The modern democrat, perhaps, will often find it in a form which at first sight is distasteful to him. Shakespeare’s whole reading of history is aristocratic. He concentrates the history of the nation in the doings of its leaders; the people are of small account, and seldom appear upon the scene except to display their fickleness, their stupidity, or their brutality….[But] in the time at which Shakespeare wrote, no other presentation of fact would have been possible. The people had not yet emerged into political existence, and to present them as other than they were would not only have been a piece of political prescience which can hardly be expected even of the greatest of artists, it would have been a falsification of the truth. Shakespeare was essentially a creature of the time, and he read history with the eyes of his time. He had doubtless a fuller vision and a clearer, but it was his own time that he interpreted and not ours.
Ernest De Selincourt