Solomonic Influence in Shakespeare’s Work



Life is a tall tale.
Full of sound, raging fury.
It is vanity.

Acts of vanity.
Vanity of vanities.
All is vanity.

Two philosophers.
Both Shakespeare and Solomon.
Cut from the same thread.

Threading together.
Their poetry of knowledge.
About vanity.

The one a poet.
The other king and poet.
Both linked together.

Both as deep thinkers.
Both as life commentators.
Judging vanity.

And so we notice.
The influence of the one.
Upon the other.

Of King Solomon.
Despite the passage of time.
On Shakespeare’s art form.

This is the message.
That these two great men offer:
Vanity corrupts.

And its corruption.
Does not respect anyone.
It is absolute.

King or commoner.
Vanity goes after all.
It leads to downfall.

Yet from Bard Shakespeare.
There is a ray of sunshine.
Penned from his works.

Where Shakespeare declares:
To thine own self be truthful.
Without falsity.

By this guideline.
You would never be false.
To any person.

And Solomon, too.
Sought for justice with mercy.
Dispensing wisdom.

Wisdom that desires.
Erasure of falsities.
Without vanity.

Together both men.
By meditating on life.
Seeking honesty.

Both meditating.
On the bitter and the sweet.
Of right and of wrong.

That life is a tale.
A tale made of our choices.
Ethical choices.

The choices made false.
Are full of our vanities.
Leading to furies.

Thus both men declare.
In sharing their sound wisdom.
Their observation:

Life is a tall tale.
Full of sound, raging fury.
Raging vanity.

Two ancient critics.
Divided by time and space.
Judging vanity.

Two ancient critics.
Both Solomon and Shakespeare.
Judging vanity.

One examines life.
And sees it made of fury.
An idiot’s tale.

Tale of vanity.
That makes one very foolish.
Foolish vanity.

As for the other.
He sees it too as empty.
As pure vanity.

As pure emptiness.
Empty of life’s true values.
Of moral values.

Two ancient critics.
 Both Solomon and Shakespeare.
Judging vanity.

Two philosophers.
Of ethical principles.
Judging vanity.

Both in agreement.
Malady of vanity.
That makes men foolish.

About this poem

This poem is poetically linked with that of another poem entitled “The Tragedy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which both poems explore the tragedy of vanity in human affairs. In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the protagonist Macbeth, King of Scotland, delivers the following soliloquy: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/ And then is heard no more: it is a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing. ” This famous soliloquy is depicted as a confession which reveals that while Macbeth is not without blemish, his moral turpitude and his vanity do not deter nor hinder him from confessing that he cannot escape blame for his own failures in life. In this regard, his quasi courageous act reminds us only so painfully, of biblical King Solomon’s strikingly similar confession at old age, delivered in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2, which reads, in part: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Literary critics of Shakespeare’s voluminous poetic oeuvres have argued that there is an inherent influence of the biblical Solomon on Shakespeare’s writings. In this regard, both King Solomon and the English bard Shakespeare’s King Macbeth yearn for a greater understanding of the moral purpose of life. And both do so in the form of a soliloquy. Both are partners of the same ilk, which gives cause for us to reflect on the purpose of our own lives; hence, the title of this extended haiku poem, “Solomonic Influence in Shakespeare’s Work.” 

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Written on December 04, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on December 04, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on October 02, 2023

2:17 min read
1,316

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABb bcb Dex fgb hhf ddB ief exx gfx eex fjj klx xxb lme xbn dcb xob xxx app mcc xne ABb QxB QKB oba brb fbb iss QKB DxB xbr
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 2,045
Words 457
Stanzas 31
Stanza Lengths 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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3 Comments
  • AIDA
    Firstly, I wish to express my deep admiration for the effort and thought you put into weaving these lines. You harnessed the power of language to create a beautiful tribute to Shakespeare and Solomon. Your ability to explore the themes of vanity and life's choices through their philosophies completely drew me in. The poem resonated with the essence of both these figures, capturing the minds of readers as they navigate through it.

    Nevertheless, one area that may need tweaking is the flow of your lines. The structure seems inconsistent in some stanzas, with some lines longer than others. It could be beneficial to review the syllable count for each line to create a smoother rhythm.

    Also, while repetition can be effective, you might want to consider introducing more diverse expressions in your plea against vanity. This could enhance the depth of your theme, offering multiple dimensions to your readers to explore.

    Finally, the ending 'All’s not vanity!' has a point to emphasize, but also conflicts with the earlier statements. Perhaps offering a smoother transition to your conclusion or providing an earlier hint about the duality of vanity would make the turn less jarring.

    However, these suggestions are minor improvements to what is an overall well-structured and uniquely crafted poem. The strong philosophical undertones and the way you maintained the respective voices of both Shakespeare and Solomon are impressive. Keep writing and exploring such thought-provoking themes, your talent shines through in every line!
     
    LikeReply8 months ago
  • Dougla$Irishman
    We all have vanity in life but as a Christian living the Life of Christ, now that is the vanity I want, not me but Him ! We must think well of ourselves in order to help others, a workman not to be ashamed of what he is doing ! 
    LikeReply2 years ago
  • Soulwriter
    Indeed it is!
    LikeReply2 years ago

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"Solomonic Influence in Shakespeare’s Work" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/115095/solomonic-influence-in-shakespeare’s-work>.

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