Geekout!

Oh my gosh! Stephen “Renaissance Self-Fashioning” Greenblatt on The Colbert Report!

How glorious it is to listen to people fiddle the Shakespearean dial on US television:

Colbert

Did you think I’m right on the Macbeth thing for McCain? … By the way, I think Macbeth is much maligned. I think McCain had to bend some of his principles to win.

Greenblatt

I think Shakespeare thought all his life about precisely military heroism and whether it could translate into leadership.

Colbert

And of course it did.

Greenblatt

And of course he thought that it almost never did.

Colbert

What are you talking about?! Macbeth was a military hero who became king. End of story. They all lived happily ever after.

Greenblatt

Total catastrophe. And not only a total catastrophe, but a horrible exchange of honour for power. And power exercised terribly.

The part that got me rolling in the aisle (uh, if I had an aisle to roll in — okeh, I nearly fell off my chair):

Greenblatt

I think [Shakespeare] would have loved Sarah Palin. He did a lot of Sarah Palin imitations. For example, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, who thinks he can play all the parts, ready for anything, but actually he’s a horse’s ass.

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