Monday, November 03, 2008

Shakespeare Junction

I pass by Shakespeare Junction every single morning on my way to work.
So today [even though it was drizzling rain] I got out of the car and took a photo of the street sign.
On the average, every year or so I read a Shakespeare play.
And just the other day I finished reading Henry IV: Parts 1 & 2.
I loved it.
It was this Harold Bloom© edition. Published by Riverhead Books, and containing the notes from his gargantuan Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. [← This is an excellent book, sort of – essential, even!]
According to Bloom, Falstaff [in Henry IV] and Hamlet [in umm…. Hamlet] are the quintessential Shakespeare characters. “Falstaff is Shakespeare’s wit at its very limits, even as Hamlet is the farthest reach of Shakespeare’s cognitive acuity.”
I am no Shakespeare scholar but at this point of my Shakespearean journey I would agree with Bloom.
I have never laughed at any Shakespeare character more than I have laughed at Falstaff, and I consider Hamlet to be the Bard’s most psychologically intriguing figure.
But I have a long way to go – many years of reading ahead of me, before I can make any sort of exhaustive Bloomian statement about what is “best” in Shakespeare.
For now though, looking again at the sign on my way to work this morning, I declare Hamlet to be my favorite male Shakespearean character and Desdemona to be my favorite female character.
My dear Othello… why did you trust Iago?
Is this not the world's ultimate story of lack of marital communication?
Why did you not kiss Desdemona’s throat instead of forcing a pillow upon it?
Shakespeare kills me!


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