Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
William Shakespeare – Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5
2022 AD – 1606 AD
This is one of the most popular soliloquies written by William Shakespeare. There have been many explanations for the reasoning behind it in the context of the play. But I had another thought. Is it not about life?
Are we walking shadows? Perhaps. While we live, we can create, inspire and impress. When we are gone can we still? Some do. William Shakespeare lived 400 years ago and yet we still speak his words. We still try to understand his words. We engage with his words. But can we know the man just through his words? What did he desire? What was his favourite colour? Did he love to kiss gently like a butterfly or with mad passion thrown to the wind? The man is gone. His essence is no more. His shadow walks still.
Will my shadow still touch after I am gone? Will yours? Does it matter? I will not worry about what will happen after I’m gone. I would like to think that perhaps, just for a little while, I will be remembered fondly. But quite frankly at that point I probably could care less. We don’t know what waits beyond the veil. It could be a new adventure; it could be nothing. So, I intend to make my presence known here, in this world, in this adventure.
We don’t remember the individuals who built the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China or even the buildings that became our cities. These people with sweat and blood and tears built our world. We can see their legacy but we don’t remember the individuals, perhaps that’s the way it should be.
I want my sound and fury to be joyous and positive. I want to touch people with my words and nudge them with my ideas. I want to share who I am. In 100 years, no one may remember my name but if the spirit of who I was resonates somewhere, in a word, an idea, in a thought. Then I have lived well.