On Shakespeare

by Jess

A lovely homage to the Bard is up at The Millions. Stephen Akey’s enthusiasm is infectious. Here’s my favorite line: “Shakespeare wrote the best prose as well as the best verse in the English language, and if there were anything other than prose and verse, he would have surpassed everyone at that as well.” Akey would be entertaining enough to read if he stuck exclusively to interpreting verse, but he takes it deeply personal: 

There came a time in my life when I needed to be forgiven. I wasn’t. If I must take my consolation from a play rather than from any flesh and blood Hermione, that’s not quite so bleak as it sounds. Yes, I would have preferred real forgiveness to the literary kind, but I find it no small consolation that at the end of his life the world’s supreme imaginative writer returns again and again to a basic home truth: we must forgive each other.


Now I’m off to dig out my Complete Works of Shakespeare to read The Winter’s Tale. Good night.