Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Great “Will”

Immortal for 400 years, William Shakespeare has left us an unparalleled literary treasure. Victor Hugo saw in him, «one of those indomitable geniuses made so by God that they might go fiercely and full-throttled into the infinite». And René Girard who, in his Shakespeare, les feux de l’envie, analyzes his theatrical works in order to support his own theory of mimetic desire, introduces his work with these words: «Whoever would propose a new book on Shakespeare, when thousands of studies on this author already line the shelves of the world's libraries, should began by begging forgiveness. Mine shall be the most banal, that of an irrepressible love for his theater...»

The homage that I would like to render to the great "Will" here is, as well, motivated by a love of his work and the conviction that there lie hidden there incomparable tools for understanding the human heart and the world around us. Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, the Bible: it's all there. You should undoubtedly add to that list Cervantes… who died on the same date – but not on the same day, a question of different calendars being used – as Shakespeare.

Here is a video recorded by the Shakespeare Globe, to animate a memorial walk along the river Thames, between Westminster and the Tower of London, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary. It consists of several quotes from the fourth act of Richard II – The Life and Death of King Richard II. Here one sees King Richard renounce his crown in favor of Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV.

God bless you, William !


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