Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Thinker -- Writer's Poke #257




One of the common criticisms of William Shakespeare's Hamlet is that he thinks too much. While there's nothing wrong with thinking, per se, and while most would acknowledge that thinking is probably a good thing when used in moderation, thinking too much can lead to the prison of inaction.

I don't know that Hamlet's flaw was over-thinking. And, it's not clear to me that Hamlet was guilty of inaction. But this isn't a lesson on Hamlet, and I don't want to spend too much time thinking about it. Let's just take as a starting place that Hamlet thinks a lot.

Othello, on the other extreme, is an impulsive chap. Some would say that impulse is his downfall, and that he acts too quickly and doesn't think things through sufficiently. Again, I'm not saying I necessarily buy into that analysis, okay? So cut me some slack here.

My point is simply thus: some of us are more like Hamlet, and some of us are more like Othello. And some of us are more like one of the countless other characters that sprang forth from the fertile imagination of the Great One. The man I like to call Billy.

Which William Shakespeare character is your doppelganger? Or, which one do you identify with most closely, and why?

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." -- William Shakespeare

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