Stratford-upon-Avon

stratford-upon-avon

When I was a student in England, I was able to get cheap theater tickets, and I mostly enjoyed watching Shakespeare plays. I argued to myself that one of my classes was Shakespeare, and what better way to study it than to watch as many plays as possible? I counted how many plays I saw in that one year, and I discovered that I had attended 12 plays. The cheap student seats were usually not very close to the front, but I could hear just fine, and the choreography was wonderful. My favorite place to watch plays was in Stratford, the home town of Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon was only about 2 hours south of the university by train, so I often went there on a weekend, either alone or with friends. I also went with a group of international students whenever there was an opportunity.

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The costumes were phenomenal, and the fact that they were speaking in a British accent made it more authentic for me. The sets were beautiful, too. I noticed every detail. Actually, watching a Shakespeare play can give you an overall feel for the play that you cannot get just by reading it. After all, it is a play, and it was written to be performed.

Shakespeare’s birthplace is presumably the house where Shakespeare was born and where he grew up. It is a half-timbered house. It looks quaint both inside and out. The kitchen includes an open fireplace with a pot, and the bedroom has a cradle where presumably Shakespeare was rocked. Anne Hathaway’s cottage (where Shakespeare’s wife lived when Shakespeare was in London) looks similar to Shakespeare’s birthplace, but the gardens are much more beautiful. It has a picket fence around it.

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Holy Trinity Church in Stratford was beautiful, as most church buildings in England are. Each church is built in a cross shape facing the east where Jesus was born. The massive stone walls and beautiful stained glass windows bring about a feeling of awe as you enter. Most churches have a crypt where people are buried, and a lot of them let you go up the steeple to look down on the town. The river Avon winds around the town, and people take boats on the river. Stratford is quite picturesque, since many of the regular houses are thatched cottages. There are always good views when walking around Stratford.

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4 Responses to “Stratford-upon-Avon”

  1. Such a lovely place! And what a great experience!!!!

  2. Fascinating! I’d love to visit England someday.

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