Sunday, December 15, 2013

Why Shakespeare? The Bard’s Relevance to our Life and Times

During the week of November 4, 2013, Charlie Rose’s guests included a panel comprising the director and actors from an all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” So, just as he has done in previous programs involving guests who have staged or acted in Shakespeare’s plays, Charlie asked this panel the question: “Why Shakespeare,” meaning why should we care or bother about Shakespeare, particularly his plays.

Here are the comments of two of those on the panel that night:

Phyllida Lloyd (who directed the production): “it never dies…applies to every moment of the present…you feel you are watching a play of the world around us.”

Frances Barber (who plays the title role of Julius Caesar): “I don’t think there is any emotion any human being has ever been able to experience that he (Shakespeare) hasn’t covered—love, broken heart, jealousy, ambition, political ambitions, thwarted ambition, old age, regret—there is nothing he has not covered in the best poetry ever.

In future blog posts, I hope to feature the responses of some other recent guests of Charlie Rose who have answered his customary question “Why Shakespeare?” in a meaningful and noteworthy manner. I believe these responses can help teachers of English literature draw greater enthusiasm, passion, and appreciation from students studying works of the Great Bard of Stratford.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

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