I mentioned that my purpose in dedicating the next several Old School Sunday posts to the Bard is to enlighten my readers about the ubiquity of Shakespeare’s words–even in our own day and age.
Last week I was able to tie a line from King Lear to Hurricane Sandy. This week, I feel strongly compelled to link Shakespeare’s wisdom to the tragedy (though I hardly think the word ‘tragedy’ does the situation justice) that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
As I scoured through my “Bard Books” I came across a passage from Much Ado About Nothing, and while I understand that this play is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, I think the poignant line will speak for itself:
“Men/Can council and speak to that grief/Which they themselves not feel; but tasting it,/Their council turns to passion” (5.1 20-3).
I’ve been witness to several media stories of mass shootings in my day (I was a high school student when the Columbine incident occurred, making the notion of something like that happening very real), and though ALL of these occurrences are beyond horrific, I simply haven’t been able to separate myself from this one.
And I don’t think I’m alone.
This is something that is felt by anyone who is a parent. By anyone who is a teacher. And more than that, anyone who is a human being. We all attended kindergarten, first grade, etc. In other words, we’re all tasting this.
May all the victims, families, and residents of Newtown find peace.