'King of Shadows': the Relationship Between Nat and Shakespeare

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In the ‘King of Shadows’, Nathan and Shakespeare’s bond grew stronger and stronger every chapter as they know more about each other and their love for acting and the stage. Nathan and Shakespeare connected with each other as Nathan is always trying to do his best at acting, surprising Shakespeare with the things he could do, such as his acrobatics skills. When Nathan met Shakespeare for the first time, all he wanted to do is be closer to him. ‘William Shakespeare. It was as if he’d said, ‘Say hello to God.’ I stared down at the stage, speechless. I suppose we were ten feet or so above him, for a moment I couldn’t move – and then more than anything I wanted to be closer to him.’ This could show that even before they met, Nathan knew that they would be close. Inseparable. ‘Don’t go, please don’t go. It wasn’t because he was William Shakespeare. I just knew that I liked being with him, more than with anyone I knew.’

When Nathan was in floods of tears, Shakespeare understood that Nathan wasn’t crying because of Roper, but because of something deeper, clicking straight to the reason. ‘There is more here than persecution by a nasty boy. What ails thee, Nat? What is it, this terrible buried sorrow? Dost miss thy parents? Where are they?’ Nathan was astonished by how he could go directly to his problem that he didn’t talk about for so long. This scene bonded them tighter as Nathan soon found out that Shakespeare has gone through something like this before, by losing his son, Hamnet three years ago. The fact that Hamnet was the same age as Nathan meant that Shakespeare wanted to look after Nathan, just like he would have for Hamnet. To this, Nathan felt as if Shakespeare was a fatherly figure to him, later inviting Nathan to stay at with him, telling him that it wasn’t his fault that Nathan’s father took his own life, telling him that love did it, the fact that Nathan’s father loved his mother so much, he couldn’t bear to live without her, which later helped him think...
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