Burgesss Shakespeare is not a patient empire builder or visionary, but rather an unhappy man caught in an unenviable position, at the midlife crisis age of forty-six. … Burgess's point may well be that literary quality is not always recognized during one's lifetime … due to an ill-advised display of his wit in the presence of the king, Shakespeare is currently out of favor. … Particularly ingenious in Burgess's story is the way Shakepeare even hides his name in the text of the psalm. As he is forty-six years of age, he chooses Psalm 46; he counts to the forty-sixth word, replaces it by shake ' then he starts at the end, counts forty-six words backwards (leaving out of the account the cadential selah ), and changes that word into speare. The surprising thing is, that the evidence shoring up this highly unlikely scenario is in itself authentic : in Psalm 46 AV, the forty-sixth word really is shake , the forty-sixth word from the end (not counting selah ) being spear.Although Burgess's Shakespeare revises the psalm for wholly selfish ends, out of defiance and sinful pride, he does not thereby lose our sympathy. Unlike Kiping's self-confident sahib, he is not a superman that can lead nations; rather, in his everyday struggle with political realities, an unhappy marriage, and uncomprehending neighbors, he is a modern antihero whom we cannot begrudge his one moment of triumph. … For Burgess, art is the result of suffering between the hammer of what is and the anvil of what should be. He projects that vision on Shakespeare, whose drive for self-realization, impeded by his surroundings, finds an outlet in this act of creativity.
William Shakespeare Quotes
I sent for some dinner and there dined, Mrs. Margaret Pen being by, to whom I had spoke to go along with us to a play this afternoon, and then to the King's Theatre, where we saw 'Midsummer's Night's Dream', which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.