Monday, January 05, 2015

Aesthetic Realism and Shakespeare Agree On Respect for Women

I've loved the plays of William Shakespeare ever since, at Cranbrook School in Kent, I first heard the first act of Macbeth. I didn't know then why I loved it.  

Now, looking back having had the benefit of studying Aesthetic Realism for many years, I see that I was affected by opposites -- Shakespeare takes human emotions, including some of the basest ones, and gives them terrific structure -- poetic form!  "All beauty," Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, stated, "is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves."  Wildness and order, respect and contempt, logic and emotion, for and against, and more, are made one in the lines of Macbeth and in all great poetry. And these were opposites I was and am trying to make sense of in my life! This is what I'm grateful to be learning in the Aesthetic Realism Explanation of Poetry Class taught by the Chair of Education, Ellen Reiss.  

Next month, February 8, 2015, less than a week before Valentine's Day, there will be a presentation of one of the most puzzling of Shakespeare's plays: The Taming of the Shrew.  I remember seeing a production of this at Cranbrook and wondering, in my annoyed, unseeing, complacent, disparaging, teenage male way, "What on earth is the matter with this girl? Why is she in a rage all the time?" As big as any prejudice I had was the one I felt towards the feminine sex, and instead of wanting to see, to understand, I dismissed.     

This presentation, "SHAKESPEARE--& What Is Love?" explains what the play is about, AND what Shakespeare's kind purpose was in portraying a woman this way.  The announcement states: 

"This wild yet puzzling comedy has been explained by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism. He shows that the “shrew,” Katherina, is deeply hoping to meet someone who will make her feel the world deserves her respect! Petruchio meets this hope–-in the most surprising and often hilarious way—and that is why she comes to love him."

Every man really needs to see this presentation not only for the magnificent acting and the revolutionary comprehension of Shakespeare but also because through it we will come to have a new respect for women and for love that will make us proud!