In his latest podcast, Russel Brand interviews professor Tony Howard, an expert on Shakespeare. (link) In particular he discusses diversity and themes of parenthood and addiction running through Shakespeare’s work. Howard’s idea is that Shakespeare is one of the greatest reference points for the human condition and for how to best live your life. The interview is fantastic and a reminder of how deep a well-point Shakespeare is for England and the English language. Like the best songs, Shakespeare’s plays give space for consideration. Therefore he is more of a mirror reflecting the truths of humanity for us to consider, rather than a dictation of good versus evil.
The interview pointed me to this poem, The Phoenix and the Turtle: link
I have always found the whole works of Shakespeare daunting. The interviewee refers to the Phoenix and the Turtle poem as a quick and relatively complete introduction to Shakespeare.
I have just started reading it and memories of “A Level English Lit” are flooding back. I thought to share the poem on here too. I will try to reflect on the poem in another post.