Ian McKellan Reading from Sir Thomas More

If you like Sir Ian McKellan and Shakespeare, you’ll probably enjoy McKellan’s performance of More’s speech as written by Shakespeare (in his contribution to Sir Thomas More) toward the end of his appearance on the WTF podcast. The play as a whole is uneven, and Shakespeare’s contribution relatively small, but it packs a punch, as in this bit from the section McKellan recited:

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to th’ ports and costs for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

And if the one-on-one conversation and face-to-face performance doesn’t change Maron’s mind about Shakespeare, there’s no hope for him. But that’s OK…Maron has a real knack at getting into the genuine with his guests (in contrast to Chris Hardwick’s terrible McKellan interview on The Nerdist from the same week in which McKellan wasn’t necessarily enthusiastic, but Hardwick’s smug unctuousness did nothing to bring him around).

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