Author Archives: davezart

Modern analogy of King Lear opening?

There is a man who lives in a house.

He has 3 pets; 2 dogs and a cat.

The dogs fight for attention. One always throwing herself into his arms, smothering his face with kisses. The other is always bringing gifts, like expensive pieces of wood newly broken from the outdoor lounge, or pieces of ceramic pot. He knows the man love this pot, so the dog brought part of it to the man at the back door.

The third animal is the cat. The cat does what she bleeding well pleases. She sleeps most of the day, comes for cuddles when SHE wants them and scarpers when she doesn’t. She shares the man’s food, although the man doesn’t share hers. The cat does not like the man’s aftershave or deodorant and makes no secret of the fact. The cat loves because that is what is expected every now and then, and doesn’t care if she is ignored when other things are happening. She would more like to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

Ok, YES. the man is me. The dogs are Buddy and Gracie and the Cat is Brandy…my pet name for her is Puss Puss. It occurred to me this afternoon when I was hanging the washing out just how the two dogs are just like Goneril and Regan, willing to do whatever they thought they needed to to gain my love and approval. They don’t realise I would love them even if they were naughty. The cat is indifferent. She can live without me, however she is annoying when I don’t wish her to sleep on my bed and close the door. She scratches the door very loudly. I have timed her. She can keep it up for 12 minutes straight… and just when you think all is quiet and she has settled for the night…she will start again. I think she is like Cordelia, because she doesn’t let me cuddle or love her more than she is willing to. When she has enough, she pushes away.

The cat knows however, that my love is there for her and she is my favorite. She doesn’t try to win favours by bringing me gifts, or jump into my arms when I am trying to do something else, She patiently waits for me to be ready to give her the cuddles and scratches that she needs.

Hence, I feel like a King, in this palace, my home.



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New email address

I have a new email address which I am attaching to this blog purely for commercial purposes. That is, if you wish to contact me about purchasing Art, Photography or stories, Please use the email address


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I am in awe, and so grateful.

On Friday 31st March 2017, My class and I visited first, the Renaissance rooms at the Art Gallery of NSW and next the Mitchell Library in Macquarie St Sydney to look at the Shakespeare room.

I am so grateful for the people in the library for making all of their resources and providing staff to educate us, not only about Shakespearean Literature but the Architecture of the building.


Looking at the first folio of Shakespeare’s work.

I was totally amazed that each little aspect of the Shakespeare room at the Mitchell Library was painstakingly planned. There is a reason behind the design of every little piece of woodwork, windows, and plaster. I can only imagine the tedious hours of discussion the committee had to have to come up with each aspect. Sometimes we think of meetings as boring and unnecessary. However, we see now the legacy of those meetings in the architecture of the Shakespeare room.


The class in the Shakespeare Room at the Mitchell Library 


This is a section of the ceiling which depicts the end of the War of the Roses, the Tudor Rose of  Henry VII


In this picture, we can again see the Tudor Rose in the woodwork. Even the vertical lines in the woodwork have a meaning. These represent drapes. If we think that Shakespeare was renowned as a playwright, then drapes (or curtains) depicted in the woodwork design is quite suitable.

The detail taken in design showed me that when planning this room, and also the collection of the artworks that we saw; the committees overseeing these works were not just thinking of their own time, but were thinking of the generations future who may enjoy such works.

I am extremely grateful for the foresight that these people had.

I wonder if designers today put so much thought into the legacy that they are leaving, rather than just getting something done quickly to appease the people supplying the finances. Iconic buildings today soon loose their usefulness and are torn down to make something bigger, so called better.

I think of Cricket and football stadiums for example. There are areas of the Sydney Cricket Ground, and also Adelaide oval, where tradition has been forgotten and have been rebuilt to fit more people in, chasing for the almighty dollar. Melbourne Cricket Ground has not escaped this. The Notorious Bay 13, which was made very famous by Merv Hughes gym class, no longer stands. Pity.

Today we have corporate sponsors for everything. Recently the Sydney Entertainment Centre, which was renamed QANTAS centre was sold off and torn down to build a new centre. This was an iconic building. As was the Sydney Convention centre at Darling Harbour. This was completed in 1988 but later demolished to make was for a bigger ‘better’ centre.

Function has won out over art and beauty.

Sad but true when the old saying “They just don’t make em like they used to”.


Filed under Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Uncategorized

Walter Ralegh said the world is a Liar.


Walter Ralegh was not a suitor of the Queen, however she fancied him.  He flirted and presented the Queen with gifts from his explorations, and trophies from his wins in battles. Walter and Elizabeth Throckmorton had found that they were with child and decided to marry. The Queen who was jealous for Ralegh and disappointed at her servant Bess, through them both in the tower for not asking her permission to marry. The first child, a son named Damerei, dies early in life. Subsequently there were  two other sons Walter and Carew. Walter died in a battle, but Carew led a full life before being killed and buried with his father in 1666.

Walter Ralegh served in Parliment as well. The Queen was somewhat moody. At one time, she knights him and asks for him to be Captain of the Yeoman of the Guard (the head honcho bodyguard). At other times he was out of favour with the Queen and was returned to the Tower of London, then a Royal prison.  He was released a number of times because of his skill in the military and he was needed to lead in battles against the Spaniards.

Sir Walter Ralegh is credited with having bought potatoes and tobacco to England, products which he found on his explorations of  South America. With hindsight, one can look back and ask if he did a favour to the ‘ civilised world’ by introducing Tobacco, but the potato became a staple in the British diet.

Ralegh was sent to the tower in 1603 by James I for an alleged plot against the Throne. He stayed there until he was pardoned in 1617 when he went again to South America. He attacked a Spanish outpost when out there. James I was friends with the Spanish. The Spanish ambassador was upset by the hostilities and asked James to have Ralegh beheaded. He complied with the request, to keep the peace.

What is the central complaint that underlines Ralegh’s poem “The Lie”?

Walter Ralegh had an epiphany in the tower, as he awaited his head to be separated from his body. He figured that there is no real pleasure, no good in the world. If there are moments of pleasure or good, they, or the ones who administer it,  have hidden agendas. Every smile is painted over a smirk, every tickle has darker intentions.

Walter wrote many poems in the Tower. The Lie being one of them.

The Lie tells of discoveries that Walter made that are perhaps not documented elsewhere. It explores and discovers the truth about the world and those in it. To Walter, the affections and admiration of those close to him, save perhaps his sons and wife, were all false. The favours people were showing him were conditional. Conditional on his allegiance and devotion to a religion, a monarch or a cause.

To the court and the church, the poem is saying that while you look good, underneath, your foundations are rotting. The foundation of the court was the history on which it stood, but the reports of historians were all lies, biased in favour of the monarch who was ruling at the time. The church itself was not so much a place of relief and solace, but one in which political decisions were made. The church at the time espoused a virtuous existence where in fact they were a puppet of the politicians.

The poem continues in the third verse, to tell the Kings and Queens not to be fooled when some says they love you. They love you only so far as it can fair them well. It is not a love or a loyalty that can be relied upon. It is merely a fair weather love. The Monarchs say they are serving their people, they want nothing for themselves. Ralegh says that is a lie. This was shown when Ralegh was castigated for attacking a Spanish ship, but was forgiven it when it showed to be a bounty for the monarch.

The poem continues in its revelations. Everything is a lie. With this discovery, he finds he has no reason to fight any longer. He has resigned himself that he is going to die.

The final verse tells the world to kill him then. The body may die but you cannot kill the soul.

The Lie

Go, Soul, the body’s guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood;
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate:
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it metes but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust:
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honour how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favour how it falters:
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness:
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is prevention;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention:
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;
Tell justice of delay:
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming:
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it’s fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood shakes off pity
And virtue least preferreth:
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing–
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing–
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill.



Filed under literature, Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Uncategorized

Peer Review 3, Mahdi Hussain

hi Mahdi,
I agree that society has to shoulder some of the blame for Richard becoming evil. I don’t think he just ‘succumbed’ to his fate, or the role that society would have him play. Richard says he is ‘determined to prove a villain. One has a choice. One can choose to fit in with the norms of society, adhering to the path predetermined for you by your family, and others, or one can choose to reject that idea and to go your own way. Of course there are consequences for each decision we make. For me it was banishment from my family. For Richard, it would have meant giving up a lifestyle which afforded him all sorts of riches and power. By his own words, by choosing to be a villain, he is determined “to hate the pleasures of these days”. I think he found that too hard to do. If he hated the pleasures of these days, would he have sought the kingdom and all the pleasures that go with it?

An interesting discussion, nonetheless.

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Peer review 2, Anne-Marie

What a callous brute Richard was, to treat dear Anne in this way. It almost justifies her language and description of him when she calls him in the same scene ” A devil, a minister of hell, a foul devil, being without blood. She calls him a villain, a diffused infection of a man. Anne tells him to hang himself, Anne goes on to call him a hedgehog, a devilish slave, and later spits on him wishing it was poison. Yet she agrees to marry him, to leave her dear dead father and her mourning clothes to don a wedding gown. I wonder just how feminine poor Lady Anne is, or is it just an act…her way to ensure she is always in the royal household.

Such backstabbing is found throughout the play, and not always done with Richards dagger.

Incidentally, the ‘featured image” of Lady Anne is not displayed on your blog. I do like the swirly thing at the end to signify femininity.


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Marry me?

The following is a poem I wrote when I traveled back in time to meet Queen Elizabeth I whom I am madly and deeply in love with.

Good Queen

You say to England you are wed,

But can England comfort thee in thy bed?

If the laws permitted bigamy,

I would beseech thee, to marry me

Alas with England I cannot compete

For Thine affections oh so sweet

Your marriage to her wouldst be long

Under your guidance, she liveth strong.

And so instead

Take me as a mistress to your bed

That I might comfort you at night

And stand by you in daylight

To England leave a legacy

A child, if you wouldst marry me.

(This is written as part of my Shakespeare unit at Uni. Dear followers, worry not, my love for my partner Sam remains and always shall me so.)


Filed under literature, Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature