Dante, Shakespeare & T.S. Elliot

T.S. Elliot, expatriate American poet living in Britain between the great wars of the 20’th century, states that Dante Alighieri, Italian poet of the 1300’s, and William Shakespeare of Elizabethan England during the 1500’s, dominate Europe’s modern literary traditions; as such their writings appear as examples to be imitated by poets in the centuries that followed. His discussion of their works, however, warns of the difficulty of trying to emulate Shakespeare’s style. Elliot ‘s own poems contain specific allusions to Dante’s Divine Comedy conveyed in a kind of other worldly tone so unlike the more everyday manner of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.

The most vivid stylistic difference between these writers is seen in their comparisons. Shakespeare ‘s metaphoric paralleling creates a compact balancing of thoughts expressing emotions and insights. Dante’s extended similes describe meetings in ethereal visions of hell and purgatory by comparisons with individuals he’s known and experiences his readers might have had in the real world. Despite the immediacy of his subjects, Shakespeare’s metaphoric style requires intricate perception of terms and their sometimes unforeseen dual meanings that seem to jump from thought to thought. Dante’s images though other worldly are explained as sights one might find in a travelogue.

Shakespeare writes about everyday life and the conflict between time and beauty, justice and injustice. In the Divine Comedy, Dante writes about a visionary religious realm understandable only through earthly recollections

Protectionism expired to birth the income tax in 1842 UK & 1914 US

…The budget of 1842 reduced the tariff on some 750 articles, and three years later Peel reduced tariffs still more. Duties on raw materials were mostly abolished and those on manufactured articles were consolidated at a general level of 10 per cent. In these ways the burden of revenue was moved from trade to ordinary citizen, and the motive of protection was virtually abandoned…

And Jason Orestes  of the Washington Examiner reminds us on January 29, 2020

Tariffs were once a mainstay in U.S. trade policy. Constituting the main source of federal revenue from 1790-1914, and at one point providing over 90% of government income, they were a pivotal component of U.S. fiscal and foreign policy. Their main motivation in those times: protect U.S. industry from foreign opposition. It wasn’t until colossal industrial growth coupled with the introduction of the income tax rendered them less critical to the government balance sheet, and their use declined.

Thomson, 19th Century History of England, p.79


System is a newer term denoting something like a social compact that obstructs freedom, perhaps the freedom to be a member of the system. It is neither black, white nor any other colour. Its members, though individually not wanting to be seen, act in unison by silent, perhaps, fearful submission. Its most visible public groupings, the face the system likes to show, too often appears to be unlike the population of schools and other public places that we know.

Rescheduling Doomsday

I remember when I had a disagreement with a neighbour about a doomsday prediction several years back, probably December. When I told him I hadn’t heard about it he wondered whether I’d been listening to the news. I was reminded of that incident last week when I saw online articles about September 23, 2017 that included even ambiguous references to N.A.S.A as though there might be a scientific basis for that prediction. And this morning I was able to keep on top of this doom scenario by reading that Saturday’s events had been postponed until October of this year 2017. I wonder if anyone was keeping everyone up to date with doomsday predictions in the age of the plagues in Europe back in the years 1300-1400?

“Doomsday Rescheduled: ‘Researcher’ Moves End Of The World To October

Les Changeant/Prenant la route du haut

The boss, “the man”,  knows the language of descent. Anger thrown at the Godless is now directed at the “far right”-“white supremicists” ,”racists”, “sexists” socialist – proletariat enemies of the virtuous, bourgeois – middle class.


“The idea is to take the high road — avoiding any direct reference to Trump — by airing an inspirational message.” The NFL courtesy of CNN