Good cheer can be found in the fact that today, we had the great good fortune to celebrate the 445th birthday of the Great Bard himself, William Shakespeare. So much has been written about his genius and about his life-affirming, brilliant plays and poetry, that when called upon to declaim on Shakespeare’s legacy, one naturally is at a loss concerning what to say or write.
Perhaps it would suffice to point out that Shakespeare influenced and changed the English language more than any person, or group of people, save those who were responsible for the publication of, and fame achieved by the King James Bible. In my home city of Chicago, Mayor Daley–no Shakespearean fellow, to be sure, but one who has . . . er . . . made his own impact on the English language–stated that we should all talk like Shakespeare to commemorate his birthday.
The funny thing, however, is that we already do. Every day. Without realizing it, we habitually pay homage to Shakespeare’s power, his command over the English language, the indelible stamp he left on it, and the eternal fire he lit in our collective imaginations.
I cannot think of a more noble, or wonderful legacy than to be constantly, and inadvertently celebrated.