The Western Canon: "Living with Shakespeare - Essays by Writers, Actors, and Directors" by Susannah Carson (editor)
My long time fascination with Shakespeare started a long time ago when I was attending the British Council. I won’t dwell on it again.
In this “Living with Shakespeare” I didn’t get much on Hamlet, but I kept thinking about Hamlet's five soliloquies; the humour and poignancy of Kent's words in King Lear; the horror of what happens to Gloucester and the heart-rending ending of the same play. The mixed emotions of the finale to Macbeth. Mark Antony's speeches in Julius Caesar. Iago's words inOthello. Shakespeare gave the world a literary water-fountain around which to gather when engaging with the great issues of each passing generation. His heroes and villains, his comedies and his tragedies make up an unerringly eloquent compendium of human frailties/motives as the world changes - and yet nothing changes. And I've hardly scratched the surface of how Shakespeare's words have the power to move and shock and create laughter like no one else has been able to before or since. The naysayers should take the time to experience a play performed live or, at the very least, watch a film version. It will hopefully change their minds.
If you're into Shakespeare, read on.