Shakespeare was a man ahead of both his time and ours

Kiernan Ryan in The Guardian:

Shakespeare_2Coleridge, arguably Shakespeare’s greatest critic, came closest to defining the distinctive quality of his vision, when he observed that Shakespeare is as unlike his contemporaries as he is unlike us. In other words, his plays at their most powerful are out of sync with both Shakespeare’s epoch and ours, and so can’t be explained fully in terms of the past they sprang from or the present in which we encounter them. What drives his drama is the dream of a dispensation whose advent we still await, the prospect of a future free from the division and domination that crippled Shakespeare’s world and continues to cripple ours.

More here.