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and “A Mid-Summer Night's Dream,” he gives wing to his imagination and creates beings of fancy, “ trifles light as air,” who " are such stuff as dreams are made of,” or puts into the mouth of Mercutio the description of Queen Mab in order to drive sadness away from the love-sick Romeo. This is not Shakespeare speaking, but the puppets he created for the amusement of men, just as the actor when impersonating a character does not give expression to his own thoughts and feelings, but reproduces, as it were, those of the character he is impersonating. As the painter in drawing the sunset does not create a sun but makes a picture of what he sees in the firmament above him, so also Shakespeare reproduces what he sees with his eye and not what he feels with his heart. Were not this the case he would have been of so complex a nature as to make him absolutely unhuman. The following is an interesting anecdote concerning him, showing his human and humorous qualities, which was found in a diary kept by a barrister -named Manningham where, under date of 1602, appears this entry:—“Upon a time when Burbage played Richard III, there was a lady so charmed by his performance that she requested him to visit her that night, and that he should announce himself as Richard III. Shakespeare
overheard the conversation and determined to cut out' his fellow player by arriving first at the fair dame's house. This he could readily do as Burbage had to get into his everyday clothes before leaving the theatre, and as the lady had never seén Burbage, except as Richard III, she would not know the difference between him and Shakespeare. However, the poet arrived first and was being gorgeously entertained with food and wine when a message was brought that Richard III was at the door. Shakespeare, not wishing to be disturbed, sent back answer that William the Conqueror was before Richard III.”
Shakespeare does not reveal his sympathies through his characters, but causes them to move as will best suit his purpose from the standpoint of the stage, and does not reward or punish them according to their deserts. Otherwise the fair Ophelia would not have perished a suicide, Desdemona would not have been murdered, Romeo and Juliet would not have been parted, nor such terrible affliction visited upon the head of poor old Lear. The hand of fate apparently controlled the creations of Shakespeare just as the hand of Providence regulates the lives of us mortals and “ directs our ends rough hew them as we will.” He moved his characters in the mimic world in order that he
might produce a powerful play that would attract audiences to the theatre, and not to point a moral, reform the world, or indicate his own character.
Shakespeare depicted all the emotions the human being is capable of feeling, and drew true to life the men and women of all climes and stations. The Italian Romeo, the French Katherine, Othello the Moor, English Harry, Shylock the Jew, Hamlet the Dane, and so on through his characters, he causes them to stand out on the printed page as though brought back from the grave to revisit, at the wish of the reader, “the glimpses of the moon.” The crafty, cynical villain speaks in Iago; the open, buoyant spirit in Mercutio; the physically courageous, but mentally cowardly, in Macbeth; the vain, sorely punished in Lear; and the far-seeing politician in Marc Antony. In Juliet he depicts the warm-hearted, trusting girl; in Rosalind one whose deep affectionate nature is masked by her mirth and wit; in Lady Macbeth the ambitious, unscrupulous woman; and in Cordelia, the faithful child, who would rather sacrifice her share in her father's kingdom than flatter his ears with meaningless protestations of affection which her true heart told her should not be uttered. Shakespeare puts into the mouth of prince and peasant words appropriate to each, and depicts
accurately the scenes of camp, palace, and hovel. In fact his genius swept the gamut of passion from the foundation to the apex, and created all kinds, classes, and conditions of beings so true to nature as to make one almost believe that in his person lived the magician Prospero armed with his fabled wand.
EDWIN GORDON LAWRENCE
brought about by man's action, whereby he is controlled by himself, is easily understood and plainly discernible; as, he chose the wrong course through life and failure was his destiny. But how can
we explain the following? Napoleon took his army to Russia, but its destiny was death. Who or what caused the destruction of that once glorious and apparently irresistible body of men welded into a vast machine of fighting force by the marvellous genius of the great Captain? Did some unseen and unknown power purposely set the icy barriers across its path, and baffle its progress by blinding snows, in order to defeat the human will; or was the failure of the attempt
, to subjugate Russia caused by the mistakes of this same
human will? Was it foreordained by a wise Providence that this vainglorious man should fail ere he started on his errand of conquest; or was it but a natural result of his actions, just as failure was the destiny of the man who chose the wrong course?
Man is the architect of his own fate and builder of his own fortune, and to him belongs the credit for success, or the blame for failure. As the architect requires instruments with which to draw the plans of his structure, and the builder tools with which to erect his building, so also does man require the means of fashioning his fate; and the greatest of these means is sympathy. Without sympathy for his fellow, man cannot hope for enduring success, because of the opposition to his plans which his selfishness is bound to create, and which in time will gather in such force as to completely overwhelm him; as the snows and ice impeded the progress of the French army, and finally caused its destruction, so also is selfish man defeated by the vices brought into being by his selfishness.
Napoleon was a man utterly devoid of sympathy, and thought only of self. Had he thought of that army as a body of men, and not merely as a machine for accomplishing his purpose, he