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“No seré capitán.”
And this, surely, is what Shakespeare also felt, because in one of his comedies there is a soldier, a cowardly soldier, the Miles Gloriosus of the Latin comedy. The man is a show-off, he makes people believe that he has acted bravely, and they promote him and he becomes a captain. Then they discover his trick, and in front of the entire troop they pull off his medals; they humiliate him. And then he is left alone and says: “Captain I’ll be no more; / But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft / As captain shall: simply the thing I am / Shall make me live.” “No seré capitán.” He says simply, “the thing I am shall make me live.” That is, he feels that above and beyond the circumstances, beyond his cowardice, his humiliation, he is something else, a kind of strength we all have within us, what Spinoza called “God,” what Schopenhauer called “will,” what Bernard Shaw called “life force,” and Bergson called “vital impulse.” I think this is also what was going on with Boswell.

Borges on Boswell

Oh man it's been WAY too long since I've read Shakes

Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
that every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.


last timestamped: 15:05:28 24-Oct-2019
in categories:Arts/Literature

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