What Do You Not Know?

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, one of my favorite things in life is when people come up to me and want to talk about Shakespeare. Especially those people who I don’t normally get to speak with, because makes for an extra bond with someone I would not otherwise have had.

But I don’t know everything, and I hope I don’t give the impression that I pretend to.  So very often what will happen is somebody will want to talk about something that I have no idea about, either because I’ve just never thought of it, or maybe because I haven’t even read the play they’re referencing.

You ever find yourself in that situation?  What do you do?

Personally I welcome it.  I’ll say without hesitation, “You know, honestly? I don’t know. I’m not familiar enough with that play. But it’s an excellent question, and now I want to find out the answer.”  And typically I’ll turn to you good folks and ask for you to education me, so that if the question ever comes up again, I’ll have thoughts on the subject.  A reason for me to learn more about my favorite subject?  Yes please! It’s one of the reasons I’m reminded that I really do love this stuff and I’m not kidding myself. Nobody makes me do that. I do that because I want to do that.

How about you? I figured out a long time ago that many of the people that read my site are much smarter than I am, and usually have the answers to my questions. How often do you run into the situation where somebody asks you a question about Shakespeare where you’ve got nothing?  Do you hem and haw and hedge and try to fill in the blank?  Or do you just come right out and say, “I have no idea”?

Assuming that this does happen sometimes (i.e. that you don’t know everything), do you care to fill in those gaps in your knowledge?  Or do you just walk away from the encounter without really giving it much thought?

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