Peer wasn’t quite over his disappointment with the apothecary’s daughter. He played the piano and made up songs. His voice teacher said his songs were good, then they talked about Shakespeare and how wonderful his works were. Then Peer went on to play Hamlet.
Everyone thought he was a wonderful Hamlet. The merchant’s wife praised him and asked him where he got such a talent. Peer said it came from God, and the merchant’s wife told him that theater and God didn’t belong in the same sentence. Peer told her that he disagreed.
The following Sunday Peer was to go to church to make up with the merchant’s wife, but also to see a lovely young woman.
I’m going to go ahead and admit that I don’t know a lot about Shakespeare. I have read some Shakespeare and have endeavored to read more, but it’s not easy to get into. I don’t prefer the flowery language of the Shakespearean sonnets or plays. There is also doubt, there always is, as to whether Shakespeare actually wrote some of the material he claims to have written. Maybe he wrote it all and maybe he didn’t. I don’t honestly care.
On my end, I have to wonder why it’s always Shakespeare. There are other playwrights. There are other poets. What is so amazing about Shakespeare that we have to hold his name in reverence, at least as far as the theater is concerned? I admit, I don’t get it. I just get tired of people in stories, in movies, and in real life talking about how awesome Shakespeare is, when there are other playwrights and poets running around.
The merchant’s wife thinks theater is a base art and therefore God could not possibly be involved. So God gives his blessing on one art form, but not others? People had been letting artists paint their church walls for hundreds of years by this point and said that artists had God-given talents, but a gifted actor did not have a God-given talent? Look, there is a scripture about talents, I forget where, and in what book. The scripture says that everyone is given talents, some a few, and some many. The scriptures also say, in another area, that you’re not supposed to hide your talents.
So if you did have an inherent talent for theater, you’re not supposed to just hide out as a pizza delivery boy; you’re supposed to use it in some capacity.
The attitude of this woman is condescending. She presumes she knows how God works, when none of us do. She thinks theater is too sensational for God to get involved in. Hey, well, art has been pretty sensational in its time. There are naked figures all over the Vatican, but you don’t see the Pope getting up and shouting about it.
In the end, people are given many talents in a variety of areas. If you believe that God gives all things, then God gave you your talent, even if it’s a strange talent. I’m thinking about those people who can turn their eyelids inside out–gross, but God wanted them to be able to do that for some reason, perhaps purely to the amusement of other children.
I think this merchant’s wife is too high and mighty for herself.
Are people like the merchant’s wife correct?
Do you think your favorite actors are blessed with a talent, or have they just worked really, really hard?