Sir Patrick Stewart Is Reading #ASonnetADay to Sooth Fans in Quarantine
Even as he reprises his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard on CBS All Access' Star Trek: Picard, celebrated actor Sir Patrick Stewart is drawing from his classically trained roots for a different part. These days, he's comforting fans during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by reciting William Shakespeare's sonnets.
Stewart began his professional acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, working with the renowned British acting troupe from 1966 to 1982. After drawing from this background to recite Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" over the weekend, Stewart was heartened by the positive response online and resolved to share a Sonnet each day during the global health crisis.
Shakespeare wrote 154 individual sonnets outside of his plays, with the first collection published in 1609. The sonnets ran for 14 lines each and featured a strict rhyme pattern and cadence, but they were considered relatively revolutionary for addressing then-contemporary topics rather than celebrating classical Roman-Greco figures.
Prior to appearing to as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, Stewart was largely unknown outside of the British theater scene. Starting out, he appeared sporadically in television and film, including a small role in the film Excalibur. Stewart has cited his love of Shakespeare and classical theater even after becoming a household name, which is further evidenced by his reading of the Bard's poetry.