Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Banned 400-Year-Old Shakespearean Speech Being Used For Refugee Rights Today

The Book of Sir Thomas More was a banned play, believed to be written between 1596 and 1601. More’s call for empathy, famously delivered by actor Ian Mckellan who played More on stage in 1964, has since become a clarion call for refugee advocates today.

The ‘wretched strangers’ have changed from the Lombards targeted in 1517 to the Huguenot refugees in Shakespeare’s time and to the Syrians, Iraqis, South Sudanese, Eritreans and others fleeing repressive governments of our time.

The handwritten manuscript, the only example of a script written in Shakespeare’s penmanship, is on view at London’s British Library.


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