December 19th, 2012 → 8:46 am @ // No Comments

It’s taken me over a year of writing these posts, of regularly reading Shakespeare and scanning his works for good images and descriptions, to realize that I think maybe Shakespeare had depressive tendencies.  I’m not a psychologist so I don’t know exactly how to describe it, whether Shakespeare was indeed depressed, bipolar, or simply an introvert, but he was definitely not a naturally happy man.  Every time I want to find a quote about happiness, joy, or goodness I find it rather difficult to find one!  Meanwhile, there are entire websites devoted to Shakespeare’s insults and negative descriptions.  I have a few books of quotes of Shakespeare and when I look under headings like “Love” and “Happiness” there are a few entries, but they are generally about how illusive love is, or how fleeting is the feeling of happiness.  Not exactly an optimistic perspective.  In truth, I’m amazed it’s taken me this long to notice how inherently pessimistic Shakespeare is, but that is probably because my nature runs along the same lines…

There is an alternative interpretation, of course:  that Shakespeare may have been a happy man but his literature was negative because, well, it was entertainment and what’s more gripping than a good tragedy?!  Let’s hope that’s it.  And on the happiest note I could find this morning, here’s a quote about trying to stop and enjoy life for a bit:

“Sit by my side
And let the world slip.  We shall ne’er be younger.”  – The Taming of the Shrew

One Comment → “Happiness”

  1. Chris Clark

    11 years ago

    Further on that entertainment angle, consider also that positive stories generally get ~5 minutes of coverage on the evening news while the rest of the time–regardless of how much time their filling–is given over to negative stories and commercials. Comedic commercials usually total more air time than positive news stories.


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