|Ann (capriuni) wrote,|
@ 2009-04-26 02:39 am UTC
Right now, I'm rereading The Winter's Tale (Signet Classic Edition, 1988), and what with all the thinking I've been doing about disability and culture, lately, this little exchange, between a Lord of Bohemia (Camillo) and the visiting Lord of Sicilia (Archidamus) really blinked at me, and got me giggling:
CAMILLO (about the child prince):
- [.....] they that went on
crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to
see him a man.
- Would they else be content to die?
- Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should
desire to live.
- If the king had no son, they would desire to live
on crutches till he had one.
Camillo: Our prince is so wonderful, his very existance even gives cripples the desire to live!!
Achidamus: Um ... yeah. About that: I think the cripples would find other excuses to keep on living, even without your wonderful prince.
That little exchange serves the plot by hinting at how tightly entertwined the kingdom's fortunes are with the life of one boy. But Shakespeare also uses that oportunity to aim some satire at the whole attitude of pity. That last bit is just cherry topping.
As an aside: Whoever decided which lines should be glossed in this edition should have been hung by their thumbs until they apologized. Of course, I think over-glossing is a near fatal flaw of most editions Shakespeare plays.