Tuesday, 22 May 2018
We all need heroes to look up to and to do our best to emulate. My main man is William Shakespeare. Not only because he used words in a way like no other writer before, or, I would suggest, since, but he also created hundreds of new words. Now that is imagination at its best. Not only this but he formed the words into plays that spoke of the human condition and of human nature in a way that any modern day psychologist should envy. His observation skills must have been fantastic. It's as if he understood people to their very core and recognised how their joys and pain were best expressed. He was able to turn any situation into comedy or tragedy, or both and often in the same play. Being the consumate playwright, who needed to make a living for himself and his actors, he knew he had to please his audience, most of whom were the ordinary people who stood and watched and probably laughed and cried and hassled as loudly as any modern audience at a concert or a stand - up comedy gig. Throughout it all he managed to make serious comments about social and cultural issues of the past and of his own era. These well tested comments have travelled so well that his works have been performed in each decade down each century. (with a few exceptions) What better judgement of quality and skill and relevance is there than that.
While I admire the words written by Paul Simon, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Leonard Cohen, each saying very profound things about people and life in their songs, I doubt if they will be performed in four hundred years time. But then this is not certain. It is good to think they might be. Words that describe how people think and feel at any given moment have a power of their own. All power to words and thank you William!