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Creativity During Quarantine

An epidemic was spreading rapidly in London and other parts of England. Although it was not known which virus had triggered it, contemporary people had an idea how to tackle the situation. So, the concerned authorities had decided to shut down the schools and colleges. Even, the University of Cambridge remained closed!
The year 1665… he was just 20, and a student of Trinity College. He was yet to receive the Knighthood, obviously. At that time, he did not use the famous wig, either! Also, the apple did not fall from the tree. As he was unable to attend classes, the young man decided to return to his Woolsthorpe Manor residence in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The famous apple tree was there in the garden of that house.
Sir Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643 – March 31, 1727) did not miss that golden opportunity to study alone at his room in Lincolnshire. As he did not like the way his teachers used to teach him and other students, young Newton decided to utilise the time by concentrating on his studies. First, he made an attempt to solve a difficult mathematical problem. He had been trying to solve that problem for a long time at Trinity College. And, he solved it in Woolsthorpe… modern Calculus was born! Thereafter, he started working on the Theory of Light. Newton reportedly spent hours in his room with some prisms. We know that Newton was the first to understand the rainbow, as he refracted white light with a prism, resolving it into its component colours: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo and violet…

Sir Isaac Newton.jpg
Sir Isaac Newton

More than 100,000 people had died in England in two years (From 1665-66). Before his return to Trinity College in 1667, Newton made two important discoveries. As a result, he became a fellow of the University of Cambridge in the next six months… and, a professor within two years.
The outbreak of plague in England in the 1660’s was devastating. However, it was not the first time when the Britons went through such a crisis. The western European nation had experienced a number of plague outbreaks from 1200 AD to 1600 AD. During his lifespan, William Shakespeare (April 1564 – April 23, 1616) witnessed couple of outbreaks. One-fourth of local residents died of plague in his birthplace Stratford soon after his birth in 1564.

Shakespeare.jpg
Shakespeare

The outbreak of plague devastated London in 1603, once again! James I became the Monarch at that time after the demise of Queen Elizabeth. He issued an advisory to tackle the crisis, urging the people not to visit theatres. As usual, artists stopped staging Shakespeare’s plays. Then, the noted English playwright decided to visit different places with his friends in order to stage his own plays. As the Government did not allow him to return to London, Shakespeare isolated himself at his Stratford residence. During this period, he penned some of his famous plays, such as King Lear (1606), Macbeth (1606), and Antony and Cleopatra (1607)!
At a time when the outbreak of Coronavirus has paralysed normal life in different parts of the world, the Global Community remembers Newton, Shakespeare and others whose talents flourished during quarantine…

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