Addressing a massive rally in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, he said, “Today's advertisement of DMK is ridiculous. They have insulted Indian science and Indian space and for that they should apologize.”
In a unique tribute to the literary legend William Shakespeare, a portrait of the playwright and a copy of a speech from his renowned work “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” embarked on a remarkable journey to the edge of space. This extraordinary voyage was part of a short film series commemorating 400 years since the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a pivotal collection of his works.
Shakespeare’s First Folio, a compilation of his plays by friends, was published on November 8, 1623, seven years after the playwright’s passing. About 750 copies of this influential publication were believed to have been printed, containing 36 of the 37 plays authored by Shakespeare. These plays were meticulously organized into comedies, tragedies, and histories for the first time, forming a literary legacy that has endured for centuries.
To honor this significant milestone, filmmaker Jack Jewers crafted six short films addressing contemporary themes such as space exploration, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Each of these films incorporated excerpts from Shakespeare’s speeches and poems.
In the short film titled “Lovers and Madmen,” narrated by the distinguished actor Tom Baker, a weather balloon carried the portrait of Shakespeare and the text to the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Jewers even included a miniature copy of the “Lovers and Madmen” speech from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” within the portrait. He described the concept as a poetic fusion of Shakespeare’s words and image floating in the vast expanse of space.
Another short film, “The Stranger’s Case,” featured a poignant speech penned by Shakespeare for an unperformed play, interwoven with footage depicting refugees at sea. The enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s work struck Jewers as he delved into the themes, making it evident that the Bard’s words resonate powerfully with contemporary issues.
Regarding “The Stranger’s Case,” Jewers remarked, “It feels so modern that whenever anybody hears this, they go, ‘well, this could be today.'” The enduring timeliness of Shakespeare’s insights underscores the timeless quality of his writing.
The significance of Shakespeare’s First Folio cannot be overstated; it stands as one of the most pivotal works in English literature. This collection ensured the preservation of 18 plays, including the iconic “Macbeth.” “Shakespeare’s fellow actors, theatre company owners, decided to pull that material together and produce the kind of testament to their former colleague, to the greatest playwright that they had certainly ever worked with,” shared Will Tosh, head of research at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. Shakespeare’s legacy endures as a testament to his unparalleled contribution to the English language and the world of literature.