be more familiar to us.

Say what you will about TikTok, but I can’t complain about it making the work of an important literary figure more accessible to everyone.

Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism and the Opinion Page Editor.

Views: 46

Share this story:

Leave a Reply