Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Shakespeare: A Tribute" and Meaning By Shakespeare

Goethe seems to make the argument that Shakespeare is the greatest of any playwright, and that the best that we can do is to follow in his footsteps and build upon the foundation he has laid out.  He compares Shakespeare to one who, instead of charging boldly through life, instead "wanders" and admires life.  By honoring Shakespeare, Goethe thinks we can honor ourselves.

Hawkes says that Shakespeare, on its own, does not have as much weight or relevance as it does when we assign meaning to his works in our modern world.  He says that Shakespeare has a wide effect on people from many backgrounds, and it helps us take an objective look at our worlds.  This relates to the idea that books (or any other works of art) belong to their readers, and what the author intended is not necessarily all that is relevant to or all that can be drawn from a work of literature.  He concludes that because of its eternal relevance, the works of Shakespeare must be read by all.

-Henry Strott

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