The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1744 Friday, 17 September 2004
From: Richard Burt <
Date: Wednesday, 15 Sep 2004 08:33:41 -0400
Subject: 15.1725 Rory Bremner at the Globe
Comment: Re: SHK 15.1725 Rory Bremner at the Globe
This is the story Susanne mentions:
The Brown-Blair 'tragedy' is a dull farce
Tuesday September 14, 2004
Every now and again, to convince the politically unlettered that all
this interminable Blair-Brown stuff matters, someone will describe some
aspect of the story as "Shakespearean". Time magazine informed European
readers that "the brooding, complex Brown hungers for Blair's job with a
Shakespearean avarice". And a couple of months ago Blair's
chief-of-staff, Jonathan Powell, reportedly chose novelist, magazine
editor, newspaper columnist and Tory MP, Boris Johnson, to confide in,
allegedly telling him that Brown was the doomed hero in a Shakespearean
tragedy, "the guy who thinks he's going to be king but never gets it".
Is that right? As I learned at school from the works of Professor AC
Bradley, "No play that ends with the hero alive is, in the full
Shakespearean sense, a tragedy ... It is, in fact, essentially a tale of
suffering and calamity, conducting the hero to death ... the catastrophe
will be of monumental proportions."
How, on that basis, could you not be interested in Shakespearean
tragedy? Yet I am not interested in the Blair-Brown argument. I am bored
witless by it. And it is precisely the ways in which it deviates from
Shakespearean tragedy that makes it so irritating.
[. . . ]
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