shakespeare

—–It is hard to believe what a tangle of wires Shakespeare finds himself having to negotiate, at this moment. It looks like he has to use his quill pen to cut one particularly obtrusive, yellow wire that is looming up, or writhing on the floor, right in front of him. And what is this floor made of? Apparently it is some kind of finely grained wood, probably a tabletop or a desk. Oddly, Shakespeare is equipped with both his enormous quill pen, and a nicely bound octavo volume of his plays–some of his plays, not all of his plays, as this is a Shakespeare in his prime, I mean look at the way he is dressed! So neither of his hands are free, and he appears to be quite in a quandary. Quite in a fix, a most interesting dilemma. This is a bandy-legged, tightly corsetted, though semi-bald Shakespeare, walking stiffly but still, I am going to say, confidently, through a mess of wires connecting to my computer. Beyond him is a reef, a bank of huge electric plugs, a backdrop that is, believe it!, a veritable, I mean inexplicable, power station. He is a five inch tall action figure made of plastic, nicely detailed, definitely William Shakespeare in all respects, quite recognisable, even planted here on my desk– temporarily, or should I say immortally?–situated between my scanner and the computer keyboard, where I am clickity-clak typing new material for my opus blog, or checking Facebook, or Lloyd Mintern’s email, or looking up the phrase used in a comment, from my blogger friend the obscurantist, Stephenesque: “Et in Arcadia Ego” (even in Arcadia I exist).   Yes, I will say tag him immortal, this Shakespeare. Here is a reassuring, a noble and accomplished Shakespeare, halted like a friend, hailing me from his position in the past, yes!–and by God it looks like he is about to trip, if he takes one more step! Perhaps ‘tis but a sheaf of manuscripts he has recently been sprucing up, punctuating, as their syllables may very well sound through the ages. This provisional book, this play, is what he now carries through a strange and strangulating wilderness of wires, stopped as if astonished, inveigled, in a wonderment at being in such a new and stripped down world. Would this pass? Is he a fool? And perhaps he has grasped his quill upside down, to boot. No matter what it is, he will describe it, reckon with it, for he is Shakespeare, a man no doubt of changeable moods.  And a man who has all the words. But alack and alas (I think), perhaps we live in drastically more primitive times, than can allow such a one, as this historical scribe. How this could happen, it is not clear. How history take several giant steps backward, and arrive at a dubious future– that knows but of digits and bytes, a time of electricity!–oh, primitive times and paucity of greatness . . . oh, invasion of confusion, and . . . lack of appropriate diction.

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