Culture

Anthony Hopkins reads Welsh language Bible in latest message to his fans

23 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Anthony Hopkins/ Picture by Elena Torre (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Anthony Hopkins has started his latest message to his fans by quoting the William Morgan Bible in the Welsh language.

In a video posted on Twitter he reads from Eseciel 37: “Bu llaw yr Arglwydd arnaf, ac a’m dug allan yn ysbryd yr Arglwydd, ac a’m gosododd yng nghanol dyffryn, a hwnnw oedd yn llawn esgyrn.”

In English, it reads: “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.”

The 83-year-old actor from Port Talbot then goes on to read in English a poem by Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill.

The passage of the Bible he quotes in Welsh has been interpreted by Biblical scholars as being part of a prophecy in which Eseciel tells the people from the ancient Kingdom of Judah, captive in Babylon, that they will one day be freed.

William Morgan’s Y Beibl cyssegr-lan was the first full translation into the Welsh language in 1588 and its use has been credited with maintaining the language up to the present day.

In an interview with the Sunday Times last month, Anthony Hopkins said that his latest role in The Father, tipped for an Oscar in April, had made him more aware of “mortality and the fragility of life”.

“We’re all fragile, we’re all broken,” he said. “We can point fingers and condemn other people — it’s so easy because the world is a madhouse — I try to keep my mouth shut and enjoy life as best as I can.”

He said that filming had brought up memories of the death of his own father: “I remember this once strong, robust man, declining and depressed — and fearful. He was irritable and irascible, he didn’t want fuss, and I’m a bit like that.

“I looked at the photograph of me with my two daughters on the bedside table on the [film] set and the radio and the little notepad and I knew what he felt at the end. The fear. The unutterable bleakness and sadness and loneliness.

“We all pretend not to be, but we’re all lonely. Success is all fine, it’s a way to survive, but at the end, we’re all desperately, desperately alone. And that is the most painful and eloquent thing for me.”

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