Lessons from Shakespeare

I recently returned from England where I stayed with my aunt and three cousins in Southam. I was exceptionally lucky because all of them live so close to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Naturally, we had to go see “A Comedy of Errors” which was currently playing at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, it was funny, spooky, bawdy, terrifying, enigmatic, and just plain great stuff! Futuristic in style, the play had a caustic edge to it that rendered the theme of mistaken identity much more multi-layered than a traditional interpretation would have. At the same time, the director was not afraid to show a softer, philosophical side with the kind ending to the story. The two servant twins take each other by the hand and enter the convent together. The last utterance made by one of the brothers always gives me chills: “Nay, nay, then thus. We came into the world like brother to brother. Now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.” This blatant and enduring theme of class repression was greatly enhanced by Zuabi’s attention to the pronunciation of language, the exploitative nature of religion and its shady connection to politics.

By all means read this timeless play. It is especially pertinent now. Also, find it in your heart to support the Royal Shakespeare Company!

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