Shakespeare Sheltered In Place and wrote MacBeth

Shakespeare was ‘sheltering in place’ in Londoon during the plague of 1606 when he wrote Macbeth. (c)WikiPhoto

Yesterday, April 8, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp extended his original ‘shelter in place’ order for residents of the state from April 13 to April 30. It is part of his (and others) official plan to try to defeat the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has taken lives and made many sick.

A ‘shelter in place’ order is basically telling us, please, don’t go anywhere that you don’t have to … seek your needs, not your wants … stay healthy.

Other states in our nation are doing the same thing. Shoot, it is happening worldwide. People have gone into either panic or pshaw modes (Pshaw mode – oh, it is not going to get me, it is just the media or such and such political party trying to scare us …..)

Sitting at home, trying to overcome anxieties and entertain children who are home because schools are closed and work from home, has impacted so many already negatively – just look at the posts on social media accounts. The old cliche, ‘We are in desperate times,’ keeps playing over and over on television and in conversations.

As Shaggy would say on a Scooby Doo episode, “What a bummer.”

As I was doing my early morning devotions today on YouVersion, my interest was piqued. Or maybe it was one of those moments that God wanted me to hear.

Did you know that William Shakespeare had to shelter in place by executive order?

Well, not sure if there was an executive order. In 1606, the Plague hit London. ‘Hard. Life stopped completely. This included public gatherings including church meetings, sporting events and theater outings.’ (Hillsong-London, You Version)

Around this time, William Shakespeare was just beginning his career as THE playwright everyone wanted to know. Then, the plague arrived (Hello, does that sound familiar? COVID-19.), and BOOM. His livelihood was threatened. (Whoa … Coincidence? Irony?)

The London theaters were closed for three years. (And you think the raid on toilet paper was bad – can you imagine?)

So, as the following point was made. Shakespeare had a choice. He could just freak out, lay around, zone out, eat bread and drink wine and walk around like a zombie. Or he could keep on keeping on – just with a little adjustments.

He could have ‘bowed down and gave up all his hard work.’ Guess what, he didn’t. During his social distancing time, Shakespeare wrote some of his most well-known, celebrated pieces of work, including, Macbeth, King Lear and … the romance of all romances, Antony and Cleopatra.

Pause … Eyebrows furrowing … Brainstorm … I see your wheels turning … Ooh, slow down, there is smoke coming out your ears …

Shakespeare chose to persevere through the hardest and most difficult time of life in London.

And he did it from home.

We are in the middle of our ‘1606 Plague.’ It is a time when chances shouldn’t be taken no matter how strong your faith is. Caution is fine. Wash your hands, clean your house, your car, and keep your outings to only the essentials – the needs, not the wants. If you are sick, make sure you get the proper care. Read up on how to wear masks and gloves and how to take them off and wash them.

Whatever happens … and it could get worse before we see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel… me and my parents are OK with it, becaue we know God’s plans are for our own good. (hello, Jeremiah 29:11.)

My dad sent out an email to my aunts, brother and sister and one of his grandchildren today. It simply said, “We are fine … we have an ‘excuse to hang loose.’

Go have your ‘Shakespeare Moment’ – write a play, read a book, paint your fingernails, walk around the block, get some sun, clean out your closet, watch a YouTube video to learn how to cut your hair or do something else like that, clean out your car, sit on the front porch, talk and listen with your family, write a letter/email … whatever it is, as the devotional writer said, ‘embrace this season and make it productive.

Hang loose. Stay Healthy.

Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn @themurphygazette and on Twitter @tmurphygazette.

Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

2 thoughts on “Shakespeare Sheltered In Place and wrote MacBeth”

  1. The covid-19 has did some good aside from us not being able to go anywhere. I’m staying home I’ve spent a lot more time with my family and I’m sure other people have to. But it also sucks that I have to be around them all the time, they can get annoying. And I miss my friends that I can’t see.


  2. The way I look at this whole hard time right now may be different then others but, we all have different looks on everything. I see this whole pandemic as yes, a hard thing to go through with it affecting older people worse. It sucks but I think some people look at this as not a huge deal but i’m sure if someone they loved or cared for had it they would change their looks on it. Basically what i’m getting at is maybe right now is the time for us all to focus on how much we have in life and if we take it for granted or not. We all need some time in our lives to just spend time with family and enjoy it. Some kid’s may not like it but for me I feel I have become so much closer with my family and I love the relationship I have with them all. It seem that family’s are doing more thing’s together such as,walking, playing games, fishing, and biking.


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