Saturday, 30 January 2010

The greatest

How brilliant is Shakespeare... After a long day at Newport discussing the way forward for Charismatic Renewal in Wales, and a full congregation and demanding homily at St Paul's this evening, I resisted through tiredness a tempting invitation to go out for a drink, and instead got some supper and looked for something on the telly. What I found on BBC4 was the recent production of "Hamlet" with David "Dr Who" Tennant.
Well I was, as they say, rivetted. The performances were excellent, but it was the skill of Shakespeare that caught me. I did English Literature at A level, and our two Shakespeare plays were "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hamlet". However an 18 year old cramming for exams is not well placed to begin to grasp Shakespeare's grasp of life and the English language. Life and death, love and betrayal, madness real and feigned - the list of themes handled in this brilliant piece goes on.  Quite simply he tackled the Big Questions, as all great art does, I believe. When all the dead bodies litter the stage at the end, it's an exciting climax that is also a vivid picture of the terrible effect of our actions. We only get one shot at this life, and, as the Prince says, "The rest is silence". No more pain, hatred, hunger, anger, jealousy, or poison literal or metaphorical...

No comments:

Post a Comment