The SHAKESPEARE TAROT

VI. STAGING

 Originally, tarot decks were designed as playing cards, to be held upright in the hand. Their vertical orientation facilitated the depiction of human figures, usually one central figure incorporating foreground details and progressively, as the cards developed, details of milieu. The world of the stage, Shakespeare's world and the world humans inhabit, is a horizontal one. Accordingly, the Tarot has outgrown its pubescent stage as playing card and become itself theater and play, replete with incident, interval, intricate mise en scène, and dramatic isolation.

 As a venue then, to accommodate the texture and depth of William Shakespeare's work while providing room to reward the ruminative eye, the Shakespeare Tarot has taken an unprecedented direction. The cards are presented horizontally, emulating the world of dramaturgical staging, Renaissance painting, and everyday 3-dimensional human intercourse. In more ways than one, then, each card itself is a stage. And, turning Shakespeare himself on his side, all the stage is a world.

 

 It is sincerely hoped that what discomfort this brave new world initially wrests is put to rest by how beauteous mankind is, that has such people in it.