15 May 2012

In Shakespeare's Defense

Shakespeare is one of  the best writers of all time. Of course that is my opinion, but there are many who share it. He has inspired and influenced myriad writers, and his works have been re-done, made into movies, told in different ways, plots stolen, characters pilfered. Much as Shakespeare has done, has been done unto him.

Why are others from the late 1500 and early 1600's not adapted as much as Shakespeare?  D'uh! The reason nobody else from that time is being regularly adapted, is because they were too ordinary. Yes, they may have been popular at the time, but they did not also simultaneously reach a high character-driven level of literature.

Shakespeare is one of the most serious writers I have ever come across. He went away from his family, his home: to act, then to write. How many writers do that today? They usually read in one of the writing magazines about how they can balance their writing and personal life, then they try it until the next article comes out telling them they need to have their space. For Shakespeare there seems to be no difference between the personal and the writing life. He was a writer, first and foremost.

Shakespeare is still going because he was able to write many plays that (had they been written today) could be considered popular fiction, but at the same time he was able to write at a level of literary above any before or since.

I think people want to stop reading Shakespeare simply because they are too lazy to learn to read the Elizabethan English.  They fail to see the variety of characters that come alive in Shakespeare's works.  I know no writer today who is able to achieve the high level of popularity, as he did in the theatre: and, at the same time, have such realistic characters and the ability to make his audience suspend disbelief in those situations where that is necessary.  And on top of all that, maintain his level of output.  It just isn't being done.

Shakespeare has plenty to say to us, if we will take the iGarbage away from our ears and faces for five minutes and actually pay attention.  This is the trouble: all the tech is causing brain rot.  Soon, we'll all be zombies who won't know how to piss without first consulting an app on our phone.  Jesus!  But that is for another blog post....

All hail the Bard!  Bardolatry for life!

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