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Shakespeare's Take on Life's Strength

by Anuradha sowmyanarayanan

Life is a struggle-meet it. Or Life is a challenge –face it. Likewise, there are many life lessons thought and told by most well-experienced people. ”Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” Says an ancient Indian proverb, in today’s speedy world, many things are certainly mistaken, misinterpreted and misunderstood. Here are a few messages from Shakespeare that might throw light and bring out the best understanding of life. His words on Beauty, hope, virtue, and goodness, good deed, honor, sleep, pleasure and revenge, glory, gratitude, and opportunity will feed us in a right way.

Hope: In the toughest of the times, hope is the only saver and don’t lose it. Shakespeare in MEASURE FOR MEASURE describes hope:

The miserable have no other medicine,

But only hope

Beauty: Thing that attracts and loved by all. Beauty is not denied by anyone. In LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST Shakespeare describes Beauty:

My beauty, though but mean,

Needs not the painted flourish of your praise;

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,

Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.

Virtue and Goodness: One of the finest qualities required to have an accomplished life. In MEASURE FOR MEASURE Shakespeare describes virtue and goodness as:

Virtue is gold, and Goodness never fearful.

A Good Deed: In one’s lifetime, If good deeds take prime importance then nothing can be more fulfilling than this. In MERCHANT OF VENICE, Shakespeare states that A Good Deed if compared:

How far that little candle throws his beams!

So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

Honour: Everyone is happy to be honoured. Our efforts and tasks should fetch us the deserved honour. In TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, Shakespeare describes Honour dearer than life:

Mine honour keeps the weather of my fate:

Life every man holds dear; but dear man

Holds honour far more precious dear than life.

Sleep: All the fitness and wellness experts suggest for seven to eight hours of sleep. Shakespeare in THE TEMPEST describes sleep:

Do not omit the heavy offer of it:

It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth,

It is a comforter.

Pleasure and revenge:  Two contrary concepts dealt by Shakespeare in TROILUS AND CRESSIDA:

For pleasure and revenge

Have ears more deaf than adders to the

Voice of any true decision

Glory: In this competitive world, chasing behind victory and glory is not an easy task. Shakespeare in KING HENRY VI PART –I describe glory as:

Glory is like a circle in the water,

Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,

Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to naught

Gratitude:  Thanking God and focussing on the blessings rather the other, brings courage and joy. Shakespeare in KING HENRY VI- PART II describes God’s Goodness ever to be remembered:

Let never day nor night unhallow’d pass,

But still remember what the Lord hath done.

 Opportunity: The rarest and the most required is opportunity. Never miss an opportunity. Shakespeare in JULIUS CAESAR states that Opportunity to be seized on all occasions of Life:

There is a tide in the affairs of men

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries

On such a full sea are we now afloat;

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.

All these messages of Shakespeare suit to this day and reading Shakespeare’s works helps us to improve and have enriching Life. Take time to “READ” it is the foundation of wisdom.