To some, this is as natural as anything. To others, it is the hardest thing to do in this world. For myself, both are true. It is most natural to me, and the hardest thing for me to do. I am sure it is so, to greater or lesser degrees, for most of you.
It is not the easiest thing in the world to discover, accept and express your true nature. There are all manner of obstacles to it, and justifiably so. It requires a great deal of faith, clarity and stubbornness to be completely authentic at any age or situation in your life. Authentic people are hard to find, and harder to love, or even like. Our cultures have been built on much artifice, but most of our greatest and noblest accomplishments have been possible because of that artifice. Every human endeavour, whatever be the scale of it, is a struggle between doing what is true and what is right. Much rebellion, attractive and disruptive as it is, occurs when truth wins precedence over being right. But, truth isn’t necessarily right, or morally sound.
And I feel there lies Shakespeare’s greatest achievement, and why he is so unquestionably important to us. I wanted to end this challenge with him, but it was hard to pick something out of so much of his work. And this quote from Hamlet, I feel, encrypts his entire philosophical and artistic ethos. Some say literature is consolation. Some say it is entertainment. Heck, I thoroughly believe it is to kill boredom. But, Shakespeare proves that writing, stories, characters, situations, words, performance, ideas, are all made for one single end.To answer the question, what is life? Not what makes a good life or a right life. For that, you have plenty of science and other pursuits to know how we can do this life and living thing well. Literature, and art in general, has no greater ambition than to see life as it is. Whether it’s a celebration, a mockery or an attempt to replicate as is, all art is made with the sole purpose of knowing life. And Shakespeare is one of those great scientists who explored what life is through his art.
And that completes my challenge. It was an interesting one, and tougher than I imagined. I wanted to use a quote each from music, film (though that one became about music as well) and literature. I hope you enjoyed this series. Thanks again to Kate M. Colby for nominating me.
My nominees are:
3. Godless Cranium