Friday, December 04, 2009

Plus Ca Change - One Of A Series

I have just watched BBC4's broadcast of the Nureyev/Fonteyn Romeo and Juliet, to the stunning Prokofiev score.

Okay, it's set in Renaissance Italy, to a tale by an Elizabethan Englishman from what was to become the Black Country (well nearly, anyway) but what struck me in the quiet bits, when I was sent to put the kettle on, was how many of the human follies on display are to be seen in our courts four centuries later. Stupid, pointless blood feuds among young men, their testosterone overload overcoming any common sense they ever had. We worry about knife crime: this lot carried swords and daggers. Perverted ideas of family 'honour' have come back to haunt us in the 21st century.

Every mistake that a human being can make has already been made by someone else - yet we still have to find out the hard way for ourselves. Shakespeare could warn us about most of the pitfalls - if only we were not too proud to listen.

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