Four forty.

I finished reading The Tempest yesterday afternoon, and I figured out why I never really liked Shakespeare. Everything in his plays centers on the noble class, while the illegitimate characters are looked down upon, and they are always outsiders with no place in the Christian world. Personally, my dad was adopted, and his birth was illegitimate. His father took no interest in him or his twin brother, so the mother gave them up. A good man, an attorney named Charles Graden, and his wife Ida Mae, adopted them. But this was in 1925, when adoption was much more scandalous than today. It was similar to divorce in being socially unacceptable.

Shakespeare believed that characters had to be highborn to be interesting. This policy continued in drama until Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen presented A Doll’s House, shattering old conventions and advocating freedom for all individuals, whatever their social status. The production at its first performance caused the audience to riot.

For me, the history of the stage begins with Ibsen.


2 thoughts on “Ibsen

  1. Interesting story about your dad and uncle. Sounds like they really lucked-out. I wonder why Shakespeare would ignore such a story as theirs. He was popular, so he knew his audience. We’re they mostly middle-class, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d have to research what type of people showed up at the Globe theater for his plays. I think the Queen herself was often there to watch, but he also addressed the people in the cheap seats and gave them the blood they paid to see.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s