The Master

When Rogert Ebert passed away, I found myself particularly touched when regular contributor JM  signed off a comment with, “Say hello to The Master for us.”

It got me thinking.  What’s Shakespeare to you?  I don’t mean that in a grand philosophical or religious way.  I mean specifically what word do you use to describe your relationship to the bard?  Is he your muse, your idol, your inspiration?

I don’t know how to answer this question (which typically makes for the best questions).  Shakespeare is my … comfort?  Doesn’t do it justice, but that’s close.  I won’t say muse or inspiration or anything like that because I do not look upon my own creative endeavors and think, “I wish I was more like Shakespeare.”

Shakespeare is what I point to when I feel something and can’t adequately express it myself. I know Shakespeare’s been there, and has my back.  Whether it’s grief or romance or anger or sarcasm or ambition or wisdom or any other infinite emotions, I can pull from Shakespeare and think, “Yes, yes, there it is. Precisely.”

When I say he is my comfort I do not mean it in the sense of, “I am trying to communicate with a person, and Shakespeare has saved my bacon (ha!) by making sure that I’m not at a loss for words.”  I mean, “I’m feeling something and I’m trying to explain those feelings to another person who may or may not understand what I’m feeling …  but I know that Shakespeare knew.”

This year’s Shakespeare Day Celebration is sponsored in part by Shakespeare Is Universal: Shakespeare truly is for everyone, and nothing demonstrates that sentiment better than his most famous quote of all, translated here into languages from around the world.   In celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, show that you believe his works are just as relevant, powerful and important as they’ve ever been!

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