But Be Not Afraid Of Greatness: Shakespeare


But be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Twelfth Night (1601)

As advice goes, I have no problem with the first clause – bring it on, I say! I may already be disqualified by ‘some men’, but let us rise above that. I was not born great. I am in the good company of 99% of the population who think that achieving greatness sounds much too much like hard work. Having greatness thrust upon one, however, sounds rather fun.

I am told it is a common dream to be in the stadium at a cup final, when one man is down. Suddenly you are called from the crowd to take his place, having greatness thrust upon you. Whether you go on to win lots of goals, or whether you secure a humiliating defeat for your side rather depends on your degree of optimism in your dreams.

P.S. If anyone were, by any chance, thinking of thrusting greatness on me, I would like to point out that I am already 64 and a quarter and you had better get a move on…:)

The illustration is © bloomua | View Portfolio via Shutterstock

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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2 Responses to But Be Not Afraid Of Greatness: Shakespeare

  1. I think you’ll find that you have already attained a measure if not of greatness, then of fame (which I appreciate is not the same thing). 64 1/4 is the perfect age to enjoy it.

    • layanglicana says:

      Well, my tongue was rather firmly in my cheek, but thank-you for this tribute – which I would like to point out to any sceptical readers was unsolicited, but Stephen and I are friends. Thank-you indeed, Stephen!

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