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Friday, March 9, 2012

On Shakespeare

       I never was much of a fan I'm afraid. That is until recently. Having just returned from my first trip to England I have come home with an increased respect for all things English, and that includes a bit of a first time crush on the bard. I had no idea what a fascinating man he was. I was intrigued by the story proposed in the movie Anonymous which I watched before going on vacation. It portrayed Will Shakespeare as a dolt, in great contrast to the reputation I, as a student of literature, have known of him. Quite insulting to his memory, but I like stories that get you to think about accepted theories and that question authority. Then my daughter and I toured the Globe Theatre in London and it's museum. (Unfortunately no plays are performed in winter.) And that type of physical immersion in history is just so fascinating to me, you get the profound feeling that you missed out on something so special, though the smells alone are unimaginable, the sights and sounds would have been (almost?) worth the bear-baiting and bubonic plague exposure. While at the gift shop I couldn't resist picking up a copy of Bill Bryson's work on Shakespeare. As I suspected it is a pleasure read on the subject of just who the man was. I enjoyed it immensely, and recommend it to all those for whom "love is a spirit all compact of fire".
(Venus and Adonis, 151
     What I have been most impressed to learn was the sheer number of beautiful turns of phrase that are part of our everyday English that are attributable to Shakespeare. What an amazing legacy, measured in quality or quantity, but most of all for endurance. Here is a good sampling; It is stunning.
     Here are a few of the photos we took at the Globe.

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