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Oy. @geertwilderspvv sets Richard III as an example to the Netherlands

Finally, it was not quite literal, but he was clearly referring to it: Richard III. Geert Wilders, himself not too culturally savvy, quotes Shakespeare in his umpteenth plea to get the Netherlands out of the EU with pot-covered borders. In the second chamber. I saw it on Nieuwsuur, and you can watch it back. At 39′:49″ minutes into the broadcast he is in debate with his great friend, the VVD's Halbe Zijlstra.

Halbe Zijlstra reminds him that the EU has ensured a historically unprecedented 70 years of peace in Europe. Wilders cries that he is sick of that 'fairy tale'. Give him theatre. At least that is real.

Then comes the Shakespeare quote, in Martin Bosma's new translation:

'this patriotic spring will become a summer, and the sun will break through everywhere in the west'.

Take a look at Shakespeare. Richard III, first act, scene 1, lines 1 to 4:

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this son of York;

And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Thus. Mr Wilders here identifies himself with the character Richard III, the one who uses these words in Shakespeare's play of the same name. This Richard III, after speaking these words, proceeds to commit the most heinous forms of murder and betrayal known to history. Truly, Game of Thrones is nothing like it. Sissies compared to good old Richard.

What can we learn from this?

Geert Wilders has had poor cultural education, that's for sure. He never goes to the theatre. He has heard Shakespeare's chimes but does not know where the clapper hangs. The English are not grateful to him. And that he needs to go on riding lessons. Because we all know Richard's last words: A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.

Enfin. We'll see.

Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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