jueves, 26 de abril de 2012

Prospero's Books

In Shakespeare's famous play The Tempest, the main characters land (actually their ship wrecks) on an island where magical things happen. There is a savage creature -or a monster- living there who is subjected by Prospero, a magician and man of science. Prospero's power comes from his books.

Christopher Marlowe was another English playwright. One of his plays, Doctor Faustus, is about a man who uses his knowledge to sign a contract with the devil. When the time for judgement comes, he cries, "I'll burn my books", but it is too late, and the devil drags him to hell.

Both The Tempest and Doctor Faustus are excellent works of art. In both of them books are shown as powerful instruments for their owners. It is logical that in Shakespeare's and Marlowe's times (when lots of people could not read) books were considered so important. But it is also true that 400 years later books are still the main means of cultural transmission. Just think.

This week we celebrate the World Book Day. So please, don't burn your books ;-)

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