875. O Shakespeare!

875shakespeare

O Shakespeare! How could a single human being write such great plays? And with such insight into the human condition?

How could he write with such lyrical profundity? “To be or not to be, that is the question”. “Is this a dagger I see before me?” The list of famous quotations is endless.

I am in awe. In my opinion he’s the greatest writer that ever lived. One day I hope to read something he wrote.

43 thoughts on “875. O Shakespeare!

      1. simon682

        I was once in a student production of The Winter’s Tale. My memory is that the highest praise I could give my acting is that I learnt my lines and spoke when the other characters stopped. Like some of your other correspondents I must plead guilty to having read the lot…even Cardenio. I’m an unashamed fan.

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        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          I have been meaning to read Cardenio. I had an acting friend, who once I found lying dead in a garden during an outdoor Shakespeare festival in Christchurch NZ. I rushed off to call a doctor, while he in the meantime stood and recited “All the world’s a stage…” The audience loved it – and fortunately thought I was one of the hired actors.

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    1. Susanne

      I HATE reading Shakespeare’s plays. I had to read them in school of course but always had to go home and read them out loud often with the aid of a few stuffed animals or the occasional Barbie doll standing in for other characters. Sitting and reading them is godawful. I find I can read them after I’ve seen them performed but otherwise, no. So, ya. No. Haven’t read that many.

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Trust you to quote from one of his lesser known plays! A few years back I thought I’d “get on top of” all of Shakespeare’s plays, and I started with Henry VIII. After that and “A Comedy of Errors” I got distracted… 😦 Although I am familiar with most of the more “popular” scripts.)

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  1. arlingwoman

    I’m with those who think they’re meant to be performed. Though they do often provide lovely quotations. My favorite quote from a meeting came after a long, involved sad discussion during which it seemed the chair had given up control. Finally, during a brief lull, he seemed to come awake, leaned forward and said, “It’s just a sea of heartbreak, isn’t it?” Then he got back to the business at hand.

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  2. noelleg44

    We have ALL “read” Shakespeare, but only in bits and bites. It takes some fortitude to read an entire play. I did it in college, but far prefer to see a Royal Shakespeare Company production!

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      It’s a lot easier to go to a play than to read it. There are those, of course, who follow the play with book in hand, just as there are those who follow an orchestra with score in hand.

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  3. umashankar

    ‘Tis been reported oft
    ‘Neath the arches and colonnades of weblogs,
    Under chimneys with leftover crumbs of yesterdays,
    Beyond the swaying woods and dales,
    And the desolate thatch of the hermit:
    Those who smoked their eyes with the words
    Of the Bard are still gleaning the shards
    Of their brains on soulless heaths.

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Those are extraordinary lines…
      I think… as a man, Shakespeare was probably quite ordinary. I know someone who knew Tolkien personally, and said he was “a boring old fart”. I wonder where stands the Bard…

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