feedback: I Hate Shakespeare

November 9, 2011
Trista Pintavorn’s college essay, “I Hate Shakespeare,” in the November 2011 issue is certainly one of the most relatable pieces I have found in Teen Ink. In it, she explains the story of how she came to not only accept, but admire and revere Shakespeare’s work. It is a humorous tale, yet it also gave me some extremely helpful advice that will be useful my entire life.

Trista begins by stating that she is a literature nerd and how she collects books “like North Korea collects weapons, like the United States collects debt, like Tiger Woods collects women.” She has a literature addiction, which many of the teens reading Teen Ink can relate to. But after building up the image of a complete bookworm, she surprises the reader by spilling her secret shame: she abhors William Shakespeare. However, I feel that this makes her seem more normal, more human. I’m sure there are many teens, even writers, who cannot understand what makes William Shakespeare such a genius. I, too, am not a huge fan of Shakespeare’s work, and for the same reason as Trista: we simply cannot understand what he’s trying to say. As Trista puts it in her essay, “Honestly, his ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ and ‘wherefores’ doth make me want to punch him in thy face.”

Despite this, Trista was determined to do well on her “Hamlet” test, so she reluctantly immersed herself in Shakespeare’s work. After much reading and note-taking, she suddenly discovered that she was actually enjoying it. Once she took the time to concentrate on it and make the effort to understand, she realized Shakespeare truly was a genius. And this is the advice that I think will help me in the future. If something seems extremely challenging, or perhaps just boring, I should make more of an effort to understand, and I might just find that it isn’t so bad. Even if I don’t fully enjoy it, it will pay off in the end, just as Trista ended up with a 92 on her “Hamlet” exam. I should never back down from a challenge, even if I believe I will fail, because facing it is a victory in itself.

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