If you are worrying that Britain is falling apart, getting more unequal, turning its back on the world or losing its humanity – and there are plenty of good reasons to be concerned about all these things at the moment – then my advice on this 400th anniversary weekend of his death is to stop worrying for a while and think about Shakespeare.
That’s because, in addition to his other talents, Shakespeare is a great provider of perspective. This does not mean that Shakespeare can tell us how to rein in the fat cats, to govern fairly or which way to vote on Europe. But it does mean he has thought about greed, stable government and sovereignty. If power’s your game, Shakespeare’s your man.