Shakespeare’s dramatic oeuvre remains unclassifiable in the sense of being continuously in the making, a making process in which those who stage his work and reflect on it play a part. Verging on the unmatchable, its global esteem is grounded in the fact that, more than in the case of any other work, Shakespeare’s theatre transfers onto its interpreters, whether on the stage or on the page, the beneficial and precious feeling that each and every play is necessary and indispensable to its ongoing process of coming into being.
Years of directing practice have taught me that a key distinguishing trait of Shakespeare’s work is its intensity. It always demands complete lucidity of approach, which when free from paralysing Bardolatry, can expand one’s own inner freedom and generously feed one’s imagination. Nothing that burdens or drains the spirit belongs in Shakespeare’s plays. So the lesson to take home from their intensity is that one must not desire beyond one’s own limit (after all, knowing your limitations strengthens you from within). Yet in order to discover who you are and what you are capable of achieving, you must desire the impossible (the temptation to overcome our limitations is in our human nature). Therefore, to know and to live Shakespeare means never to let go of this continuous urge for (self-) searching.