Why Shakespeare?

At our November Salon Vanessa Pupavac discussed Why Shakespeare?
Why are more people turning or returning to Shakespeare? Not only do tickets to the Globe or the RSC sell out, but so too do initiatives like National Theatre Live bringing theatre performances to cinemas nationally and internationally. People have often turned to Shakespeare in times of crisis. or political oppression. If Ben Johnson said Shakespeare is for all time, CLR James argued this was only because he articulated his own times so… well.
So what is it that makes us feel today that Shakespeare is our contemporary and speaks to our preoccupations?
Vanessa will explore how Shakespeare’s tragic vision offers insights for and challenges to our oh so miserable now anti-humanist  culture and its degradation of humanity as a species. Macbeth and other tragic protagonists take us to a nihilistic abyss and see a world devoid of human meaning. Such bleakness has tempted successors to tidy up and sanitize Shakespeare’s tragedies. Nevertheless Shakespeare’s uncompromising tragedies assert a radical humanism affirming humans as speaking, acting, thinking and feeling individuals, and the tragedy of our mortality.
In The Parlour, The Brunswick Inn, 1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU: http://www.everards.co.uk/our-pubs/the-brunswick-inn-derby.
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