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Billy Shakespeare Wrote a Whole Bunch of Sonnets

Billy Shakespeare Wrote a Whole Bunch of Sonnets

STICK WITH ME ON THIS ONE...

This post is the closest thing I get to a magic trick.

a tribute to shakespeare, and his effect on all art and language.

To my amazement, some accuse Shakespeare of being a total fraud. To some barefaced critics his fame is merely circumstantial–these discontents just cater to the addictions of countless academe-types who besmirch any successful writers with jaded character assassinations.

I find their criticism laughable. Sure, gloomy, green-eyed students find his plays to be disheartening. His dramas, at their worst, are full of gossip and hobnob the lower classes find pedantic. But now our stories pander to the champions of celebrity: we've compromised with dauntless characters who show no signs of humanity at all! These new heroes are impartial in their judgements, olympians in their physiques, and they arouse no genuine emotion in the audience. We just watch another white male secure the blushing damsel in distress–saving the day over and over again. It may be fashionable to fill your movie with deafening explosions and frugal character development–with such an hurried pace your audience feels epileptic–because your film is merely advertising. Certainly, this sort of fanfare is marketable (especially in China, apparently.) But my patience, with this kind of storytelling, is dwindling.

Where is the zany, madcap hilarity? Where are the lustrous set-pieces?  It takes more than special effects to make a moment majestic and radiant. Our plots are now hosted by some of the most monumental locations on earth, but the setting often feels lacklustre. Can we return to a noiseless spectacle, inspired by the brilliance of the breathtaking landscapes all around us?

Where is the remorseless savagery? Where is the cold-blooded, premeditated villainy? I'm not looking for anything obscene. I'm just talking about the classic bandits and gnarled rogues who submerge the whole story in dread. We can't even have bloodstained heroes anymore– no tortured souls, no flawed protagonists. Muscular heroes metamorphose into costumed heroes, but broken people never change into noble souls. And our attempts at tension feel unreal. When Indiana Jones fought the Nazi brute below the propeller, it was more than just a scuffle: Indy's swagger was impeded by a real sense of danger. We yawn when our villains and our heroes meet: these summits of conflict now feel tranquil.

Where is the real romance before our love interests head into the bedroom? The only sentiment the audience experiences, before most characters get undressed, is some hint of mutual attraction. It only takes a gust of wind, and these actors drop their luggage and expose themselves (or hide under strategically placed blankets), basking in sensuous moonbeams until dawn. But their love still feels lonely. I'm not advocating for Victorian courtships, or anything–taking the excitement out of romance makes love bland as skim milk. I'm just backing the missing elements of sincerity and vulnerability in the love stories we tell. (And it's time Hollywood love scenes involved more elbows, too. These people are so smooth, it makes me want to puke.)

Shakespeare's plays are the birthplace of populist storytelling. I think that all of us, at one time or another, struggled with his plays–vaulting over soliloquies, like grammar mountaineers. Or maybe your experience varied.  Maybe you struggled like a beached whale in class, with your eyeballs glued to the clock, waiting for the buzzer. (Some people in my class didn't even crack Macbeth open without being drugged first. They'd snicker and bump each other through every ode, then fail the tests, then negotiate for another chance– until they were grovelling. ) But Shakespeare is a fixture in our modern english classes for a reason. There's a reason we mimic his tales over and over again.

I don't mean to be obsequious. I wouldn't label any of Billy Shakespeare's plays to be my absolute favourite. But he is unequivocally great, because his stories contain more than just the occasional outbreaks of humanity– they are absolutely caked in our most relatable emotions. And they remain invulnerable to lasting criticism because of it. 

Oh, and I'd bet one other reason for Shakespeare's permanence is all the words he created. They're scattered generously through every sentence of this piece. Sorry for the rant.

A shakespeare word is hidden in every sentence.

EVERY WORD ATTRIBUTED TO HIM IS INCLUDED. 

THEY ARE hyperlinked to the first time THEY appear in print


To my amazement, some accuse Shakespeare of being a total fraud. To some barefaced critics his fame is merely circumstantial–these discontents just cater to the addictions of countless academey-types who besmirch any successful writers with jaded literary critiques and character  assassinations.

I find their criticism laughableSure–gloomy, green-eyed students find his plays to be disheartening. His dramas, at their worst, are full of the gossip and hobnob the lower classes have always found pedanticBut now our stories pander to the champions of celebrity: we've compromised with dauntless characters who show no signs of humanity at all! These new heroes are impartial in their judgements, olympians in their physiques, and they arouse no genuine emotion in the audience. We just watch another white male secure the blushing damsel in distress–saving the day over and over again. It may be fashionable to fill your movie with deafening explosions and frugal character development–with such an hurried pace your audience feels epilepticbecause your film is merely advertising. Certainly, this sort of fanfare is marketable, but my patience with this kind of storytelling is dwindling.

Where is the zany, madcap hilarity? Where are the lustrous set-pieces?  It takes more than special effects to make a moment majestic and radiant. Our plots are now hosted by some of the most monumental locations on earth, but the setting often feels lacklustre. Can we return to a noiseless spectacle, filled with breathless wonder, inspired by the brilliance of the breathtaking landscapes all around us?

Where is the remorseless savagery? Where is the cold-blooded, premeditated villainyI'm not looking for anything obscene. I'm just talking about the classic bandits and gnarled rogues who submerge the whole story in dread. We can't even have bloodstained heroes anymore– no tortured souls, no flawed protagonists. Muscular heroes metamorphose into costumed heroes, but broken people never change into noble souls. And our attempts at tension feel unreal. When Indiana Jones fought the Nazi brute below the propeller, it was more than just a scuffleIndy's swagger was impeded by a real sense of danger. We now yawn when our villains and our heroes meet: these summits of conflict now feel tranquil.

Where is the real romance before our love interests head into the bedroom? The only sentiment the audience experiences, before most characters get undressed, is some hint of mutual attraction. It only takes a gust of wind and these actors drop their luggage and expose themselves (or hide under strategically placed blankets), basking in the sensuous moonbeams and rich jazz until dawn. But their love still feels lonely. I'm not advocating for Victorian courtships, or anything–taking the excitement out of romance makes our love stories as bland as skim milk. I'm just backing the missing elements of sincerity and vulnerability in the love stories we tell. (And it's time Hollywood love scenes involved more elbows, tooThese people are so smooth, it makes me want to puke.)

Shakespeare's plays are the birthplace of populist storytelling. I think that all of us, at one time or another, struggled with his works–vaulting over soliloquies, like grammar mountaineers. Or maybe your experience varied.  Maybe you struggled like a beached whale in class, with your eyeballs glued to the clock, waiting for the buzzer to set you free. (Some people in my class didn't even crack Macbeth open without being drugged first. They'd snicker and bump each other through every ode, then fail the tests, then attempt to negotiate for another chance– until they were grovelling. ) But Shakespeare is a fixture in our modern english classes for a reason. There's a reason we mimic his tales over and over again.

I don't mean to be obsequiousI wouldn't label any of Billy Shakespeare's plays to be my absolute favourite. But he is unequivocally great, because his stories contain more than just the occasional outbreaks of humanity– they are absolutely caked in our most relatable emotions. And they remain invulnerable to lasting criticism because of it.

Oh, and I'd bet one other reason for Shakespeare's permanence is all the words he created. They're scattered generously through every sentence of this piece. Sorry for the rant.

           


AND THIS IS PERHAPS THE GREATEST TRIBUTE ANYONE'S EVER GIVEN SHAKESPEARE.

One of the greatest love songs of all time.

 

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