Saturday, 23 April 2016

Shakespeare's EU...

One of the upsides to being marooned on that legendary desert island is that I would have the time to read the complete works of Shakespeare. Every desert island has a copy apparently and given that the only other book provided is The Bible I would probably get through the plays and poems pretty quickly before reading the copy of Dandelion Wine that I was allowed to bring along as the book of my choice.

It’s four-hundred years today since the bard’s death which is a long time, but not if you consider that I’ve lived for over an eighth of it. I wonder what he would have made of the world we live in today and what would he made of the EU referendum? I’m not sure that Will would have voted to remain, but even though he probably never set his codpiece outside of England, not even Yorkshire (“Is this t’dagger ah see befoor me?”), he seems to be a man of the world in its most literal literary sense. His writes about the whole of Europe and sets his plays all over the place. How did he do that, he hadn’t travelled, did he just make it all up in his head?

Messina, Vienna, Athens, Navarre, Sicily, Bohemia, Venice, Padua, Troy, Egypt, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, and even France. Not for him a purely English tale, even though his audiences were in the main English, he took them everywhere. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he was so successful, he was telling tales about strange places like Prospero’s imaginary island.

I wonder if that's it? Shakespeare's Europe was interesting because he wore a codpiece and made his Europe up and ours is bland and relatively boring because it is made up by men in suits who lack imagination.

Right I’m off to my island to begin reading; I think there’s a tempest coming. See you later.


  1. Margaret Hamilton-Jones27 April 2016 at 18:16

    The question of Europe has pre-occupied me over the past few months. Whether to stay or leave ? Having travelled extensively in Europe over my long life time and having briefly lived in France, I'm troubled by the increasing Xenophobia that has reared its ugly head in this country over the past few years. Fuelled by the likes of Nigel Farage and his party I fear we're becoming little Islanders and ignoring the wonderful history and culture that our partners and comrades have brought to us. My heart sings as I remember summers in Auvergne, running in the meadows until I thought my chest would burst, I can smell the bread and cheese in the small village cafe even now. Watching in fascination as my mother and father sipped wine and conversed in the local dialect, listening from my room as my Nanny laughed and played with the local handymen from the village. Great times and it would be a shame if we let ourselves succumb to fear and hatred when we have to finally decide whether we remain linked to our nearest neighbours. Although Id never trust a French or an Ities myself

    1. If only it were that simple..

  2. Margaret Hamilton-Jones27 April 2016 at 18:37

    Oh I'm a simple woman Andy, I see things in simple ways. I have little time for hyperbole, verbal badinage or any sesquipedalian