Radical Shakespeare: Why do we get him so wrong?

By Pauline Kiernan

A timely study which restores the revolutionary message of Shakespeare's art.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Shakespeare and Grief

Another powerful reason why I'm publishing SHAKESPEARE: How do we get him so wrong?

Scriptwriter Ben Elton who made the mistake of putting these words:


into the mouth belonging to a fictional Shakespeare in the dire film, All is True. I mean, has Elton given more than a cursory glance at the dramatist's way with words?

I will add, that BE - always game for anything for a cheap laugh - had the fictional wife say to her husband, that while she was at the funeral of their son, he was in London writing The Merry Wives of Windsor..

When it is almost certainly the case that at that time Shakespeare was writing the most heart-wrenching speech of a mother's grief for her son in all drama:

Grief fills the room up of my absent child, 

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, 

Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, 

Remembers me of all his gracious parts, 

Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; 

Then, have I reason to be fond of grief? 

Fare you well: had you such a loss as I, 

I could give better comfort than you do. 

I will not keep this form upon my head, 

When there is such disorder in my wit. 

O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son! 

My life, my joy, my food, my all the world! 

My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! 

This is in no way to suggest the great dramatist cannot be made fun of. But when the public have been led to believe that he was rollocking off a comedy hundreds of miles away from home when his son was dying and being buried, I'm not laughing. Are you?

I am sick, sick, sick of the way Shakespeare is traduced, by mediocre morons, and particularly by public figures who, claiming to 'know' Shakespeare slap on lazy labels like anti-semitic, warmonger, misogynist and racist without ever bothering to find out if they're warranted.




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Pauline Kiernan
 Pauline Kiernan says:

'Did anyone see the film 'ALL IS TRUE'? I'd love to know what you thought of it. Px

posted 12th January 2023

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