Sunday, January 07, 2007

To be or not to be: is that a question?

One of Katie's favorite themes is how illiterate young people are today. (And of course it's the educational system's fault.) Katie prefers the classics. It really doesn't matter if they bear any resemeblance to reality:
Fruman [a creaky professor that Katie talked to] uses King Henry's great speech at Agincourt in Shakespeare's "Henry V" as an example. "When I hear it, I want to jump up and follow him into battle," he says. Fruman also recalls hearing Winston Churchill's thrilling words on the radio in 1940: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." It's no accident that the other great Allied leaders of World War II -- Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle -- were also great orators, he adds.
Spot was not aware that Shakespeare was there to be a stenographer for Henry's words! What's that you say, grasshopper? He wasn't there?

No, Spotty, Shakespeare wrote the play Henry V almost 200 years after the Battle of Agincourt. The speech is fiction.

That's right of course. Which is why it is pretty silly to compare Will Shakespeare to Churchill, Roosevelt, and de Gaulle.

Great literature is great, but what color is the sky in your world, Katie?

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments: