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Catalog of the Shakespeare Art Collection  --  Watercolors of Shakespearean Characters 
~ Bastards, Frauds & Tellers of the Truth  ~

 

 

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BASTARDS, FRAUDS AND TELLERS OF THE TRUTH
Illustrated Profiles of Shakespearean Characters
by
Hannah Tompkins

FRAUDS
In order of their creation

   
Bianca
Friar Laurence
Portia
Helena
Isabella
Imogen
Polixenes
   
in Taming of the Shrew
in Romeo & Juliet 
in Merchant of Venice
in All's Well That Ends Well
in Measure for Measure
in Cymbeline
in Winter's Tale
Written in
1593
1595
1597
1603
1603
1609
1610
Shak.Age
29
31
33
39
39
45
46
 

Definition:
One who deceives or is not what he or she pretends to be; an imposter, a cheat, a turn-coat and fair-weather friend; to be calculating, scheming, shifty, furtive, tricky, devious, double-dealing, evasive: to manipulate through sham, affectation, conceit, hypocrisy and pretense.

The choice of characters here might seem strange, but they were selected as frauds because they not only fool the people in the play, but the audience as well. Most of them are self-seeking, not so much for material gains, but for praise and social approval which will net them other fringe benefits, by maintaining an image which is not a genuine part of their personalities, but a put-on.

In real life I would exchange civilities with them but I would be mighty cautious about sharing my secrets with them. Looking after Number-One has ever been a universal practice, and that's O.K. so why pretend with loaded piety and lofty altruism?

As judgements of 'good' and 'bad' are related to other factors, so too are their degrees; how good or how bad... depends. That's how come there are such flourishing systems of judges and juries to decide if a mis-deed is a felony or misdemeanor..

Yet, one ponders: is a lie unacceptable because it is a lie or does it depend on whether it was a big lie or a little lie? Is there one assessment when it affects me personally?..another for my friends?.. and still another for my enemies? What about the Golden Rule "Do unto others"? and what has that got to do with justice? These questions will not be discussed since they cannot be answered in 25 words or less, so you are at liberty to ponder.


Copyright © 1982 Hannah Tompkins. All rights reserved.

 

 

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