segunda-feira, novembro 16, 2015

Killing Frenzy: "Richard III" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom


Published 2008.


A typical king;
Killed everybody who got in his way;
A typical fat slob of a king;
Out to get his own greedy needs met;
Uses every individual who crossed his path;
More often than not, slap happy drunk;
Seen on numerous occasion dancing amongst the moon lit paths;
Often times his royal trousers would fall to his ankles causing the King to fall face down.

Was Shakespeare’s Richard any different from some of the politicians we all know so well?  The only difference is that they're not allowed to get away with it as much, what with the paparazzi and all.

I finished reading this, Richard III, prior to go see him in the theatre. Even in Portuguese I felt as if I’d come under a spell. What marvelous language. Everyone knows this. It’s obvious, but does everyone really know it? It’s different to know than to experience. And I’ve experienced, once again, the glory of his language in this story.

Even the fact that he murdered many people, his words still move me. In the beginning this was one of my least favourite plays. Why? I became disgusted with his hypocrisy, but I started to be under his (Shakespeare’s) language spell later on in life and I came to appreciate this play even more. Only language makes Richard III worth reading and seeing.

Thinking about Hitler, we all know the power of a leader comes through the spoken word, and the fire and zeal of the speech. As politicians go, Richard was the greatest of them all. He showed us words are powerful.

Once again Shakespeare kept me on the edge of my seat. Shakespeare, like any good SF writer, carries me to other worlds, make-believe kingdoms; he shows me how a bunch of "mythical" beings can still give me a realistic insight into our modern world.

With his characters, and Richard III is a very good case in point, makes me see human life in its entire nudity, and its joy and tragedy. What do I learn by reading Shakespeare? He draws my attention to how we, as humans, are fragile in relation to the turmoil living within us.

I'm still flabbergasted how he can "reveal" the truth about the fragility of our human existence. By watching and reading Richard III, I can glimpse the inner minds of our politicians...

When I started this quest, one of my main objectives was to make someone interested in reading Shakespeare. Even if someone does not feel an urgent urge to read him, my hope is that my personal experience in reading him will plant the seed. Let these scattered thoughts be traces left by someone, from small Portugal, who has learned a lot by reading Shakespeare.

What does Shakespeare give me? Layers and layers of musings, träumereien, devaneios and knowledge that will stay with me till the day I die. Günter Grass comes to mind with his onion peeling.

If you don't want to have an empty soul, go and read Shakespeare.

NB: Prior to going to see the play, I always like to get fully immersed in the text. That’s what I did by reading the play in my Rowse. Because I thought there was still not enough deep-immersion, I read Bloom’s diatribes in this book for good measure as well …

NB2: SF = Speculative Fiction.

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