At yet another edition of G5 Talks, this time with José Roberto de Castro Neves, lawyer, Civil Right professor at PUC- RJ and specialist in Shakespeare literature, Mr. Castro Neves discussed with our partners Marcelo Lajchter e Levindo Santos the messages contained in the works of one of the greatest Western authors of all time.
Mr. Castro Neves is a founding partner of law firm Ferro, Castro Neves, Daltro & Gomide Advogados, with prominent performance in the litigation, civil and commercial, and arbitration legal fields. In addition to being a jurist, he is also a great humanist, with extensive literary publications in different legal areas as well as addressing several cultural topics. Some of his publications include “Measure for Measure – Law in Shakespeare”, “How Lawyers Saved the World”, “Lawyers go to the Cinema”, “The Unfaithful Mirror” and, most recently, “Shakespeare and The Beatles: The Path of Genius”.
G5 Talks is a project through which business leaders exchange experiences and lessons learned with the G5 team.
In our chat, Mr. Castro Neves talked about the English author, highlighting his historical, political, and social context. He highlighted that the English “bard”, as Shakespeare was called, was a very popular author and his works, produced over 400 years ago, are still incredibly contemporary.
The richness in which Shakespeare discussed humanity – which he loved so much – appears in hundreds, or even thousands, of his writings. Shakespeare essentially wrote three types of plays: historical — from England — comedies and tragedies. “Theater was the preferred entertainment option among citizens and the strong freedom of speech helped flourish the theater industry in London”, he explained.
According to Mr. Castro Neves, one of the great differentials of this English author is how he lacked to give specific answers to the situations he presented: “He leaves many things open so the reader/viewer can question themselves and participate in the process. This was an important seduction method for his work.”
Also, “there was no space for the “divine” in his writings. Victories and misfortunes all happen as a result of one’s own actions and decisions”. Another extraordinary peculiarity of Shakespeare’s work is that the characters are never entirely good or entirely bad, they are always a little in between.
For those who know very little or have not read any of the English bard’s literature, Mr. Castro Neves suggests starting with materials that introduce Shakespeare and help understand the values and meanings behind each of his works. Two examples are: “The Invention of the Human”, by Harold Bloom, and “Shakespeare – O que as Peças Contam” (“Shakespeare – What the Plays Tell Us”), from Brazilian author Barbara Heliodora. For those who wish to dive directly into Shakespeare’s plays, Mr. Castro Neves suggests “Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet”, “Macbeth” and the amusing “The Taming of the Shrew”.
Mr. Castro Neves ended the conversation by drawing attention to one of the great teachings from Shakespeare’s works: “Being prepared is the key to being happy. And this journey always begins with curiosity”.