04 September 2009

Humility and Glory in Shakespeare

A key point to remember in Shakespeare's plays:
Everybody who is Anybody falls, and Time - almost as much as it is in life - is the great fallibilizer. In the tragedies big people fall in big ways at the end or near-end of the story. In the comedies little people fall in little ways, more or less around the middle to the end of the story. So far as I can tell, that is the principal Shakespearean difference between tragic and comic. In what are called the romances the fall, or descent, is as much spiritual as it is visible; it is usually accompanied by insight and repentance; and it is often followed by something that I think can best be described as transfiguration.

No comments:

Post a Comment