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William on William: Hazlitt on Shakespeare

 

Is Shakespeare vanishing?

"…this tragical Titan, who storms the heavens, and threatens to tear the world from off its hinges; who, more terrible than Aeschylus, makes our hair stand on end, and congeals our blood with horror, possessed, at the same time, the insinuating loveliness of the sweetest poetry. He plays with love like a child; and his songs are breathed out like melting sighs. He unites in his genius the utmost elevation and the utmost depth; and the most foreign, and even apparently irreconcileable properties subsist in him peaceably together. The world of spirits and nature have laid all their treasures at his feet. In strength a demi-god, in profundity of view a prophet, in all-seeing wisdom a protecting spirit of a higher order, he lowers himself to mortals, as if unconscious of his superiority: and is as open and unassuming as a child. 

From the Preface to Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays

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One Response to “William on William: Hazlitt on Shakespeare”

  1. helena Says:

    Thank you! Always wanted to read this book by Hazlitt – the time has come!

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