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William Shakespeare and Augustin Daly's Conversation

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AUGUSTIN DALY: You’ re really one to talk. From what I understand nearly every one of your plays is based off an earlier story from some other writer or mythology. Besides my play was the first to ever have an ending where a character gets tied to railroad tracks. Do you realize how many people ripped that off from me? All that’ s ever been ripped off your plays are their ending. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: OK OK, you got me there. But still, you aren’ t exploring these deep aspects of human meaning.

You’ re basically just writing small talk compared to works like Hamlet. AUGUSTIN DALY: Oh please. That play is basically about a guy who is too scared to murder his stepfather. How does that explore these exalted themes you keep talking about? WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: Look it’ s complicated. You really have to read the play many times. I’ ve purposely layered it with complicated meanings. So considers the scene in Act III, scene i. Hamlet says, “ To be, or not to be, that is the question: / Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer/ The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, / Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep/ No more; and by a sleep, to say we end/ The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks/ That Flesh is heir to? ” Look the guy here is contemplating the very meaning of life.

He’ s walking around questioning whether it is nobler to suffer all the hardships one faces in life or to end them by taking his life. To me that is meaning or that ‘ exalted theme’ you keep talking about.

I don’ t believe in some God or high power, but I believe it’ s our responsibility as humans to consider these issues and that is what Hamlet is doing here. Oh and for pretentious language. ..try writing something as powerful as that you, you PHILISTINE! AUGUSTIN DALY: Woah there Shakespeare. Settle down, buddy. I got you. Look it’ s a hot piece of writing I’ ll give you that. I’ m just talking about the totality of the work, there’ s just a lot of filler in there is all I’ m saying.

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