Message From Author

In an age of spaceships and rockets, laptops and ipads, reading Literature or to put it in a better way studying Literature has some how relegated to the back stage. S.A.Joseph’s “An Apology for Shakespeare” is an attempt on the poet’s part to address this issue. The poet laments the fact that the present generation has not read or rather to put it more bluntly do not read good literature. What today’s generation read is what should be termed as Pulp-Fiction or Young-Adult Novels which unfortunately do not have the richness of true Literature. Joseph in his anthology’s Preface and in the Prologue points it out repeatedly that he consciously tries to increase the awareness about Poetry (Literature) in our lives. The poems are addressed to Shakespeare, the greatest bard that English Literature has produced and are written in a conversational tone. The title of anthology brings to our mind Sidney’s “An Apology for Poetry” although their lies no intertextuality between the two.
Chapter 8 of the collection says “Where poetry did betray the noble hearts,/That needed her so much!”. This is in quite resemblance with Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” where he says”…Nature never did betray/The heart that loved her…” although the contexts are different. The poet desires a cup of oldest hemlock so as to escape the pervasive ignorance that envelops the society. In Chapter 11 the poet laments the fact that today Homer is an old, blind poet and the names of Dante and Virgil are unheard. The poet admits in Chapter 18 that he sought refuge in poetry to “realize himself”. Today authors have become money minded and they write only in the hope and expectations of getting awards. They do not write today for artistic satisfaction and thus have ruined the quality of Literature. The poet condemns such activity in Chapter 25. Chapter 33 and Chapter 35 are brilliant critiques of todays’ youths only science studying mentality.
As the anthology progresses we see a great deal of Christian ideologies being presented. The connotations of sin, avarice, lust, greed etc have been portrayed quite evocatively. The use of animal imagery is also quite captivating. The mention of viper, lion, dog etc highlight the ugly side of ignorance. They are complemented by contemporary figures from the gallery of English Literature like Lucifer and Faustus. They indeed make the collection way more appealing.
The anthology reveals the intricacies of human soul in an allegorical manner. It throws light on how we can master life, death, and life after death. It is quite a profitable read for spending your leisure time but at the same time it mingles profit with pleasure and gives you a philosophical insight about life.

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