A day of Shakespeare

Today was a general catch-up day for me. This weekend has created a valuable space between the random and peripatetic discoveries at last week’s conference and the intense focus I will need to get through the coming week of Spring semester finals.

So I spent a significant part of the day reading Shakespeare. This activity turns out to be a wonderful way to free the mind.

Just as a string of fugues by Bach will fill your head with countless melodies, the words of Shakespeare have the power to transport you far outside your normal path. The great beauty and inventiveness of language, the enormity of dramatic range, the sheer variety of voices, can all restore your faith in the possibilities of human genius.

We are living through a time when power seems to be in the hands of those who combine brutally aggression with embarrassing levels of stupidity. Now and then it is good to be reminded that we Humans, at our best, can be capable of so much more.

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