04 February 2011

Get thee glass eyes

For the first time in his life Dr Grumble is beginning to get into Shakespeare. Last night, in common with others both in the UK and abroad, Grumble watched King Lear live. The performance was interrupted by a satellite failure. You might have thought that this would have marred the experience but it was actually quite interesting to see the actors faultlessly repeat part of the scene again.

The more Shakespeare you listen to the more you begin to realise the profound influence he has had on our language. Another thing you realise is that human nature doesn't change and that quite a lot of people are greedy, just out for themselves and, frankly, not very nice. And that includes the fair sex.

Now, for those that are unfamiliar with King Lear, there is a rather gruesome scene when the unfortunate Gloucester gets his eyes torn out. Last night's gouging was not actually quite as bad as Grumble's previous experience of theatrical eye-gougings. Mrs Grumble thinks they deliberately downplayed it. Lots of agonising screams during eye-gouging on stage is a bit cheap. The production was about more than that. But Grumble takes the view that Shakespeare himself would have wanted lots of screaming and hollering. Why else would bloody eyeballs be rolling across the stage for stamping upon?

What is the relevance of King Lear to Dr Grumble's mission to save the NHS? Well it was the effort to rehabilitate the blind Gloucester that Grumble wanted to tell you about. In particular when King Lear says:

Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.

Which caused Grumble to think of this picture of a well-known politician.

And this man who claimed to be able to see the future of polyclinics.

And the other thing of relevance is that there are still a lot of greedy people about who really don't care what damage they do as long as they themselves get rich. Which Dr Grumble finds very sad.

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