Thursday, March 02, 2006
After viewing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1662, diarist Samuel Pepys called it "the most stupid, ridiculous play I ever saw in my life." French philosopher Voltaire had an equally dim view of Shakespeare's Hamlet. "One would imagine this piece to be the work of a drunken savage," he wrote in 1768. Pepys' and Voltaire's opinions of the Bard ultimately became a minority view, of course. Many modern analysts regard his work as among the best in English literature. In the coming months, I predict there will be a similar evolution in the consensus about certain events of your own past. Both you and others will come to think highly of things once considered worthless or aberrant. Redemption begins now.