West wishes Shakespeare a happy 448th birthweek


Commentary Editor/Website News Editor Hailey Stolze

Although he died 396 years ago, William Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23 is still recognized at Bellevue West every year. – In fact, it’d be better called a birthweek.

Annually, all English teachers celebrate this day by wearing shirts that say which character from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet they represent for the day.

But for English teacher Jody Petrow, the celebration didn’t stop there. She decorated her classroom with balloons, treated her classes with snacks and had a Shakespearean insult competition.

“I just thought it’d be a fun activity to make students appreciate Shakespeare,” Petrow said.

Sophomore Bobby Buller, one of Petrow’s students, disagrees with her. He believes that only English teachers actually care about the birthday of someone who died centuries ago.

“He inspired a lot of great people but I really don’t care for him myself,” Buller said.

Buller also feels that the party only made his classmates rambunctious, rather than see the importance of Shakespeare’s work.

However, another one of Petrow’s students, sophomore Lexi Madison, said she was left with a longing for a lengthened celebration. She says at the birthday festival she learned numerous interesting facts about Shakespeare.

Despite this, Petrow admits that most students aren’t able to completely comprehend Shakespeare’s messages through his plays because of the complicated language that he used. She feels that he has a deep understanding of human nature.

“He’s pretty hilarious, actually. If you’re paying attention,” Petrow said.

“A Midsummers Night’s Dream” stands out to Petrow as more comical play that Shakespeare wrote. Dressed in her ceremonial Abram from the Montagues shirt, she had her classes present their own representation of scenes from that play and Julius Caesar.

For Bellevue West, Shakespeare’s birthday was celebrated throughout the entire week, rather than just one day. Throughout this week, trivia questions were asked on the morning announcements. The winners will be announced next week.

“I personally feel a little more appreciation for his work because his birthday was such a big deal and maybe his work really is something important,” Madison said.