I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written. I also know that I missed the biggest day of any Bardolator’s year: Shakespeare’s birthday. Oh well. Shit happens. Shakespeare supposedly was born and died on the same day of the year: his birthday, my birthday, April 23. As much as we bring his thoughts to life, Shakespeare has been dead for hundreds of years. His memory will still be alive next year, and I’ll be sure to make next year’s post super special.
At the moment not feeling in a celebratory mood myself, I find myself thinking once again to Shakespeare’s emo prince, the great Dane (Jr.) himself: Hamlet. I last left off with Hamlet waxing fashionista on us, but now I’d like to steer us back to why Hamlet was so concerned over his mother’s shoes: he was bummed out. His dad had just died and the unfortunate double-edged sword of life is that people come and go, yet a good pair of black pumps lasts forever.
So I bring you Hamlet: bummed out, feelin’ emo, Justin Bieber hair covering up his tearful eyes. His friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to get to the bottom of his grief so they can turn his frown upside down. But the prince has a hard time tearing himself out from his emotional rut. Hamlet responds:
I have of late–but wherefore I know not–lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry after reading those words – 400 years ago, a thousand years from now, today – he just gets it. Shakespeare is able to set down his quill and say: “This is what grief feels like,” and I love him for it. Sometimes we say “there are no words,” but Shakespeare has, once again, proved us wrong.