Happy Birthday William Shakespeare! SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2013 v6n1 p0423
Today is the 449th anniversary of the birth of the surrogate used as the author of the Shakespeare works, the works that held a mirror to our souls, and 449 years later, we are still seeing things we like, we hate, or we ignore. Why is the son of two illiterates, with illiterate children, who was likely illiterate himself, celebrated as the writer of the greatest volume of work in British history? We have to celebrate someone.
I was 12 and in my first year of 6 years of high school at the Sydney school for girl geniuses when Mr Shakespeare's 400th birthday rolled around. We had a teacher who adored William Shakespeare's works, and liked to think she was one of his reincarnations.
She was certainly his most ardent 20th century PR person in Sydney. Then, the high school curriculum in Sydney demanded that we slog through at least one or 2 Shakespeare plays a year. That was not enough for Mrs Rosen, who later became Mrs Tucker. She formed a drama club in the school so during out free time, girls produced and acted in a play, or came at night with parents and watched the performance.
I acted in a few informal and formal productions. I remember happily swimming in the pool near Central Railway with my brothers, at a time where all around we saw copperplate handwriting "Eternity". I swam to the deep end, and saw a class mate who smiled at me, and told me she really hated me when I was the Jew Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, demanding a pound of flesh.
Well, yes. Mr Shakespeare clearly hated Shylock too; he was not a great supporter of religious freedom, or of diversity. He had the Muslim murder his non-Muslim wife in the play "Othello".
In 1966, Mrs Tucker told us she would be interested in how we all turned out. And would like us all to show up at the Art Gallery, in Sydney, on Shakespeare's birthday in 1976. I showed up, so did about 20 others. We were all beautiful, professionals, accomplished. What you would expect of girl geniuses who read Shakespeare.
Here is a great quote from Mr Shakespeare: a good one for this week that has made fools of all of us: ""The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows
himself to be a fool".