Category Archives: Shakespeare on Mass Psychology and Group Behavior

It is a borderline platitude that a crowd acts according to the standards of the lowest character in that crowd. It is a huge generalization but life is short. Shakespeare offers to us multiple instances to show his topic contempt.

Democracy, Tortured Meaning of the Wrong Word

Politicians, much like advertisers, are ever ready to surprise the unawareness of the thoughtless. They must use language, the quintessential political tool, with a tone of deep-felt conviction and an air of solemn sincerity. And no politician, in his electoral … Continue reading

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War among Poor

After Berkeley’s war and fitful fever of destructive demonstrations, the mob sleeps well, or so it seems. As equally well sleep the millions who joined the women’s recent ‘spontaneous’ marches worldwide. These demonstrations (and other similar), are actually atheistic masses, … Continue reading

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Self-Help and the War on Common Sense

“… I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air And more inconstant than the wind Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. … Continue reading

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Burkini and Bikini

“Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy…” The debate about the admissibility of burkinis on European beaches has mostly spared the American audience. But the issue is sufficiently grotesque to deserve … Continue reading

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Death of an Unsung Hero

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” Hamlet, act 5, sc. 2 I discovered by chance that a true American hero died two years ago, in a tractor accident, … Continue reading

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Shakespeare on Brexit

The championship of exaggerations is over and the first dust of time is settling on the Brexit referendum. In the circumstances, it may be somewhat amusing to evaluate the reactions rather than the results. Considering that opinions are formed in … Continue reading

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Chicago Burning

“…a man’s life’s no more than to say ‘One.’ ” Hamlet, act V, sc. 1 During the recent Memorial Day week-end in Chicago, eight people were killed, and at least 57 more wounded. For somewhat  folkloristically funereal reasons, it is … Continue reading

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Spectacle, Ornaments and Marionettes

“Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest.” (Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. … Continue reading

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Methinks I am a prophet…

No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. (King Henry VI, part 1, act 1, sc. 2)   It’s not even a question of reading “the book of fate and seeing the revolutions of the times…” (1), or of … Continue reading

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The Bay of Pigs

What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time? The Tempest, act 1. During this April 2016, an anniversary escaped the notice of most – 55 years have run their course since the Bay of Pigs invasion … Continue reading

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