Orlando’s Horror

Image of wounded person moved on a stretcher following the Orlando's shooting. Illustrating Shakespeare's quote, "Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; for I must talk of murders" from Titus AndronicusTwill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; for I must talk of murders…

Titus Andronicus, act 5, sc. 1

I will not repeat comments and reflections on the Orlando massacre. Rather, I will follow an imaginary trail from the denouement to the origins of the horror – or I should say horrors, for the Orlando mass-killing was spectacular in size, but replicated in occurrence. Continue reading

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Chicago Burning

An image of South Chicago, in the context of the continued killings and illustration of the Shakespearean line, “...a man's life's no more than to say 'One.'”“…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 a tradition to count the murdered, the shot and the wounded  during this quintessential American holiday. Which may lead the uninformed to think that crime increases during this special week-end, while abating afterwards. Continue reading

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Spectacle, Ornaments and Marionettes

marionettes illustrating a shakespearean quote, "...The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest"“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. 2)

When I sat down in the coffee-shop, the conversation between the two clients at the next table was ongoing. I did not want to intrude and ask their names. I will call them A and B.

A. Surely by now, you must have a preference among the candidates for the next presidential elections? Continue reading

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Victory Day Memories

commemorative banner for victory in WW2, comment on shakespeare's line in macbeth, ...memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume...…memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume…

Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7

Seventy-one years ago, May 9, 1945, was Victory Day. Nazi Germany officially signed the unconditional surrender to the Soviet Union. For Russia, WWII became the “great patriotic war”, celebrated each year, as you know, in Moscow’s Red Square.

“Nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence,” (1) but in Russia the years did not quench the enthusiasm, and memories have not sunk into “the swallowing gulf of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion.”(2) Continue reading

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Methinks I am a prophet…


image of uncle sam, illustration of shakespeare quote, No prophet will I trust, if she prove falseNo 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 having “a thousand eyes to be filled with prophetic tears”(2). The audacious eloquence of Bernie Sanders has predictably evaporated into air, into thin air, along with the charms of his (presumably) leftist message. Continue reading

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The Bay of Pigs

map of the Bay of PIgs as an introduction to a Shakespearean quote, "What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time/"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 in 1961.

All events gradually sink under the accumulating dust of antique time (1), and are eventually lost in the swallowing gulf of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion (2).  Still, the Bay of Pigs is worthy of historical memory and retention. Continue reading

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Stalin, Opinions & the Video Series

photo of stalin smoking, along with shakespearean quote, The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bonesGood my Lord, be cured
Of this diseased opinion, and betimes,
For it is most dangerous.” (1)

 

The recent video production in the series “Historical Sketches” had to do with five episodes covering the life of Stalin. The very popular blog/website thesaker.is has published the links to the various episodes. (those interested can also find them here, by following the link “Historical Sketches” in the menu – http://yourdailyshakespeare.com/historical-video-sketches). Continue reading

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What’s in a name? Nagorno-Karabakh

a rose illustrating the quote what's in a name, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…

On this point I would disagree with Juliet. If, rather than ‘rose’ the flower were called, say, ‘globularia’, the perfume would be the same, but the overall effect wouldn’t. For in ‘rose’ the initial ‘r’ trembles softly on the palate while being uttered, unconsciously suggesting the presence, in the rose, of the mysterious power of beauty, which “doth of itself persuade the eyes of men without an orator” (1)

Equally, Juliet’s longing expressed in the line, O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou?” (2) would lose much of its pathos, if instead of a Romeo he had been a Caruthers, or similar other name.

To trigger these remarkably idle thoughts was the news, barely mentioned in the mainstream media, of the renewed hostilities between Azerbaijan and the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to which I will return later. Continue reading

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The Trouble with Trump

illustrating the quote If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction“If this were played upon a stage now,
I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”

(Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4)

By general consent, in American elections there is no kingdom for a stage, there are no princes to act, nor monarchs to behold the swelling scene (1). By tacit agreement, elections stand midway between a farce Continue reading

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Parallel Departures

Cartoon of supreme court in connection with the eulogies for supreme court justice scalia and Macbeth quote after life fitful fever he sleeps well… After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.

(Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2)

Sometimes during the first century AD, the Greek biographer Plutarch decided to compare in tandem the lives of famous men, and to highlight their virtues or vices. He collected the observations in his famous book “Parallel Lives.”

For the purpose of this article, more than with parallel lives, we are dealing with Continue reading

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