Who is the mysterious figure, the alter ego of your Bard Renegade?
Simple-- her name is Nicky Winder, when the wind is southerly. Otherwise, it's a longer, given one starting with 'A'. This website you're reading is her pet project.
This website takes its roots in the fall of my Sophomore year in high school. Before this, there came days in my life where my highest achievement was using the toaster properly. In all functions, I was an idiot. Depression descended upon my stagnant mind and I grew into a slump that I fed with video games and BBC reruns.
I was useless. Pointless. And I smelled.
September 25th. My teacher dealt out copies of a play I had only heard reference in through casual conversation and had no interest in putting it elsewhere. Hamlet, to me, was one step above the plague. The sheep I had been at the time, I displayed contempt along with my classmates; vaguely, I remembered hoping there might be enough story in this to scavenge a fan fiction spinoff. After all, what good could the drivel of Shakespeare possibly bring to my life?
A great deal of good, as it turned out. As we read the book alongside the Branagh version (which, to this day, remains my favorite) the gibberish of the 17th century metamorphosed into something I understood-- something I wanted to understand! The plight of Hamlet drew me in, and all the intrigue that came with it: the psychology, the characters, the conspiracies... it held me by the collar and muttered phrases that my fifteen year old self found sensual. To sleep, perchance to dream... rotten Denmark... prison Denmark... flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...
Soon, I found myself debating like a scholar over the madness of Hamlet while my classmates mildly wondered what madness came over myself.
And I enjoyed every moment.
Hamlet traded for the brilliant Tom Stoppard spinoff centered around Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern (or vice versa), and then Shakespeare waned in my interests and I moved to discover other playwrights. I have read and still read everything from Sophocles to Andrew Lloyd Weber, and delight in the opportunities to observe plays, musicals, operas in performance. Someday, I hope to add my name among the blot of playwrights, but, well.
Until then, I have a blog to write about Shakespeare.
Here's where this website's purpose splits: mainly, it has two goals:
a) The Review Blog (cue the canned applause)! Here's the original project I had slotted for this website... it spurned from a website whose sole purpose was to brutally review everything Phantom of the Opera. Spin-offs and the like. I found it amusing, but then an idea gave me intrigue: surely, there's enough written about Shakespeare's books to cover for centuries.
And that is what the main purpose of Renegade Bard Reviews is, my dear. We (well, I) investigate all the Shakespeare remakes and determine whether or not they're worth buying, so that you don't have to. Also, if you like half-baked witty banter, well... not to brag, but I can throw a pun meaner than the ol' Bard himself (okay no, I actually suck at jokes as a whole-- puns in particular. People cry when they hear them.)
So we've got that going here, a review blog... and then there's the second project. This one, I have slightly more excitement for, as... well... I'm a nerd.
INTRODUCING OBJECTIVE TWO.
b) to read every single Shakespeare sonnet, play, and general rhyme-y awesomeness by my senior year of hospital. And write columns about it along the way. And little parody ficlets. C'mon. We can play with this idea.
The reasoning behind this one lies in a tribute to the playwright who dragged me from my teenage depression and gave me passion. Recently, I've bought a Complete Works, etc, etc, of William Shakespeare at a yard sale, which will assist me in this task.
As I write, I have read this many of the Shakespeare plays:
Two Gentlemen of Verona
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Yeah, I have a ways to go... but that leaves room for column posts and commentary along the journey, doesn't it? I think it does.
There are more projects I have planned for this site: a game is in the outlining stages concerning the Twelfth Night play.. if it goes well, I'll make more.
At the moment, I realize there are very little of you who care about this website. Few people have passion for Shakespeare in my peer group, and on the internet... well, can I get a hello for all of you who found this website through essay research?
I know I am no expert in deciphering Shakespeare-- quite the ametaur, in fact. But by the end of senior year, I'm hoping that my sheer passion will compensate for this and make this website something worth following. Bear with me until then. I'll try to make this as painless as possible.
Farewell! (exits through trapdoor, with swoosh of cape.)