Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Shakespeare is a European - Shakespeare would not and cannot Brexit

Shakespeare could not have voted for Brexit.

Shakespeare might, of course, have written a tragedy about Brexit. It's a subject for a tragedy and farce because it's about lies, misunderstandings, feuds, boundaries, wars and ambitions all of which bring damage and death..
Shakespeare belongs to all humans because he wrote about the human condition.
Fundamentally Brexit is a reduction of humanity. Britons go from being important actors on a world stage to disappearing up their own ever diminishing island fundament.  Scottish independence is the same. A diminution of what it is to be human from a universal respect for humanity to a populist jingoism.
Brexit if you must - but William Shakespeare belongs to the global village - all of humanity - he will never be part of Brexit.

I found this quote from a paper by Richard Wilson
"The Globe Theatre […] would have been for Shakespeare the pattern of the universe, the idea of the Macrocosm, the world stage on which the Microcosm acted his parts. All the world’s a stage." The words are in a real sense the clue to the Globe Theatre." It is by Juegen Schulz, ‘Maps as Metaphors: Mural Map Cycles of the Italian Renaissance’.

 I borrowed this too -
 The Settings of Shakespeare's Plays by Date for a chronology of the content of the plays.

All’s Well that Ends Well
Setting: Rousillon, Paris, Florence, and Marseilles

Antony and Cleopatra
Setting: Parts of the Roman Empire

As You Like It
Setting: Forest of Arden

The Comedy of Errors
Setting: Ephesus

Setting: Rome, Corioli, and Antium

Setting: Britain, Italy

Setting: Elsinore

Julius Caesar
Setting: Rome; afterwards, Sardis and near Philippi

King Lear
Setting: Britain

Love’s Labour’s Lost
Setting: Navarre

Setting: Scotland and England

Measure for Measure
Setting: Vienna

The Merchant of Venice
Setting: Partly in Venice, and partly at Belmont, the seat of Portia on the Continent

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Setting: Windsor

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Setting: Athens, and a wood nearby

Much Ado about Nothing
Setting: Messina

Setting: Venice (for first act) and a sea-port in Cyprus

Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Setting: various countries

Romeo and Juliet
Setting: Verona and Mantua

The Taming of the Shrew
Setting: Sometimes in Padua, and sometimes in Petruchio's home in the country

The Tempest
Setting: The Sea; afterwards an Island

Timon of Athens
Setting: Athens

Titus Andronicus
Setting: Rome

Troilus and Cressida
Setting: Troy

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Setting: Verona, Milan, and the frontiers of Mantua

Twelfth Night
Setting: A city in Illyria, and the sea-coast nearby

The Winter’s Tale
Setting: Sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia

Go on then - Brexit - but you can't take Shakespeare away from the world, from Europe and from humanity - he won't fit into anything so small-minded even with Boris's putting all his weight onto it.

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