Time for the second installment of my posts on Literature entitled ‘The Written Word’. But firstly, I’ve noticed my view count is climbing slowly but surely… so that’s a good thing! Thanks to everyone who reads, don’t know whether you’re followers or just passer-bys, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Let’s get to it shall we? Well, of course, I’m a huge Shakespeare fan, amongst the millions and millions of others. I’ve read quite a sampling of his work, from his dramas, to his comedies, his histories to his sonnets. There are probably a million and one blogs dedicated to Shakespeare, so I don’t really want to go down that road. But I do want to point out that my all time piece of literature was written by Shakespeare, and happens to be a sonnet… Sonnet 116 (Let Me Not To The Marriage Of Two Minds):
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Not only is it excellent writing, it is also one of the most beautiful and passionate expressions of love I have ever come across. I think perhaps the two final lines are what sell it to me. Shakespeare, arguably the greatest writer of all time, here states that if he has wrongly defined love, then he was no writer. He stakes his reputation on fourteen or so lines that, in my eyes, completely grasp what love is. That’s powerful, wouldn’t you agree? Sonnet 116 is my favorite piece of literature, and it would take something wholly unique, and incredibly powerful to ever topple it’s place.
My other favorite Shakespeare’s include King Lear, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Nights Dream and of course Macbeth. I love his histories, King Lear is perhaps my second favorite literary work, and is definitely one of Shakespeare’s best (and, might I add, Lear was performed amazingly by Sir Ian McKellen, with the Royal Shakespeare Company a few years back here in Auckland).