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Hard to say anything new about Shakespeare. New for me is the best I can do. So this thought is new for me, but perhaps not to all of you. I think about him quite a lot. I hold Marlowe up against him, (not that way, stop snickering!) Shakespeare seems older. Of course he did get older. We know him in his middle age. I get a sonnet every morning in my inbox. I read them while I am still sleepy. Today was 152. He is whining about how his gf is perhaps cheating on him. He whines a lot for a married man, who was himself cheating with women and men. Still you have the feeling that WS is turning an amused eye at his own duplicity. He knows he is doing something wicked. (Even if his wife was fine with it, it was still not ok with the church.)

Kit was a shooting star. Kit seems, for all his puffing, innocent in comparison.

I am writing now about his first years away from home. He really was a kid. He was only a year or so older than my daughter. He had lived at home before that, his school days were long, he had to slog through an awful lot of Latin. Boys were also expected to help at home. He would have had wood and water to fetch, and other tasks for his parents. He got one day off a week. He spent it at church.

So then to Cambridge. There, to my surprise, he was not allowed to do anything! No speaking English, no clowning around. No leaving the campus, no bright colors. Lots of Latin. Hebrew and Greek too. Maybe he liked the study of other languages. Too bad if he did not, no choice. Beatings scheduled for public observation every Wednesday afternoon. He was a clever poor boy with an attitude already. When I see him in his heart he is always skinny and shivering. I want to hug him. I love WS, and he had some real sadness in his life, but I don't feel the urge to hug him.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
I find it hard to remember that Kit was so young, there is such astonishing depth in his writing. He seems to have lived a lot in the years that had, too much perhaps.

I think you're right about Shakespeare, too prickly a man to want to hug.
Mar. 5th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Shakespeare is a real enigma. How was it that he knew so much about people and how they felt? Kit I see as being full of bravado but underneath it not nearly as confident as he makes out. He was always questioning everything, in an age where it was dangerous not to be orthodox. I think Will kept his head down more.
Mar. 6th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
I think of Shakespeare like Miss Marple. An observer of people and life in Stratford, transferring that to his characters. Very knowing, our Will.
Mar. 6th, 2014 06:22 am (UTC)
This is fascinating, elegant observation. I don't know much about Marlowe at all, but it's great to read about him from your perspective.
Mar. 6th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Will you would always be wondering if you were going to feature in an accurate but painful version of yourself in a new play I think.

A somewhat forensic eye indeed - I have a friend who ancestors include the man who was proabably the model for Malvolio which seems an amazing thing in someones family tree- but he is just one of the examples of how unkind Will could be though accurate too.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )