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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, December 25, 2003

From the Mouth of Fools

I started reading William Shakespeare's The Twelfth Night. Shakespeare has an uncanny way of making the most profound thoughts come from the most unlikely of characters. In Act 1, Scene 5, the Clown says: Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel will amend. For give the dry fool drink, then is the fool not dry. Bid the dishonest man mend himself: if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Anything that's mended is but patched; virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin, and sin that amends is but patched with virtue. I guess you could apply this formula to almost anything. Give a person what they are missing and they are no longer what they were before. When reading Othello, we talked about whether you can really know another person, maybe the answer is that you can't because they are always evolving and changing. And if you define someone by what he does or doesn't have, and that status changes, then all balance seems to go. Like a poor person who wins the lottery, are they going to be the same person after gaining all that money? It depends on how important the lack of money is to the definition of that person. It amazes me how much Shakespeare seemed to know about people.

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