Celebrating the Bard

IMG_5446.JPGHow did you spend the 400th birth/death day of the great bard William Shakespeare?

Well I, along with many other members of the mvps community, spent it supporting our upper school theater director Clark Taylor at his opening night for the show Equivocation. If you live anywhere near Atlanta, I highly recommend going out to see this show at the Shakespeare Tavern!

This show reminds you to stay true to yourself and speak up for your beliefs, because the “truth” is a sticky matter, but just because you can’t answer a simple “yes” or “no” doesn’t mean you should stay silent; staying silent means justice will never be served.

Anytime you say something publicly, you’re stating your opinion, which can be a dangerous thing to do. People will judge you based on your opinion there is no question about that. But there is the question, “How do you wish for the public to perceive you?” How do you say what needs to be said in a corrupt situation without condemning yourself to punishment by the powers in control? In the case of Shakespeare, this means you must master the technique of equivocating by employing rhetorical strategies like wit and dramatic irony in order to, “answer the question they’re really asking.” No question or answer is simple, and the surface question is often covering the underlying question which gets at the meaning as to why the question was asked.

The example Equivocation used to explain this concept was the following: imagine your country is taken over by another country, say Spain for example. You are an honest man and your king, who you support devotedly, is hiding in your house. When a Spanish solider knocks on your door asking if the king is in your house how do you answer? Do you say no because you are protecting your king? That would be lying which supposedly honorable men do not do. However, if you say yes then you betray your king. So how do you answer the question? Well, the trick is to think about what is really being asked. The true question the Spanish soldiers are asking is, “Can we kill your guest?” Which the honorable man, who does not want to support the continuation of murder, would answer, “no,” which also protects the king.

Well written words will always be a powerful weapon of persuasion, which is why a writers’ play must be carefully crafted to make sure an audience hears the story the company wants them to receive. Equivocation had great writing, great messages, great directing, and a fantastic group of actors to deliver the story; our theater banquet and then seeing this show was the perfect end to my theater season for the 2015-2016 school year!

Thought I’m not ready to say good bye to our seniors, I can’t wait for next year’s line up! (Eurydice, Much Ado About Nothing, a night of improv, and The Adams Family the Musical!)

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