Shakespeare on the Power of Imagination (or lack thereof)

The lunatic, the lover and the poet, Are of imagination all compact, And, as imagination bodies forth, The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them into shapes...“The lunatic, the lover and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact.
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

Midsummer Night’s Dream ((act 5, sc. 1)

 Comment.  Many would agree that it is not necessary to be a lunatic, a lover or a poet to use the power of the imagination. But even a cursory assessment of the temper of our times suggests that it is not so. That is, it seems that only lunatics, lovers and poets have assumed the role of beings capable of imagining. It is no wonder that Ron Paul, (recent republican presidential candidate and by any measure not a man of the “left”), prompts the citizens to use their imagination to assess the reaction of Americans if they were subjected to the “humanitarian” interventions of the Chinese or the Russians or of any other people, in order to deliver to us “freedom and democracy.”

Some would say it is sad, I’d say it is pathetic that, while immense funds are “invested” in the military and in killing people in countries across the globe, here are some headlines from the corporate media,
-College student creates condom delivery service
-Michael Douglas is feeling ‘good’
-Golf tournament delayed by kangaroos
-Rock ‘n’ roll hamburger experience
-Lady Gaga cancels tour, set for surgery

Suggestion for use.  An elegant way to evade the question “What do you do for a living?” especially if you are unemployed. E.G. “As my imagination bodies forth….and a name.”

In the poem.  Theseus, in conversation with Hippolyta makes some important philosophical statements.

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