Quantum Weirdness

Quantum Weirdness

Or What the Hell is this Going On?

We all know that Quantum Mechanics is weird; weird doesn’t begin to explain what it really is, but all we can say is weird. Even physicists agree that Quantum Mechanics is weird. It all starts with a simple thought experiment; just put a cat in a box.

Take a cat and put it in a box along with a Geiger counter inside which is contained a bit of a radioactive substance whose atoms have a 50% probability of decaying, and 50% probability of not; in such a case where it does decay, it is connected to a hammer that will break a vial of hydrocyanic acid that will result in instantly killing the cat. Now, when this system is left all by its lonesome without any outside interference, the cat has an equal probability of being alive and dead. In Quantum Mechanics, any system is defined by a Psi-Function: and this describes the state of the system. So, in the case of this cat, the psi-function is in a superposition of the two possible states of the cat – dead, and alive. So yes, the cat is, in fact, both dead and alive in the box, in layman’s terms.

The only way to solve the problem is opening the box and seeing what state it is in; doing this constitutes a measurement – making an observation – and this collapses the wave function, causing the cat to be either dead, or alive.

So, what this actually implies is that a system exists in that particular state only after we observe it, or make a measurement.

Now, you could very well argue that this is absolutely absurd, and that’s not how reality works – you don’t need to observe something to make it exist in that state. But if we follow the Quantum Mechanical interpretation of the world, then that is how everything is.

Before we go on, lets define a couple of terms.

In Quantum Mechanics, the Observer is quite the same as a measurement apparatus; the act of making an observation is synonymous with quantum measurement, which in itself is difficult due to the Uncertainty Principle; and an Observable is anything that you measure.

In Classical Mechanics, you can very accurately describe the state of a system by stating its position and momentum. The quantum mechanical analogue to this is a quantum state, which is made up of several probabilities, but, unlike in Classical Mechanics, we cannot describe the state in terms of its position and momentum accurately; there is some inherent uncertainty in defining its position and momentum.

When we talk about Collapse of a Wave function, we mean that the function that describes the system has been found to be in one state, rather than any other, upon measurement. A system is described by a wave function, which could refer to any number of possibilities; think of a system before observation as a cloud of possibilities, it could be absolutely anything and everything. So when you make an observation, and see that it is in some state 1, rather than any of the other states, it is said to have collapsed into that state. This cloud of possibilities mentioned before is the superposition of states.

Quantum Mechanics is hugely successful because it manages to predict things very well; the mathematics of it work wonderfully, but the problem is the theory. The theory of Quantum Mechanics is incomplete, some would say, and this leaves a lot to interpretation and this gives us several interpretations of Quantum Mechanics itself.

The most famous interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This interpretation says that physical systems don’t have definite properties unless they’ve been measured, and hence causing the wave function to collapse. Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg developed this version between 1925 and 1927.

The Copenhagen interpretation is the most widely accepted and widely taught version, but it’s not safe from criticism. One of the major critiques of this interpretation is that it is a bit ad hoc; take the example of Schrodinger’s Cat that was mentioned before, and now add a human in the same box as the cat. Now, for the outside observer, the cat is in a superposition of states – that is dead and alive; but the human inside sees the cat to be alive. This leads us to having two different wave functions for the same cat, and you might very well be in a position to ask: “What the hell is this going on?”

Copenhagen has a nice work around; it now creates a distinction between the inside observer and the outside observer. There is something called a Heisenberg Slit, which is, in theory, an interface between he Quantum Mechanical system and the observer. So, the Copenhagen Interpretation says that if the two observers are on the same side of the slit, it’s a measurement. But if they’re on either side, then for the one on the same side as the cat, it isn’t considered a measurement.

What this basically boils down to is the seventh commandment of animalism in Animal Farm. At the beginning, the pigs say, “All animals are equal.” But later, the pigs amend that (and others) to make way for their “law breaking”: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Another major critic of the Copenhagen Interpretations was Einstein himself. Einstein, Nathan Rosen and Boris Podolsky published a paper that came to be known as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (or EPR) paradox that states that Quantum Mechanics is an incomplete description of reality.

The paper stated that this interpretation was incomplete and hence there is a possibility of a more complete theory being developed in the future. It states that if Quantum Mechanics were a complete description, then there must exist some local hidden variables to help account for the some of the other, inaccessible variables.

In what theorist Sean Carroll calls the “most embarrassing” poll in the history of physics, physicists attending a conference called Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality were asked which interpretation of Quantum Mechanics they subscribe to and 40% said that, despite its many pitfalls, flaws and its ad hoc nature, they subscribe to the Copenhagen Interpretation; the rest couldn’t find an alternative theory to follow.

Another way of looking at Quantum Mechanics is the Many Worlds Interpretation. Taking the example of the famous cat, since it has only two possible states, reality splits into two – one where it is alive, while another where it is dead. So, we have two universes created, one in which the cat is dead, another where it is alive. The reason this isn’t that big is because it implies that the whole universe is defined by a single wave function, which is a hard truth to digest. But this interpretation, as with many other substitutes for the Copenhagen Interpretation, create more problems than they hope to solve.

Now, one of the biggest flaws of the Copenhagen interpretation is of a more existential nature. As mentioned before, the reason, according to this interpretation, that anything exists is due to observation. So, that begs the question: How do we exist?

Common sense dictates that if this were, truly, an accurate representation of reality, then something must have observed the original system, to cause a collapse into our state – the one in which we live, breathe and exist. We simply could not exist unless some measurement had been made to allow the wave function that described our universe to collapse.

Who is observing us? What caused the wave function that described our universe collapse?

Short answer: No clue.

Long Answer: Not the slightest idea.

So, really, what the hell is this going on?

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood Review

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood Review


This is the four hundredth year of Shakespeare, and his plays are enjoyed, and loved, and relevant today, as they were in his time. The Hogarth Press was started by Virginia and her husband Leonard Woolf back in the early 20th Century. Virginia Woolf was a lover of Shakespeare, and that was reflected in her writings. Their goal was to publish new writing by new, up-and-coming writers. The Hogarth Press, famously, denied publishing James Joyce’s Ulysses.

In 2012, Hogarth was started with the same mission, and recently they started The Hogarth Shakespeare Project where prominent authors would take up their favourite Shakespeare Plays and would re-tell it in a contemporary setting.

This is the latest to be released, with more on the way. Margaret Atwood is an amazing writer, though, I’m a bigger fan of her poetry than her fiction. She has taken up The Tempest, and has set it in a prison.

As we know, The Tempest is a play about revenge, and is a bit fantastical. It follows Prospero as he brings on a tempest that shipwrecks Antonio, his brother, and his companions. He, along with Alonzo, the King of Naples, had tricked him out of his Dukedom, and now he seeks his revenge. He is aided by Caliban, a deformed child of the witch Sycorax, and Ariel, a spirit that he has trapped and now reluctantly assists him in his nefarious deeds. Meanwhile, Miranda, Prospero’s daughter, falls in love with Ferdinand,

In Hag-Seed, we meet artistic director Felix, who was fired from his position as he was directing a radical interpretation of The Tempest. Now, twelve years later, he is working at a Correctional Facility where he is teaching Shakespeare to the inmates. Here, he decides to put on a play based on The Tempest, because he learns that his former boss, and the person who was responsible for firing him, is coming to visit the Correctional Facility.

So, therein he finds the opportunity to enact his revenge, and what a novel way he takes it. This book works on two levels, putting on The Tempest as a play, and thereby taking his revenge, but also how pieces of The Tempest and the revenges are leaking into his life and re-fuelling his revenge.

The book is beautifully written, the characters work as themselves, separate from their Tempest counterparts,  as well as re-interpretations of characters of The Tempest. I don’t think I’ve read a re-telling quite like this before where the play is constantly referenced and is used a means of enacting the play in Felix’s life, and as a means of revenge.

The Tempest is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, and Margaret Atwood is the perfect author to re-tell it, and what a success it was. I absolutely loved the book, the language, the pacing, and the Shakespeare lessons one gets from it.

If you love Shakespeare, or you just love a good read, Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed is the book for you!

Hyperion/The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons


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These two books form a mammoth first part to an epic series by Dan Simmons. Hyperion follows a group of  seven people -The Consul, a detective, a poet, a soldier, a scholar, a priest, and the captain of the tree ship on which they are travelling – on a pilgrimage to Hyperion, where the Time Tombs are located, where they will, inevitably, encounter a mythical creature, worshiped by some, feared by almost everyone else, called The Shrike.

Borrowing from the structure and form of Geoffery Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, each character shares their tale. The second one, The Fall of Hyperion, follows them as they navigate the challenging landscape of Hyperion, and the Time Tombs under the shadow of the Shrike, and the impending Ouster Invasion, and its consequences.

Both the books are mindbogglingly brilliant.

What I love about them is how different both of them are from each other; the first is divided into stories detailing the past lives of the pilgrims before the came onto the Tree Ship. And each story has a different genre to it, and each story shows their connection to the Shrike, and Hyperion. My personal favourite is the Scholar’s tale, where he talks about his daughter, who was conducting her research at one of the time tombs, The Sphinx, and due to some anomaly, she has started ageing backwards, and because of that the scholar and his wife have to take care of their daughter again.

The sequel, and the reason I’m reviewing them together, picks up where Hyperion left-off; Hyperion ends on a sort of cliffhanger, and a revelation that not all would expect. Hyperion leaves all our characters in a state of confusion, danger, and mistrust, and this is just the beginning of their journey. The Fall of Hyperion, as opposed to Hyperion, switches perspectives between the pilgrims, and Gladstone, as she prepares for the Ouster Invasion.

The second one has some twists that one wouldn’t expect, and it is perhaps the better one of the two.

I had been putting off reading this series for a very long time, only due to its immense size and the epic proportions of the book. It is definitely a Herculean task that you’d undertake reading this series; by no means is this an easy read. But every moment you spend reading this series, it is worth it, because of the rich atmosphere and the diverse world that Simmons creates. It’ll be very easy to get lost in world.

(P.S. I love the concept of time debt that is introduced, and, basically, all the technology thrills me and the little nuggets of sciencey explanation makes me very happy.)

Also, in some ways, the are some Shakespearean undertones to the characters and I love that about them.

This is one amazing book, and any self-respecting Sci-fi fan should read it, and enjoy it.

I’m currently reading the third book, Endymion, and subsequently, I’ll proceed to The Rise of Endymion, both of which take place several centuries after the events of Hyperion/The Fall of Hyperion.


Version Control by Dexter Palmer Review 

There is no shortage of Time Travel stories in recent times; many TV networks have at least one science fiction show that involves time travel. So, believe me when I tell you that this book breathes new life into the Time Travel genre. Rebecca is married to brilliant, albeit weird and sciencalholic physicists Phillip who has been working on a Causality Violation Device (don’t you dare call it a goddamn Time Machine) and a mysterious organisation has been funding his research, trying to make Causality Violation a possibility. As the a story progresses we see that Rebecca and Phillip had lost their child in a car crash that had happened a while back, and Phillip, at least in the back of his mind, blames Rebecca and her drinking for it. Rebecca blames her self as well, but won’t admit it. Phillip has also been been engaging in an extramarital affair with his colleague, Alicia.

Time Travel theory is a largely pseudo-physics field that very few dabble in, though, in theory of course, Einstein’s GTR allows it. This book uses one of the many time travel theories as a basis. 

The experiment to test Causality Violation uses a small robot with a clock that is synced to the atomic clock in Boulder; this robot is then sent into the device and is then retrieved. In Theory, the robots clock should show that an hour had passes, while for them, outside the chamber of the CVD, it would’ve been just a few seconds. 

So theory states that the robot did travel in time, but it entered a different universe it was sent an hour later, rather that the time it was actually sent, and hence all the event were changed to fit that. This is a heavily scientific theory, and I would love to get into the he details of it, but I’ll save you the trouble. 

So, when Rebecca finds out about her husband’s infidelity, she is extremely pissed and she enters the CVD just to spite her husband and her work and the woman he’s been sleeping with; When she does that, she wakes up and everything is different, though she doesn’t know it, because her memory has been fixed to fit the new reality; the new reality is where her husband went to pick their Son up, and he had died in the car crash and not their son. There is another CVD-reality presented towards the end as well, where Rebecca died and not the Son.

Most of the book is devoid of much science fiction, other than the technological developments of that universe. 

The characters are really well developed towards the end, and the transition from one reality to the other is quite subtle; if you haven’t read the blurb or know what to expect, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Though, I will admit, it was a tiny bit of a task getting past the first hundred pages; it was quite slow, but then it picked up and it got really interesting. 

I really like books that take physical concepts and build fiction upon it, but don’t overdo the scientific aspect by giving some rubbish explanation. This book took one single time travel theory, and took such a subtle approach to it, without shouting it at your face. It is only mentioned towards the end of the second section. 

Version Control by Dexter Palmer is a brilliant book for the science fiction lovers, and time travel aficionados who really want a book that takes an interested approach towards time travel. I really liked this book. Definitely one of my favourite books of this year. 
My feelings towards this book would compare to what I felt last year for Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things. (Which is also a brilliant book, go read it!)

Holding Back Gravity

(This is something I wrote a while back for my University)

Take a look at the night-sky and what do you see? Stars, constellations, a moon, the occasional planet, maybe a shooting star, but everything else is dark. Theory and several observations suggest that the Milky Way, the galaxy in which our humble solar system lies, has millions and millions of stars. Not just that, we have observed several other galaxies with millions of stars. Then, one can ask, why do we not see all, and just a handful? If the universe was static, and infinite, as many believed it to be, then the night sky should be bright and full of wondrous stars, rather than dark abyss that we see. This contradiction between theory and observation is called the Olbers’ Paradox. This Paradox has many solutions, as is standard for paradoxes. Many of them are absurd, as is expected, but I shall focus on exactly one – The Inflationary Model.

Hundred years ago, Albert Einstein was formulating his General Theory of Relativity and the equation he formulated described a universe that is constantly expanding. At that time it was assumed that the universe was static, and not expanding, so Einstein introduced the Cosmological Constant, denoted by Λ (Greek: Lambda) to counteract this expansion. Around the same time Edwin Hubble discovered through observations of galaxies that the universe was expanding, as described by Einstein’s original equation sans the constant. According to George Gamow, Einstein called his failure to recognize the accuracy of his equations the “biggest blunder” of his life. Many assumed the cosmological constant to have a zero value, and this led to a conclusion that the expansion of our universe was decelerating. But observations of galaxies showed them receding away from us at an accelerated rate. This led to the cosmological constant to be brought back, and this constant was said to have a positive value to account for the accelerated expansion.

So, why is the universe expanding at an accelerated rate, and what is resisting and counteracting the attractive nature of gravity all around us? The answer is that something is pushing it and that something is Dark Energy. Dark Energy is this hypothetical “force” that exists in the form of negative pressure causing this accelerated expansion and works against gravity. This constitutes the so-called ΛCDM – Model (Lambda- CDM; and CDM is an abbreviation of Cold Dark Matter), which takes into account Dark Energy as well as Dark Matter.

Dark Matter is that hypothetical substance that occupies a large amount of space in our universe, and it is used to explain the gravitational effects (like gravitational lensing) of very large-scale structures, which cannot be explained by ordinary matter. Cold Dark Matter is a form of Dark Matter, which travels at speeds much smaller than the speed of light (hence the name cold). Dark Matter is described as “non-baryonic” that is to say that it is made up of elementary particles that are not protons or neutrons; dissipationless – that is it cannot cool itself by radiating photons; and collisonless – that is it interacts with each other, and ordinary matter through gravitational forces or the weak force, but not directly.

It is estimated that the total energy density in our universe has the following distribution: Dark Energy – 70%, Dark Matter – 25%, and Ordinary Matter (stuff we are made of) a mere – 5%.

The ΛCDM – model includes a single originating event – the Big Bang or a Singularity where there was no bang but a sudden and unexpected appearance of an expanding space time with a temperature of around 1027 K. The very next instant, about 10-29  seconds after it came into existence, it started expanding at an exponential rate and this is what is known as Cosmic Inflation. For the first several hundred thousand years it was very hot (around 10,000K) and this is detectable through the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation. Cosmic Background Radiation is what is observed in the microwave spectrum in the dark between galaxies where there are no stars.

This Inflationary Model tries to provide a solution to The Horizon Problem. Imagine standing somewhere in space. To your left, at about 10 billion light years away (1 light year is the distance traveled by light in a year) is a galaxy. To your right, again at 10 billion light years is another galaxy. Armed with the knowledge that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, one would assume that, since nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, the two galaxies would not have had any opportunity to communicate with each other as light could not have traveled sufficiently far to reach the other galaxy to transfer information. Here “information” refers to some form of physical interaction.

Now, let’s take something basic like heat transfer. The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics states that heat from a hot body, keeps flowing into a cold body until they reach thermal equilibrium, and only if they are in thermal contact. That is heat flows from a hot body, to a cold body until they are at the same temperature and the bodies would have to be in some form of physical contact with each other, without which no heat transfer can happen.

The two galaxies that were mentioned before have never been in physical contact and light wouldn’t have travelled fast enough to transfer any information. So, one would expect these galaxies, and the whole universe to have different properties. But this is contrary to the observations made.

Our Universe is highly isotropic, meaning it has roughly the same properties throughout; and it is homogenous, which means that matter is spread quite evenly throughout. The CMB radiation that fills the universe is roughly the same temperature: 2.728 K. The difference in temperature is extremely minute and only recently has human kind developed the technology to detect these differences.Inflation helps resolve this problem.

The universe, at the very beginning was very small, very dense and was causally connected. It is at this stage that all the properties evened out and then there was a very brief period of exponential expansion, which led to an increase in the size of the universe by a massive factor. This didn’t eliminate any irregularities, but greatly reduced them.

This theory of Inflation (originally proposed by Alan Guth in 1980), though it manages to solve several problems that have plagued the field of cosmology, was not welcomed with open arms by everyone. Roger Penrose, a world renowned physicist, is one of the most vocal critics of this theory. He says that for this theory to be a valid explanation, the originating events must have had highly specific initial conditions, and this is otherwise known as the Fine-Tuning Problem.

Andrei Linde of Stanford, another major contributor to the Inflationary Model, proposed something called Chaotic Inflation, a more general theory of inflation (also called Eternal Inflation). He is also responsible for proposing the theory on how matter was created (in a process called reheating that took place right after the inflationary stage). Linde made a prediction that the inflationary model of the universe would inevitably lead to the creation of a multiverse. He suggested that the inflation will go on, in certain parts of the universe, endlessly and this will lead to creation of pocket universes that will be independent of ours. So, our universe, instead of being like a balloon, will be like a huge fractal.

The ΛCDM – Model and the Inflationary Model try to provide an explanation as to why the night sky is dark, instead of bright. The acceleration of the universe is causing something known as redshift. To put it simply, redshift is what causes the emitted light to increase in wavelength, hence pushing it beyond the visible spectrum and into the microwave range, which our eyes cannot register. This redshift causes the energy to reduce by a factor of 1100 and so the light fades into the Cosmic Background Radiation. This causes the night sky to look dark, and not bright, as theory would suggest. Hence providing one of the most beautiful, and plausible explanations to the Olbers’ Paradox.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel Review 

Sylvian Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants opens to the discovery of a mysterious hand by a young girl. This young girl grows up to become a physicist, and is later recruited to uncover the mysteries of this hand, and its origins. She joins a brilliant pilots and her co-pilot, a geneticist and an even more mysterious interviewer.

The rest of the story is presented in the form of interviews and new reports, and it is a very cool way of story telling. I really loved the way it was presented to us, though initially I was apprehensive of it because I couldn’t understand how they’s convey the sheer magical, alien feel of this device/weapon.

I really loved the story, it had a very Ancient Shores, Stargate SG-1 feel to it (I actually realise, as I write this, that Ancient Shores and SG1 are almost, nearly alike, with few exceptions of course). The characters are really good; I’m surprised by how well developed the characters are though their consciousness isn’t narrated, all we get is their speech through the interviews and it’s really amazing how the characters grow on you.

Sleeping Giants is Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel that he self published a while ago and recently it was picked up by Sony, I believe, to be made into a movie. I’m really excited to see how this translates into a movie. I would actually love to see the events being played out in the movie, just as they did in the books.

The way I imagined it was a set of web videos of these interviews with documents and newscasts; I don’t know – this just sounds so much better than the movie. But, who am I to judge? The movie might actually be very good, like The Martian was.

Fingers Crossed.

In conclusion, this is a brilliant book, and I can’t wait for the next book.

United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

Science Fiction Books off late have been very disappointing. They are either formulaic or they get very predictable, or they fall into the usual tropes which I just find annoying. I try to preface all my reviews of Science Fiction books with my distaste for modern science fiction, with a few exceptions of course.

It’s a sort of quasi-follow-up to Phillip K. Dick’s phenomenal The Man In The High Castle.  In a similar fashion, USJ open to Japan winning the World War, and taking over the Americas. Now, the Americans worship this Emperor as a God figure, and he rules over all this land with an iron fist. Any form of sedition is considered as treason; slacking, negligence or even laziness is considered a punishable offence.

Agent Akiko Tsukino, a member of the Japanese Secret Police, is this hardcore rule follower who’s first name should ideally be “Agent.” She meets Ben as part of her investigation into a mysterious and seditious game that imagines a universe where America has won the world war. She suspects Ben, but then enlists him to help her uncover the mysterious origins of this game, and it’s relation to his former General, Mutsuraga and the surprisingly sudden death of Ben’s friend and the General’s daughter, Claire.

I’ll start of by complementing the author on phenomenal world building. The way he describes this Alternate History version, with the rebel groups called George Washingtons; USJ having a Video Game Censor department and monitoring seditious activities through games; the God-Status of their Emperor; and, of course, GIANT FIGHTING ROBOTS! All of this, somehow, seems plausible. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Emperor actually turned out to be the head of Nintendo!

But, my point it that the story is good. It’s very good, in fact. Both the characters are so well developed by the end, and there is so much mystery surrounding both of their intentions until the very end.

The book is filled with references to both The Man in the Hight Castle and American History. It also has this really funny scene that related to Hitler (which I shall not spoil for anyone).

Oh! And did I mention GIANT FIGHTING ROBOTS!!


Yeah, so, I really liked this book!


A to Z Challenge: Science Writing

I don’t even know why I got turned onto Science Writing. It’s a very weird thing in my opinion, but I thought it was appropriate given that I’m majoring in Physics with a minor in English (Seriously, start taking shots when I mention Physics and English; if I did that, I’d be out and sloshed somewhere, with someone else’s baby, and maybe a tramp stamp. I digress, apologies. Getting back to the point).

Yes, apologies for the internal monologue.

So, yes, Science Writing.

Recently I attended a talk where this woman, a very well established science writer who works at NPR and with BBC World, talked about her field. She talked about how it is about telling stories, just that these stories are about science and related discoveries in that field; she made it sound so so sexy.

I really like writing, and I really love Physics (SHOT!) and I really want to tell stories through physics. Chaos by James Gleick has often been cited as one of the most prominent works in science writing. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs (which I can’t stop talking about) by Lisa Randall is another brilliant example of science writing.

I want to be able to get people interested in things like Dark Matter, Black Holes, Cosmology and so much more. Physics (SHOT!) has such interesting, confusing, and perplexing topics to talk about, and paradoxes to bash your brains over. It is such a beautiful field.


…or maybe it’s just me.


A to Z Challenge: Shakespeare

“Who’s there?”

Shakespeare, that’s who.

For my Modernist Fiction class I had to read Mrs. Dalloway, and in the first three pages, I noticed two distinct references to Shakespeare. As the book progressed, I found more, and more, and more.

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages; 

That’s from Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays.

I say “lesser known” because people don’t know anything beyond Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, and maybe, maybe Othello. They know one, maybe two of his Sonnets, and almost always the sonnet happens to be:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

-Sonnet 18 

He has so much more to offer.

Othello is a beautiful tale of jealousy and how human mind can easily be corrupted. Hamlet is a tale of revenge and insanity. Macbeth is one of treachery, and hubris and witches. The opening lines are so iconic:

When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?  

There is something about his language, something about the rhythm, the cadence, everything. There is just something about Shakespeare, and it is so seductive.

So Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. It’s really good. Virginia Woolf though, she quotes Shakespeare like it is her second language. She quotes it like a pro.

There is so much detail to uncover in his plays, that maybe even a lifetime devoted to his works would not be enough; and the joy is finding it, uncovering it on your own. He has some keen insights into the human mind, which at that time would’ve been impossible to have at that point in time. I mean, there wasn’t a Freud to tell people they were repressing sexual feelings for their mother, or repressing sexual feelings in general. But, I digress, as usual. Look at the opening lines of Hamlet: Who’s There? So much can be read in to it. I was telling my friend about it recently, about how it is one of the most interesting opening lines of any play, so I won’t bore you with this. She’s already got the whole deal.

The point is, Shakespeare is an amazing chap, with some amazing plays. I find it strange that people dismiss him so easily, he is the king of dirty puns and sexual innuendos.

Another thing about Shakespeare is that his works are timeless classics. Somehow these stories are relevant even in recent times, with maybe a slight change in context. But they are relevant. The timelessness allows for such brilliant interpretations of the plays. Most recently, I caught a touring company called Filter Theatre who performed Twelfth Night. It was so so good. It was hilarious, it was crazy, it was magical. And one of my fondest memories are with that particular show.

I could go on and on, but I guess you have read enough.

A to Z Challenge: Pi

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Idea Credit: Bharath Sambasivam.