On Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23rd, Newsnight ended their programmed with a recital of part of Richard the Second’s soliloquy in Pomfret Castle just before his murder. Act5 scene5
I have been studying how I might compare
This prison where I live unto the world
And for because the world is populous…..
I cannot do it, yet I’ll hammer it out.
A good choice in these time of self-isolation. One can see why Richard is a role often favoured by actors as a stepping stone to playing Hamlet. Today I have walked our dog across empty fields filled with yellow dandelions and their spherical seed heads. They becam a memento mori for Shakespeare in his beautiful dirge, Fear No More the Heat of the Sun from Cymbeline:
Golden lads and girls all must // As chimney sweepers come to dust