Shakespeare’s Dream

Of all the plays of William Shakespeare, I have come to admire most where the man allows us to enter most of himself. Where his themes come from his vast imagination and he pushes his thought in to eras none could yet foresee. In these works I believe he stretched further beyond his age and even ours, to the age of our grandchild’s. To that same status of the mind which Goethe took with his Faust and Ovid took with his Metamorphosis. To the land which is sacred and eternal to all poets, that which their mind will explore only the expression of itself and inspiration is the air one breathes. The realm of this fiction is far greater than that which was given to us by Hamlet. The moder age adopted Hamlet as though a son and admired him as though a father. Yet in William Shakespeare’s brighter days, he addressed himself, his own personal experiences, his own ideas, and his own dreams. Out of these he fashioned his ‘Romances’, which reveal more of the character of William Shakespeare than any other genre. These are written with the merry tone of comedy mixed with the wonder and curiosity of tragedy; Shakespeare implants his theme always of dreams, illusions, and magic – in other words, Art. And they reveal his fascination with art and the role of the artist. He brings in implausible characters without shame, and one need only read his stage directions to admire the visual concentration he had at the time of writing, adding directions written more so to capture his vivid imagination than for plausible stage instruction. If a playwright must write for his audience, it was in his Romances that Shakespeare chose his audience, an audience to which he could most deliver the full measure of himself.



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