Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Finding Terrific Writing in Unusual Places: William Shakespeare's Star Wars--Vader's Turn

I can't get enough of William Shakespeare's Star Wars. As I have been working my way through it, I have found myself reading with pen in hand so I can mark the passages that are truly beautiful. This time a line from the greatest of villains: Dark Vader.


                                                        --Distract'd is my mind,
               But through its cloudy haze the reason comes:
               Unless I am in error, someone here
               Has come. I have not felt this presence since
     (5)     The days that are but dark in memory.
               This presence I have known sine I was young,
               This presence that once call'd me closest friend,
               This presence that hath all my hopes betray'd,
               This presence that hath turn'd my day to night.
     (10)   This awful presence here must be,
               So shall I to this presence violence 

I love the heavy-handed use of the "presence" in this passage. This choice in diction helps the reader feel the ominous spirit that is hanging over Vader, almost like Obi-Wan has already died and haunts Vader like a ghost. The word hangs on the passage like a shade, creating this gloomy atmosphere. A beautiful passage.

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