We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Prof. Sutherland makes the point that folks like Shakespeare and Milton were seeking neither fame nor personal glory. All Shakespeare wanted was to make enough money to retire as a country gentleman as his father had been before coming onto hard times. He would be astonished to learn that people read still his plays and sonnets - and that they read them as "literature," much less that they are read at all. Plays were the movies of their time. They were not written to be read. And John Milton, a successful London businessman, sought only to glorify God - and to play some politics - through his writing hobby.
Talent will out. It bursts out, when it exists. Will threw these famous lines into a pensive, melancholy soliloquy into the mouth of a minor role (Jaques) in a comedy (As You Like It).
Interesting note from a piece on the Globe Theater: "Above the main entrance of the Globe was a crest displaying Hercules bearing the globe on his shoulders together with the motto "Totus mundus agit histrionem" (the whole world is a playhouse)." Also, theaters had no toilet facilities. Good grief.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms; And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lin'd, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
The father of John Donne, Shakespeare's contemporary, was Catholic, during a time of savage persecution. Donne himself became an Anglican, an "apostate". See the chapter "The Art of Apostasy" in John Carey's excellent "John Donne: Life, Mind, Art".