Sunday, October 22, 2017

Shakespeare and the Modern Mind

My reply to a question on The Shakespeare Forum:
"Shakespeare discovers and articulates the modern mind before, and often more startlingly and with more unexpected insight, than any other dramatist, in language that remains fresh because the verse he wrote in does not let the imagery and ideas settle into any one unequivocal and fixed meaning; his verse asks for ever renewed interrogation of ideas that both underpin our understanding of ourselves as moderns and hold the clues to nuances of understanding the modern mind that we may have FORGOTTEN, as our discourse as grown steadily more prosaic, more rationalistically ‘defined’ through the sciences, social sciences, political discourse, and overly didactic literature (e.g., novels are way more didactic than early modern plays, it seems to me, even when early modern plays are emphasizing ‘poetic justice.’) 
In brief: Shakespeare reacquaints us with the forgotten magnitude of ideas we have fallen into the habit of making small."
(Lightly edited for clarity; bookmarking here for later self-plagiarizing; when I get around to reusing it, I'll make it sound less self important.)

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