Friday, January 11, 2013

I Should Have Studied More About William Shakespeare's Works - Too Bad I Didn't

I just realized that if I could turn back time and be given another chance to study something in college, I would have enjoyed studying English Literature. No, not just usual stories and poems but rather William Shakespeare's sonnets, plays and so on. Odd. I loved the movie, Shakespeare In Love. Although it was more fictional than true to life, I realized that I was a hopeless romantic because of that movie. I found out that somehow sometimes tragedies need to happen and that bittersweet moments don't need to always be sad endings.

Just like in the movie, Shakespeare In Love, Viola did not end up marrying Will but Lord Wessex instead. This way, their love might not have flourished but for a moment, it inspired both of them. It could have ended with more heartache but in the end, they were glad that they both knew what love was than not knowing at all. Just like in In Memoriam A.H.H by the English poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson..."'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". I wonder what being a muse is like. Somehow Shakespeare provided the idea that most creative men of his time and even those before him needed muses to inspire them into making masterpieces. Such an affair would have had repercussions - whether good or bad - it affects both the muse and the lover. Such raw passion and desire sounds appealing to me even to this day but somehow I don't think I am brave enough to take the leap. I will never be like Viola De Lesseps but I can be a modern heroine who will be willing to risk it all for the one I love. My story might not have a bittersweet ending but I know that I will learn a lot from it.

One of my students told me that she is currently writing a paper on one of William Shakespeare's plays called "Measure For Measure". Although I admitted to her that I never read the play or heard of it, I told her I will try to read about it and learn more about it soon. I read about it today and found out that it is a comedy. Although it wasn't purely one, it did have its moments. Like many of the plays that Shakespeare does, he does his best to always have a twist to his stories. The tagline of play is "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall" which somehow summarizes the whole story. I wonder why I never really read it before. Perhaps when I was discussing English Literature with my English teacher, he thought that the play was rather inappropriate for my age. I agree especially knowing better now. Somehow the play showed that there will always be two kinds of people in the world. One would have to be those who want to take advantage of others and the second one would have to be those who are often taken advantage of. While there was a wildcard in the story, who played neutral while the events played out, he eventually revealed himself to be on the good side. The Duke, Vicentio who disguises himself to be the Friar Lodowick is probably one of my favorite characters in the play. For he had the power to undo what has been done and to punish those that needed it. Sure, he was just like playing God but he was somehow the law at that time and the corrupt deputy, Angelo, had to be punished for the atrocities that he did while in the so called Duke's absence. Power can be addicting. Power can be like a drug or a form of alcohol. It can seduce you to want more. It can lure you to do evil things.

Although not all people can be tempted by power, most of them do. Which is why it is not surprising that Angelo succumbed to his demise. I pity those who were nearly taken advantaged of but somehow I feel glad that a certain savior helped them save themselves in the most cunning ways possible. Shakespeare always had cunning ways to make his readers wonder and think. Deception is the name of the game and sometimes it can be a double edged sword. If one can be good in deceiving others, whose to say that he/she won't be deceived as well? This is when Karma happens. Apparently, Angelo was a victim of this. He thought he could outsmart the nun, Isabella, as he thought she finally said yes to giving her virginity to him but in reality, he was deceived as she was replaced by someone named Mariana who was supposed to be Angelo's wife. As he thought that he already possessed Isabella, he decided to deceive her by going back on his word. He gave the order to have her brother, Claudio, killed but luckily, his head was replaced by someone else's while Claudio continued to live. I guess the Duke was more cunning than him in the end.

My student told me that she should write about law and order in her final paper and she wrote that the law exists because of justice but that doens't mean that the law is perfect. Somehow I do agree with that statement. Laws are merely words. They might be said or written in paper but they are never set in stone. They can be ammended, changed and even abolished. They can even be bended and broken. What is true justice? That we can never know. We all have different interpretations to it. This is one reason why vigilantes are born. They develop a sense of justice that only they see as the real deal. The play, Measure For Measure, taught me many things. As I compare the kind of life people have right now, I realized how free we are today even if many people are not contented with their so called freedom. Many people continue to complain which only proves how truly insatiable man is.

Anyway, I guess I should have studied more about Shakespeare and his writings when I was younger but I guess all I can do now is read about him and his work by myself. It would have been nice to discuss my ideas about him with other people who shared the same interest as me. Just a thought, I wonder what kind of character I would be if I was included in one of his plays. If you were in one of his plays, who would you be and why?
The famous tagline for William Shakespeare's Measure For Measure

No comments:

Post a Comment