In Shakespeare’s Own Words

In Shakespeare’s “own” Words:

I am all my characters. A writer cannot help but pen his self-portrait through words, whether it is through the sweetest of souls or vilest of villains. Be as that may, I cannot help but see in certain players a clear mirror of myself for better or for worse, and find written in them my deeper parts, my truer desires, my voice. Let this be as the preamble to my claim I make in saying I am more of Harry than any other character in my recent play.

Like him, I use words as power, manipulating them to forge a meaning and by meaning cause action. I fight for my country and my beliefs through a veil. I can say what I want because I am the master of words. But like him, I have the nettles in my soul which surround my better traits. I also have my unmasked moments as he had when he wooed Catherine. The power of my words can soar upwards because they have the steady base of true character beneath them, and if I am not fully Henry yet, perhaps I wish to be for it is not simply the power of words, nor even the beauty of words, but the meaning inside them.

Although I know I have not noble birth.

I make my stand as hidden king of verse.

I am not full with lower though light mirth.

I wield my darker themes through plays diverse.

My words and wit are military hidden,

That siege men’s thoughts in a confuséd hour

But do within this vellum all as bidden.

Swaying men’s thoughts through pleasant words my power.

As if from Stratford is his simple soul,

Pomp hides by over-show like plays I write.

Uniting a torn country is our goal;

But I find in fine words and sounds delight.

The round’s the throne for my expression best.

Where wit and wonder pose the greatest test.


How was that for Shakespeare’s voice?

Presuming to write an assignment in first person is dangerous, especially when that person you are pretending to be is Shakespeare. I’ve mimicked other authors but this seemed a little extra daunting! Because…well…he’s Shakespeare, duh!

We were asked to talk about which voice in Henry V he is. I mean, he has all these different views in there and it would be nice to know what he really thinks. When he writes people saying all kinds of stuff, what would he say? Million dolla question right?

By the way, it’s my first sonnet I’ve ever written! Excitement!


One thought on “In Shakespeare’s Own Words

  1. Pingback: Spurgeoning | The Vision of the Pension Plowman

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