Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 12.31.37 PM
PM Carpenter, your host. Email: pmcarp at mchsi dot com.
Screenshot 2024-05-27 at 11.05.06 AM


  • ***


« Mein Computer ist kaput | Main | Update auf kaputen Computer »

December 27, 2014


Peter G

I've never seen the paradox. For the most part humans do not give a rodent's rectum about things that do not directly affect their lives. Right up until some authority says they can't do something or say something. Then they will line up for the opportunity. The more severe the oppression the fewer the dissidents but they make up in passion for what they lack in numbers. This might as well be a physical law. In every place where there is censorship there is also something like samizdat. Shakespeare practiced the most elegant art of dancing in the grey zones where the oppression of authority always does more harm to the authorities than their victim. At this he was brilliant.

David & Son of Duff

A fascinating topic. WS is an exceedingly elusive character. We know very, very little of his life and thus we must use his works to *try* and make some guesses as to his character.

I think he was what Marx would have classified as a 'petit bourgeois' but one with ambition. Like most of his class I think he was a strong believer in not rocking the boat! On the great divide in his society, I suspect that his sympathies lay with the Catholics - his family was Catholic - but given that by the end of the 16th century it looked as though Protestantism was in the ascendency he bowed his head to the inevitable.

Not, I hasten to add, that I think he was even a theist towards the end of his life. 'King Lear' is a shocking description of a cold, uncaring, implacable universe without a trace of redemption. That is why he set it firmly in a *pre*-Christian era and only refers to 'the gods' with a lower case 'g'. His was a subtle mind, always one step ahead of bureaucratic censors - although 'Richard II' nearly got him into trouble!

There is a 20th century equivalent whom I admire enormously and that is Dimitri Shostakovich. He had to write his music under the baleful eye of Stalin. Oddly enough, in my opinion, anyway, that actually improved his music which, in his younger days, was tending to veer off into the desert of modernism. Stalin cracked the whip and 'Shosta' quickly straightened up and produced some of his greatest music, even if, one senses some discrete irony in it.

The comments to this entry are closed.