Monday, October 3, 2011

Shakespeare Is Still The Man

Source: Microsoft Office
Love him. Hate him. Don't understand him.


This is the guy who writers are still being measured against nearly 400 years after his death. And quite a few writers in history didn't seem to like that. Truth be told, writers are a jealous bunch. There. I said it. We'll congratulate a colleague who's recognized for his or her work, but deep down inside we're mumbling to ourselves.

"Can't believe people thought that was good. My work is so much better!"

OK... We're not all like that... ahem... But, here are some quotes from other writers in history about the Bard.

I remember, the Players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing, (whatsoever he penned)he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand. - Ben Jonson

Shakespeare's name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down. He had no invention as to stories, none whatever. He took all his plots from old novels, and threw their stories into a dramatic shape, at as little expense of thought as you or I could turn his plays back again into prose tales. That he threw over whatever he did write some flashes of genius, nobody can deny: but this was all. Suppose anyone to have had the dramatic handling for the first time of such ready-made stories as Lear, Macbeth, &c. and he would be a sad fellow indeed, if he did not make something very grand of them. - George Gordon, Lord Byron

I do not believe that any writer has ever exposed this bovaryisme, the human will to see things as they are not, more clearly than Shakespeare. - T.S. Eliot

When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder That such trivial people should muse and thunder in such lovely language. - D.H. Lawrence

I particularly like Lord Byron's quote. I read it and think, 'I can take old stories and make them my own. What a great idea!' Aha, that sums up literature. Doesn't it? I tip my hat to the Bard. (Tipping it now.)

Are you a Shakespeare fan? Is he still relevant today?

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