The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0452  Thursday, 5 July 2007

From: 		Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 5 Jul 2007 10:22:35 +0100
Subject: 18.0447 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0447 Degree in Shakespeare

I think Donald Bloom come nearest to defining the social value of 
studying Shakespeare's works - but for the most part the response to my 
original plea has been vague and unconvincing.  I am therefore bound to 
conclude that their reading of the bard is no more than an intellectual 
position - that this list is a collection of nerdy literary buffs with 
absolutely no idea of the true social implications of propagating 
Shakespeare's writing.  And as incredulous as Terence Hawkes may sound, 
the boy Brian on TV actually had never heard of Shakespeare - I bet my 
shirt on it.

The weak justification from this list prompts me to widen this topic. 
The war that is raging around us - not least in London as I write - is 
not of car bombs and mad suicides but one of opposing visions of global 
morality. Not one person in this list applied themselves to this aspect 
of Shakespeare's works which is tragic in itself.  The most I got - and 
from other like posts - was that they were promoting some marginal 
pleasure which looks alarmingly like intellectual escapism.

Unless we lay out our moral stall for the whole world to see - and be 
proud of it - all the future holds is some tyrant's version of Sharia 
law - or something.  The sum total of the product of the West is not 
George Bush and Tony Blair and all the vile incompetence that goes with 
them.  This great rambling, incomprehensible, loose federation of 
neo-Christian cultures we call the liberal democratic west has also 
produced Leonardo, Rembrandt, Bach, Dickens, Van Gogh, Einstein, the 
consumer economy - and yes, Hollywood and Rock'n'Roll.

Shakespeare was very often enraged by the morality of his contemporaries 
- but he spoke out in drama - and for the most part, was allowed to do 
so. Shakespeare was almost consumed by moral behaviour - morals of self, 
sexuality, religion, politics and the plain effects of how we treat each 

The fact that smart people don't want to be part of our governments 
anymore is a problem for all of us to face.  Perhaps it's Shakespeare theme.

Still troubled.


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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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