"Is this the promised end?"

I spied this girl intently reading King Lear next to the Globe Theatre on the edge of the Thames and thought: Could there possibly be any place more appropriate for absorbing Shakespeare than near the thespian grounds he so-frequently tread?

It seems by engaging with the playwright's timeless work in this setting, you'd inevitably hear actors of old whispering forgotten lines and their favourite verses as you silently scanned them... or, more likely, that the essence of Shakespeare himself would float past and react wryly when you reached a certain passage, or express a gentle hush of fondness for another, declaring, "ah yes, now that was a scene."

Yet, hopefully by invoking the Bard in this manner she was not unwittingly defying Shakespeare's wishes - possibly articulated in King Lear's final scene like some foreshadowed request:

"Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him much
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer."

Then again, it may simply be Shakespeare's unplanned fate to be stretched out longer and through grander homages than he ever dreamed possible.

No comments: