Today we checked out of the hostel and took a series of trains to get us to Stratford-upon-Avon. This is the birthplace and final resting place of William Shakespeare. After a walk to the bus stop, and a short ride, we arrived at the newly renovated Stratford hostel. As with all of the newly renovated hostels, this one was incredibly nice!
We took a bus back into Stratford to visit the house that William Shakespeare was born and raised in. We learned about the time period he lived in, as well as how cramped the living quarters would have been with a large family in the small house. One notable part from the tour that I found interesting was that people put their most important and expensive piece of furniture in the “living room” where guests were entertained. It was a way to show off your wealth and awe your guests. This important piece of furniture, in Shakespeare’s time, was the bed. They had a four poster bed in the room where everyone could see it, not just the family and a select few others.
We explored the city of Stratford for a few hours and met in front of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre at 7:00 p.m. We made our way into the theatre, to the third level where we were seated. The third level wasn’t what I expected when going to a theatre. The rows are stacked on top of each other, in a vertical fashion. This is different from stadium style seating, which I was expecting. The performance, As You Like It, started at 7:30 and lasted around 3 hours with a short intermission. The play was a comedy about four people trying to find love. Each of the main characters went through their own progression to learn how they must act and what they must do to be able to have a lasting relationship with their desired partner. Due to the production being a comedy, there were many funny sayings and songs throughout. Some parts were difficult to understand, but Dr. Clark, an English professor at Wartburg, was able to explain to us what they meant. It constantly was able to make us smile and feel good. The production was given a more modernized approach. Today’s clothes, and some current references were used, not so much of the traditional Shakespearean clothing I was expecting. Overall, we all liked the play and we thought it was worth attending. As You Like It made us all laugh and we left the theatre in a good mood.
After the play, we walked to the bus stop, rode to the hostel, and went to bed. It was a long and eventful day and we were all very tired.