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Posts tagged ‘shakespeare’

Imperiousness of Shakespeare!

While others had striven to make a reader/ listener to understand an imagery or a metaphor, Shakespeare is unconcerned. He’d said it and they like arrows shoot on all directions from his bow, grasp if you can. But while you are still grasping many, arrows streamingly dart out. Shakespeare isn’t trying to hold a mirror to a reader’s ignorance, if you miss the images and metaphors, you still have the plot to feel gratified. But grasping the aptness of his images and metaphors elevate your associative awareness – an introduction to the past; sewing it up with the present and predicting the probabilities of the future. Alabaster is itself premium, but monumental alabaster is the unmatched homage to the memory of that Imperial past. Lilies do fester, but who could have related it to the smell of the weeds and redeemed those weeds? None besides Shakespeare!

Mayawati & Germaine Greer!

Two events last week, have left me dumbfounded.

The first is the proposal for TETRAFICATION of the state of Uttar Pradesh and the Cabinet recommendation by the UP cabinet. The second is the statement made by Germaine Greer in THE HAY FESTIVAL conducted in Kerala on the 18th inst. where Germaine had stated that in the plays of  Shakespeare the male characters depicted by the Bard, were boyish and not “manly” and “mature”.

Both the resolution and the statement made by the ladies suffer from “INCOMPETENCE”.

To take Madam Mayawati’s issue first, the Constitution of India, at Article 3 empowers the Parliament and also prescribes a procedure for bifurcation, trifurcation and tetrafication or pentafication etc. of the States of the UNION of India. The Parliament of India is the only body competent to send a bill with such proposal to the President and thereupon the President may send the Bill to the affected state for its views. Period. There is no other body or institution which is COMPETENT to INITIATE this division of State legally. Yet, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has got a resolution passed by the Cabinet. This is EXCEEDING the powers mandated under the Constitution of India.

Next is the preposterous “observation” made by Germaine Greer about the male characters in Shakespeare’s Plays. Yes, Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway, who was 8 years elder to Shakespeare, so naturally Shakespeare must have been very well acquainted with Oedipus Complex (as enunciated by Sigmund Freud!) at a personal level. Germaine might be right in her observation that Shakespeare had made his female characters very strong. The strength of these female characters get accentuated more by the fact that they in some way are responsible in putting their menfolk to sleep. For example, Cleopatra, in ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, by withdrawing her forces at the crucial point without going for the aid of her ally, is not a strong feature, but a “WEAKNESS” rather the “FRAILTY” of the woman, who doesn’t follow the etiquette of a war. Cleopatra was a decadent. Her sensual pleasures came ahead of her duties as the ruler of Egypt. She was a scheming and a runaway ruler.

In the case of MACBETH, lady Macbeth just hardens herself in the presence of Macbeth, who suffers from pangs of guilt. Lady Macbeth is like Ahab’s wife Jezebel in the BIBLE. She had always provided solutions  (mostly Procrustean) to Ahab, who suffered from remorse or guilt. Jezebel had no such compunction. Lady Macbeth was just another manipulative Queen, who wouldn’t let go of her privileges and position, and thereby provokes the man to do deeds which are patently criminal or sinful.

Getting  to Gertrude (HAMLET), the character is pitiable. She was sharing the matrimonial bed with her husband’s murderer and balancing her love for her son Hamlet with the comfort and cosiness provided by Claudius.

On the whole, the women characters in the TRAGEDIES of Shakespeare do not have any strength of character, but show great manipulative skills and ability to hold on to what they have and make the most of a bad bargain.

In KING LEAR, there is more character shown by Lear, after the tragic defeat and loss, which arose more out of error in judgement and an inability to see through the guile of Goneril and Regan! His paternal feelings blocking off realpolitik.

Character is not to be a winner ALWAYS, but an ability to take the LOSSES and DEFEATS squarely and go through it without DITHERING and make amends.

Germaine Greer’s statement seems without COMPETENCE, as the male Characters of Shakespeare are shown blending their DUTIES with their EMOTIONS and failing in the process. That does not make the men BOYISH. Whereas, the women characters are GREEDY, RAPACIOUS, PUSILLANIMOUS and PLEASURE -SEEKING, nor do these traits make the women characters “STRONG”!



Rev. Williamson calls into question the validity of the Nuremberg Trials (conducted by the Allied powers in Germany to try the NAZI political head after the II World War), which so sweepingly condemned all the so called WAR CRIMINALS, based on the most appealing idea that 6 million Jews were GASSED!

Everyone interested in TRUTH, should go through the following YOUTUBE link, that clearly brings out the position of the Rev. Williamson.

Rev. Williamson may not be right, but that does not mean that we shud not hear him. If at all the world is interested in the TRUTH,  the best impartial scientific brains should come out and disprove scientifically the reverend’s averments.

It is not so simple. It is not the Jews whom he is attacking, but the very basis of the trials and the media stories that justified the execution of the war criminals thru the Nuremberg Trials. The NAZI heads were hunted down. Martin Bormann, Adolf Eichmann and a whole host of others were vilified to such an extent, that it even became a justification for some private Jews to hunt them down, wherever the nazis had settled down in disguise, and eliminate them.

The belief, as the Rev. rightly put it, has made  the Germans themselves to be ashamed their own history.

Should the falsehood, of a generation of Victors, triumph over the TRUTH of the reality, that existed then?

Antisemitism is nothing new, neither was it a creation of Hitler and his cohorts.

Shylock (in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE), the Jew, was portrayed by Shakespeare as an exacting rascal. It must have been the public sentiment that was prevalent then which must have led Shakespeare to project a Jew thus. But, no public sentiment is achieved overnight. There must have been some basis for such sentiments to prevail or in any case the Jews must not have bothered about such negative perceptions & sentiments! Such UNFEELING and ARROGANT temperament is quite in-keeping with the portrayals of the rabble that says LET THE BLOOD OF THIS MAN (JESUS) BE UPON US AND OUR CHILDREN, before Pontius Pilate.

Martin Luther, the originator of Protestantism had written a treatise called “On the Jews and Their Lies”, which is designated by some as an antisemitic document. Wikipedia has the following to say:-

The treatise is a polemic condemning the Jewish religion from a Christian viewpoint, in furtherance of this Luther writes that those who continue to adhere to this religion are a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.”[1] Luther wrote that they are “full of the devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine,”[2] and the synagogue is an “incorrigible whore and an evil slut …”[3] He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis[4] afforded no legal protection,[5] and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[6] He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them.”[7] forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness.

So antisemitism was nothing new and if one were to read the book of ESTHER in the Bible, there was everything made ready for killing, plundering and pillaging the Jews by one Haman, during the rule of XERXES, the king of Persia. However this lady Esther, having become a part of the harem of the emperor Xerxes, gets the policy changed by implicating Haman and gets protection for the Jews.

So through the ages they have either for what they did, or for whatever they were perceived to have done, they have been at the receiving end of tribulations, as a community. I like to say something which was predicted to Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor of India, at the time of the birth of Aurangzeb: “he will trouble others and would be troubled by others throughout his life.” Likewise, the Jews have been troubling and have been troubled thru the ages. But it is God’s grace that they had survived as a RACE these tribulations down the ages.

Therefore antisemitism is not a new phenomenon, but that the THEORY THAT HAD SUSTAINED THE SYMPATHY FOR THE JEWS since the WW II is being questioned. If the theory of GASSING 6 MILLION JEWS IS FOUND TO BE FALSE, the perception of the world,towards Jews might change. It is that possible change which is troubling the Jews.

Further, the HORROR STORIES put forward by Steven Spielbergs and his ilk, would be turned into FALSE HISTORIES.



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