Who of English speech, bred to the traditions of his race, does not recognize Hamlet in his 'inky cloak' at a glance? Not to know him would argue one's self untaught in the chief glories of his language.
Art has a double visage: it looks before and after. Romance is its forward-looking face. The germ of growth is in romanticism. Formalism, on the other hand, consolidates tradition; gleans what has been gained and makes it facile to the hand or the mind; economizes the energy of genius.
Our understanding of Shakespeare already depends largely on the vitality of Renaissance elements in our education. Each man must live in his own generation, as the saying is; but the generations are bound together by the golden links of the great tradition of civilization.
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