Shakespeare and the politics of the 21st Century | The Chris Hedges Report

Nearly five centuries later, the social and political considerations of Shakespeare’s oeuvre continue to offer insights pertinent to our times.

David Herskovits, the founder and artistic director of Target Margin Theatre, and the actor Eunice Wong join The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the works of Shakespeare and what they might still teach us about navigating the storm of slings and arrows of our 21st Century. You can find tickets and more information about their play, ‘Pericles’ here:

Read the transcript:

Studio: Adam Coley, Dwayne Gladden
Audio Post-Production: Tommy Harron
Video Post-Production: Chris Arnone
Footage: Evan Macaluso

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Author: phillyfinest369


30 thoughts on “Shakespeare and the politics of the 21st Century | The Chris Hedges Report

  1. It’s odd to me how weighty—even heavily—Shakespearean words are often performed or recited. How certain are we that even the most philosophical, profound, and existential were not instead conversational and bright?

  2. For information. I worked for 18 years as deputy head of Sound, Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. It was widely understood that the author of the Works of Shakespeare was, Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. I have discussed this with the late Terry Hands, former Artistic Director of the RSC. Many historians/literary heavyweights have studied this. Alexander Waugh, in particular, has brought unequivocal truth to the argument. He can be found on YouTube. I implore you to seek him out. He is a splendid chap and forensic in his work. 😊

  3. I recently was teaching a Shakespearean monologue to an acting student I have, and it brought out a deep sadness as to our stifled emotional culture. The Shakespearean time was the last time that all classes of society were by default honest about their emotions and intentions. If a lord wished an enemy would catch the pox or have an earthquake break open the Earth and a hand of hell grasp the enemy, latch them down to hell and torture them for eternity, they would say so. It was an honest time, and the violence was also honest. If an emotion was so strong that "love", "hate" and "fear" were just not enough to describe the importance, the speaker would launch into a descriptive outburst that showed the intensity they felt.

    In the modern age, we are taught to be cool, clinical, and to not trust extremes of emotions. Those in power are taught to lie and put on an act, like the actor turned prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. But there's a downside to this. We simply cannot fully trust people who don't show who they are. Bullshit abounds. Those who are by disposition emotional and sensitive are pathologized and sent to psychologists who are quite often disconnected and dissociated from their emotions. We are disconnected from our collective hearts and the end result is that horrors reported in the news are simply another statistic and abusive regimes are responded to with a shrug instead of heartfelt outrage.

    Chris Hedges has my utmost respect for being a public figure with both a heart and an astute mind. Shakespearean verse is also a reminder of how these can be combined, passion, truth telling, and reason. Thank you Chris for bringing this forward.

  4. No group could agree enuff to write Hamlet .resurrection
    Re creation is Christ
    Shakespeare uses biblical texts in his works. Shakespeare is a master.
    He writes spiritually, emotionally, physically,
    Politically, intellectually all at the same time. No other writer has ever accomplished that

  5. The best thing to happen to the west is to see the end of NATO.
    And to see all people move toward peacefull coexistence and the betterment of our planet. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW. I personally have had enough of conflict and degradation. We have so much potential let us all move in that direction now.

  6. As much as I hate to admit this I too almost fell prey to the corrupt main stream media. After a few years I caught myself thinking Trump must be dirty with this many people accusing him of so many things. Thank God shortly after beginning to believe the lies I ran across an unedited piece of media that I had just seen a version of on a main stream media channel- NBC I THINK- could be wrong but at that time in my life I got the majority of my news from abc nbc or cbs- never questioning their honesty even when I disagreed with much of the opinions they were pushing along side of the news narratives… oh how my eyes were opened. In an instant. The media piece that was presented to the Public during the news broadcast was manipulated to the point that it actually appeared that. President Trump did say something he intact did not say at all. They literally edited the media to a point that it gave the impression that Trump did make a racist statement during the interview when in fact he had not. He stated a thing that his administration had been fighting against – a narrative tha him and his administration directly opposed. Yet the media that we are all raised to trust had deliberately manipulated the footage into a clip that fooled even the wisest viewers because they ( we) watched him say it on film with our own eyes. Not knowing that we were being manipulated by a corrupt media controlled and owned by the opposition. I have never watched any main stream media since then other than to tune in to see what they are currently lying about especially after witnessing the colusion of the msm in undermining the 2020 election . An election that after reviewing all of the available evidence anyone capable of an independent thought will have to agree was stolenusing many means and methods including ballot harvesting, adding votes that were printed inspect from china and were clearly printed in duplicate multiple times and were hidden in the buildings where the votes were to be counted and were ran through the machines after the counting was shut down and all the observers sent home as well as using machines that were connected to the internet and were running an algorithm to add to the biden vote count and subtract form the Trump vote count. Hand down Donald Trump won the 2020 election in a landslide. Our republic has been taken over and our White House occupied by an illegally installed administration. Period! Get off my phone government hacker and go suck a dick

  7. Shakespeare is a study to understand the fundamentals of human nature between ourselves….which is interesting and true on that scale. However if we want to know/understand human nature in relation to the devine the stories from the scriptures have more powerful truths e.g. story of prophet Moses (peace be upon him) throwing his staff and the Almighty parting the sea to let them pass while being chased by the largest army of the day (Pharos army) is to show the classic truth that if you throw away your dependence on worldly supports (i.e his staff/walking stick) and put your faith in the Almighty that no matter how hard and hopeless the situation is (i.e. having the largest army of the day chasing you behind and a vast sea Infront of you with nowhere to escape, that the Almighty will get you out of that situation from places you can't imagine (i.e. parting the sea). Shakespeare is classic fundamental truth of human nature in relation to other people and society but to know the classic fundamental truth of existence in relation to the ultimate truth, I think we must look at the stories of the prophets in the scriptures. That is the part of the power of scripture, the fundamental truths in the stories that are true for all times and people's. E.g with the story of prophet Moses (peace be upon him) – all humans will at some point be in a situation thats overwhelming and they don't know how they're going to resolve it or get out safe and the scriptures are saying through the story of prophet Moses (peace be upon him) that you just need to put your faith in God not any world supports and He will make a way out for you from places you couldn't imagine.

  8. Hi Chris hope you good
    It's funny how you sight "The Good Book" the Bible as Shakespeare's only equivalence. Seeing as Shakespeare had such an impact on our (English) language.I wonder if Shakespeare's inspiration for the invention of new English words came from Tyndale. Tyndale's Bible of 1534 (still made-up 81% of all significant English revisions until 1885) translated into English from Greek and Hebrew versions contained many new words invented by Tyndale himself. Apparently when he could not find a word to correctly portray the exact idea he thought the Greeks or Jews had been trying to express. These include such delights as: "broken-hearted"; "scape-goat"; "godly"; "godliness"; and "Ungodly"; "Peacemaker"; and "Beautiful".
    (Added additional)
    In 1560 what is know as the 'Geneva Bible' because of Switzerland I guess. was composed by William Whittingham (brother-in-law of Calvin) this Bible was first ever English Bible in Chapter and Verse format. Something previously done in the Greek translations, hitherto any English.

  9. Although I know nothing about Shakespeare, I found this moving and inspiring. It brought to mind Matthew Arnold's quip, that culture is the equalizer — Do I have that right? The struggle against war is a great spiritual struggle, and great writers help us to grasp and imagine this boundless spiritual realm. To begin with, we must free ourselves from the war machine and begin the quest to recover our humanity. Is there a Shakespeare play that deals with that? We are Borg — to use Star Trek imagery. We are entangled in the Hive Mind — Madeleine L'Engel's "Wrinkle in Time". How do we deprogram ourselves? How do we regain the ability to think our own thoughts, feel our own feelings, dream our own dreams? Imagine the joy when we discover that we have autonomy! We regain our independent moral sensibility: Now, instead of being condemned by the demonic System, we get to hold our ground and see the System for what it is. We stand alone before the universe! And then we learn that we are not alone: We discover empathy and solidarity and a history of struggle that runs across time and space. Does Shakespeare write about this? Does Homer? What a journey!

  10. I could listen to a conversation like this for a couple hours. Brother Chris Hedges, please consider producing a extended intellectual conversation on Shakespeare, it really is needed. Thank you.

  11. And that's how China just claimed the moral high ground by calling for ceasefire . I heard North Korea was helping arm Russia

  12. Hard to ignore the fact the Russia had a UNSC Emergency Meeting about this & had their chance to expose the U.S.

    The only evidence they brought forth was Hersh’s article and Joe Biden’s comment that he would stop NS2.

    That’s it. That is all the Russian government could provide.

    Russia wasn’t able to provide a single piece of corroborating evidence, however weak, from their entire intelligence apparatus.

    In front of the entire world Russia could have severely damaged some of the key relationships within NATO and caused the outrage of the century within parts of Western Europe.

    Yet they didn’t.

    Honestly amazing that the Russian government didn’t even try to fabricate any flimsy evidence to show.

    Instead they had a singing Raymond McGovern.

  13. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that inflation is at a 40-year high,you’re probably not earning at a rate to match this increase you work hard for your money, now allow it to work for you,your Money loss value in the bank and you don't have to work until you're 70 , you're also missing out on free money when you don't use money to make money , that's why investment is essential for financial stability .

  14. The strange man shaking a spear at the horrors of empire's serf and royalty, women children and men demonstrates a beauty when seen can inspire human justice to increase.

  15. Francis Bacon. “But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of anything, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.”
    ― William Shakespeare, Henry V. One of my favorite quotes and if W Bush could read, I'd make him print it on the ceiling above his bed.

  16. One thing the anti-education crowd forgets is that, this is what higher education is for, not only to say what you think but to think a while and say, you know there's a bunch of different things I could quote beyond my own opinion on this and this is probably the best example, and then you can go on to say the other seven things beyond your own opinion… That's why Trump appeals to so many people, he says things that appear to be endings but in actuality are just beginnings but they're too stupid to understand it…

  17. William Shakspere, pronounced Shack-spur, is an actor in the Shake-speare folio. his name is listed as an actor with that correct spelling of his family name. He was an illiterate. Sir Francis Bacon one of the founders of the rosicrucians used the word Shake-speare as a reference to their two founding deities of the rosicrucians. He's also one of the main translators of the King James Bible, which is why the 5,000 words he used that we're not in the English language in both his philosophical writings, the Bible and in his plays he created from his thorough study of other languages. He was a secret son of the Queen of England. Throughout his life he studied in other countries to master languages to create what we call the English language now. It should be called baconian.

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