[L]ife is a phenomenon in need of criticism, for we are, as fallen creatures, in permanent danger of worshipping false gods, of failing to understand ourselves and misinterpreting the behaviour of others, of growing unproductively anxious or desirous, and of losing ourselves to vanity and error. Surreptitiously and beguilingly, then, with humour or gravity, works of art--novels, poems, plays, paintings or films--can function as vehicles to explain our condition to us. They may act as guides to a truer, more judicious, more intelligent understanding of the world.
GUIL: It [Hamlet's madness] really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hints of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of camels, chameleons, capons, whales, weasels, hawks, handsaws -- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations; stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public -- knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong.ROS: And talking to himself.GUIL: And talking to himself.
This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;And to do that well craves a kind of wit:He must observe their mood on whom he jests,The quality of persons, and the time,And, like the haggard, check at every featherThat comes before his eye. This is a practiseAs full of labour as a wise man's artFor folly that he wisely shows is fit;But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.
I quickly, swiftly, reach in, pluck out, and peer into the mirror. 'I am still here.' I am in the glass, in this moment. After this moment, I may not be here; I may be a person who does not know where she is, or why. I leave the kitchen table to bathe, and to dress for church. If only my closet held on its shelves an array of faces I could wear rather than dresses, I would know which face to put on today. As for the dresses, I haven't a clue.
I, on the other hand, interrupt people because my thoughts fly out of my mouth. My handbag's full of rubbish. And I want to do something that matters with my life. Right now I'd like to write plays, sing in musicals, and/or rid the world of poverty, violence, cruelty, and right-wing conservative politics.