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As an actor, what is your sense of Shakespeare's personality?


Callow: I think that as an actor you get a very clear sense of an author’s personality and that of Shakespeare is above all open—open and receiving rather than judging or controlling. He allows his characters to have their own life, and he observes human life with absolute clarity, and some compassion.

It’s exactly the opposite sensation that you get from, for example, acting in the plays of Ben Jonson, in which you have a strong sense of him controlling everything, of him judging everything, condemning everything - a hard, intemperate personality. Shakespeare is all-yielding, all-experiencing, and nothing human is alien to him, and that’s an extraordinarily warm and generous feeling.

Simon Callow

Simon Callow

Simon Callow is an actor and writer, whose performances include the one-man play Being Shakespeare.

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