capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I've not forgotten this series of posts, but random events have left me drained of spoons, and my momentum got rather scattered.

Instead of trying to figure out witty ways to write about how the theme of "parents and children", is the leitmotif of this play, I'm just going to quote all the lines where people of different ages are talked about, and let you see for yourself. In other words, I'm just going to back up the proverbial dump truck, and drop a load of quotes on you, in chronological order in the play... Mostly (I may not be able to resist giving an aside or two).

Anyway, here's the opening boilerplate, with links to the other posts I've made, so far (Please start with Part One, if you haven't already, Part Two is why I am so passionate about this play, and why I want to read it aloud in the town square, so I'd be happy if you read that, too. But you can save it for the end, if you want):



Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

[Note: I've corrected a detail of the plot since I first posted this, and I've also added a footnote with Shakespeare's character and place names]

Part Two: Major Themes and Context, with quotes (Conflict between personal conscience and the law, women as the keepers of moral authority, and questioning the limits of an hereditary, theocratic, monarchy).

Part Three: Secondary Themes (The relationship between parents and children, the passage of time, and watching children grow up).

Part Four: Plot and Character Crafting

Part Five: Links to other people's interpretations



On to the Quote Dump! )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Thank you for your patience. It's taking longer to write each of these posts than I anticipated.

And this post is turning out to be longer than I expected, so I've decided to split it in two ...

[Boilerplate Intro]


This truly is my favorite Shakespeare play -- or, at least, it's tied for "favorite" with King Lear. I'd argue it is also the most underrated play in the Shakespeare Canon, going by the imbalance between the play's native merit and its fame (or lack thereof).

Therefore, consider this fair warning: I am going to be spamming you all with this topic. In order to restore the balance, I'm making several shorter posts instead of one massive one, with at least the following posts -- and possibly more, as the mood strikes:

Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

[Note: I've corrected a detail of the plot since I first posted this, and I've also added a footnote with Shakespeare's character and place names]

Part Two: Major Themes and Context, with quotes (Conflict between personal conscience and the law, women as the keepers of moral authority, and questioning the limits of an hereditary, theocratic, monarchy).

Part Three: Secondary Themes (The relationship between parents and children, the passage of time, and watching children grow up).

Part Four: Plot and Character Crafting

Part Five: Links to other people's interpretations



Shakespeare is taught in school in the first place because he's held up as an example of High Culture[tm]. He got that reputation during the Restoration (before that, he was popular culture). And this play was, according to Wikipedia, ignored back then. So it's (largely) ignored today. Also, according to literary and pedagogical tradition, Shakespeare's final play was The Tempest, and this was 'only' his second-to-last.

So The Winter's Tale ends up being one of the siblings at a crowded table that can't get a word in edgewise. So this post is me, saying: "C'mon, Guys! You need to listen to this!"



[Note: I didn't realize until after I started this that all of the key scenes I'm talking about take place in the court of the City King (Leontes), in Sicilia. While the next post -- the secondary themes -- will more likely be split evenly between the two kingdoms (The other being Bohemia). But there you go...]

Thoughts (from an enthusiast, but not expert) )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
This truly is my favorite Shakespeare play -- or, at least, it's tied for "favorite" with King Lear. I'd argue it is the most underappreciated play in the Shakespeare Canon, going by the imbalance between the play's native merit and its fame (or lack thereof).

Therefore, consider this fair warning: I am going to be spamming you all with this topic for the next several days -- maybe for the whole week; in order to restore the balance, I will be making several shorter posts instead of one massive one.

Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

Part Two: Themes and context, with quotes (aka: Shakespeare drops the hammer on the patriarchy -- as far as he was able).

Part Three: The leitmotif of Time and aging; the changing relationship between parents and children -- Wherein I back the truck up and dump quotes on you.

Part Four: More Quotes and subtle details (aka: How to create plot and character with words)

Part Five: Links and such that I could find.



Okay, first off: In Shakespeare's day, "Winter's Tale" was the name for a genre. Today, we call that genre a "Fairy Tale." So -- that's how I've rendered the synopsis. I've not bothered to record the most of the characters' specific names (except the name of the Fair, Lost, Princess), and instead, referred to each character by type, because that's how fairy tales are told (and it's fewer details to worry about).

Now. You ready? You all snuggled in and comfy? Good!




Once upon a time, there were two young princes who were fostered and educated together since nearly the day they were born, and they loved each other as brothers. And then, they grew up, and married, and took on the responsibilities of kings, in separate kingdoms far away from each other.

One king ruled a rich and cosmopolitan land, with bustling trade posts and sea ports where ships from around the world brought the finest foods, and wines and arts within his reach. The other king ruled a land of shepherds and wilderness, and his castle stood close by a rocky and nearly deserted sea coast, where vicious beasts would attack and devour the unwary traveler.

But even though the two kings now lived far apart from each other, and the realms in which they ruled were so very different, they nonetheless continued to love each other as brothers, and sent many gifts back and forth, and many letters. And it was as if they had never parted since the days of their childhood. Each king also had the joy of being father to a young prince.

And, furthermore, the wife of the City King would soon bear him a second child. So it seemed that the future of each kingdom would be as happy as its past.

And in this time of peace, the Country King came to stay at the court of the City King, and he stayed for nine whole months, when, at last, he decided he could stay no longer. But the City King did not want him to say “goodbye.” He begged and he begged the Country King to stay just one week longer. But the Country King still insisted he had to leave first thing, the very next day.

And so the City King asked his Queen, who had been listening, and saying nothing, to try her hand at convincing his friend to stay.Read more... )


[ETA] Footnote: the Proper names Shakespeare gave to the characters in this story )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.



You know, as of today (17 January, 2017), the top three (American) Google auto-complete results for “Shakespeare Sonnet” are:

  • 116
  • (Let me not to the marriage of true minds),
  • 18
  • (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?) and
  • 130
  • (My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun).


I predict this one will rise in the rankings over the next four years.

*giggles*

Feb. 14th, 2015 09:53 am
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
Yesterday, during a documentary on "Midsummer Night's Dream," it was mentioned that it was written in the same year as "Romeo and Juliet," and that the play-within-a-play ("Pyramus and Thisbe" -- put on by the "Rude Mechanicals") was a spoof of R&J.

Now, I've this idea stuck in my head that Will's inner critic was hammering away at him, as he wrote Romeo's and Juliet's death scene, about how amateurish it was, and melodramatic, and unbelievable. So, to shut his Inner Critic up, he wrote the something deliberately bad ... only he ended up thinking it was really rather funny, and good, in it's own way. So he wrote Midsummer Night's Dream around it.

...Probably not true at all. But I like imagining it.
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
Last night, with an ear-craving, I combed through YouTube for readings of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 ("My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"). And I came away quite disappointed.

The most common reading that had been uploaded was one by actor Alan Rickman, and for the occasion, he'd put on his "Listen-to-Me-I'm-Reading-Shakespearean-Love-Poetry" voice -- slow as a dirge, and fairly dripping with seductive intent -- completely missing the point that Shakespeare was mocking those romantic conceits to shreds.

*sigh*

I just needed to vent.
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
To celebrate, I will publicize one of your saddest sonnets.

Ironic? Perhaps, but I love your wordplay, here. And I also love your closing thought: that despite the cruelty of abused privilege, power and corruption, there is one thing that makes life worth trudging through -- and that's love shared between two people.

Sonnet 66:
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
capriuni: Text: "an honorable retreat ... not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage. (Scrippage)
But it came out "bletch!"

For the sake of the folks on the LiveJournal side:
(Text, with stylized quill pen and paper: "an honorable retreat though not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage")

--
I wanted to use a prettier font, but with so many words, only the "small fonts" font would fit...

It's from As You Like It the play that got me in love with Shakespeare,* from the specific scene that got me in love with the play.

The heroines, Rosalind (pseudonym: Ganymede) and her cousin Celia (Pseudonym: Aliena) have found some ludicrously bad love poems in honor of Rosalind, and are itching to talk about them, so when they ask for privacy, their jester leads the local shepherd away, saying these words, hands full of the bad poetry.

*(BBC production, with a very young Helen Mirren in the lead role -- a very poor video quality version of the entire play is here: http://youtu.be/D3Q_OcaRxfE [2 hr. 33 min])
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
It's often said (or, at least, it had been said often, back when I was in school, and studying the works of Shakespeare formally) that Shakespeare must have had an unhappy marriage because the only happy marriage depicted in any of his plays was that of the Macbeths... (And, indeed, even that relationship falls apart when Macbeth starts keeping secrets from his wife -- so even that doesn't last as a happy relationship).

But I can think of one other marriage, though the couple were secondary characters, so we don't see much of them on stage: Paulina and Antigonus, from The Winter's Tale. Granted, the marriage ends on a tragic note, but that's because Antigonus lacked Paulina's courage, and failed to speak truth to power, and not because of any ill-feeling or deceit between the two of them (Antigonus is the character attached to the most famous Shakespearean stage direction: "Exit. Pursued by bear.").

[Relevant plot synopsis: The king suspects his wife has been having sex with his best friend, so he sends someone to the Oracle at Delphi to discover the truth. The oracle gives the message from the god Apollo that the queen is innocent. But the king still refuses to believe it, and when his daughter is born, at first he orders her killed outright. But Paulina, the queen's lady-in-waiting, argues with the king, and tells him to his face that he is unjust, and not thinking clearly. Swayed ever so slightly by her argument. the king instead orders the girl to be taken to a foreign land, and left in the wilderness to die of exposure. Antigonus, afraid of the king's anger, agrees to do the deed. Apollo, angry that his oracle was ignored, sends a storm to sink the ship that brought them to the foreign land, and drowns all the sailors. Then, he sends a bear to rip Antigonus limb from limb, and eat him alive. ...Then, the baby girl in the chest is discovered by a shepherd, and raised as his daughter]

Anyway, here's the snippet in the play that shows the nature of their marriage:

LEONTES
How!
Away with that audacious lady! Antigonus,
I charged thee that she should not come about me:
I knew she would.

ANTIGONUS
I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril and on mine,
She should not visit you.

LEONTES
What, canst not rule her?

PAULINA
From all dishonesty he can: in this,
Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me* for committing honour, trust it,
He shall not rule me.

ANTIGONUS
La you now, you hear:
When she will take the rein I let her run;
But she'll not stumble.

---

That reads like a happy marriage to me (I think of Paulina as Beatrice twenty years on).



*that is: send me to prison
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
For those on the LJ side:

(multicolor text on black: "quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain")

And yes, indeed: it's from the play of my infatuation of the moment: Much ado. I figure I can use it whenever I post about things I'm reading, or lexicography, or things I'm writing, or my go-to Shakespeare icon. So yeah, it might get a lot of use... ;-)
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
Even though I already own a paperback edition of Much Ado About Nothing (Bantam Books, 1980 -- reprinted 1993 [to take advantage of Kenneth Branagh's film]), I am sorely tempted to buy another -- namely, the Arden Shakespeare (third series) edition, 2005.

This, specifically, is the paragraph that's tempting me (Publisher's description on Amazon):

This edition of the play offers in its introduction and commentary an extensive discussion of the materials that informed Shakespeare's compositional choices, both those conventional sources and other contexts, from cuckold jokes to conduct books, which inform the ideas and identities of this play. Particular attention is devoted to Renaissance understandings of gender identity and social rank, as well as to the social valences of Shakespeare's stylistic choices. Among the elements of structure and style discussed are the two concurrent plots, the recurrence of verbal handshakes, and the use of music. A treatment of staging possibilities offers illustrations drawn from the earliest and recent theatrical practices, and a critical history examines the fate of the play in the changing trends of academic scholarship.


Gender identity and social rank -- Yes, Please! It's kind of hard to miss that the shame of premarital sex is seen as worthy of death in the Governor's daughter, Hero, but only gets a "tut-tut" and "you really should make better choices when it comes to your boyfriends," for Hero's lady-in-waiting, Margaret (who is my second favorite character, after Beatrice).

Cuckold jokes -- Ooh! Certainly Yes, Please!

"Verbal handshakes" -- saying "Yes!" to this is like saying Yes to ice cream...

Sigh -- such a geek
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
(Well, the subtitle of my DreamWidth Journal is "The songs that get stuck in my head," so ... you know. At least you can't accuse me of false advertising)

First, Shakespeare, himself:

One of my favorite ironies in life, is that William Shakespeare, Esq., our modern world's icon of eloquence, kept returning to the idea that eloquence is inversely proportional to passion and sincerity.

Examples of this from 'King Lear', 'Hamlet', and 'As You Like It' )

In Much Ado, this notion is articulated first in the scene where Leonato gives his blessing to the marriage between Claudio and his daughter Hero:

quoted lines )

---
This, of course, leads to Beatrice and Benedick -- the two characters defined most strongly by the ease and glibness with which they speak.

There are two scenes in the play where the two of them are alone together (and thus, free from the pressure of keeping up appearances of their old habits, to avoid being teased). The first is in the church, immediately following Don Pedro's and Claudio's public accusation of Hero, where she faints and they leave her for dead. This is the scene where they first confess their love to each other... And it gets me in the gut every time.* It is perhaps worth noting that honor and virginity were as important for women in Elizabethan England as it is today in some communities in Islam -- indeed, Hero says to her father that, if he could prove that she was guilty as accused, he should torture her to death. Honor was equally important for men, and that honor was maintained by alliances with other men. ...So the fact that Benedict chose to stay behind to comfort the family of a disgraced daughter of a governor, instead of following the prince who had been his patron up to that point, is a clue to how much he really does love Beatrice.

I could quote their whole exchange, but I won't. Just this bit:

quoted lines )

After three full acts of their cleverness and quips back and forth, this simplicity is almost like a splash of cold water -- and just as refreshing. The full scene is here: Act 4, scene i (this exchange starts about two-thirds down the page).

The next scene where they are alone is in Leonato's garden, after Benedick has challenged Claudio to a duel (the assurance of which is what finally convinces Beatrice that he really does love her-- backing up his vows with actions).
(Full scene is here: Act 5, scene ii)

Here, they fall into their old habits of teasing each other... but this time, they do it with much more good humor than in their first exchange:

quoted lines )

A few lines later, Benedick gives a snarky argument about why it's good to praise your own virtues.... But then, he drops out of glibness, to ask after Hero's, and Beatrice's, health:

yet more quoting )

...And I don't know. I just find those to be some of the most romantic lines in literature -- the way it's set up, it's clear that he no longer takes himself so seriously, but he does take Beatrice seriously. Sometimes, the kindest thing you can say to someone is "How are you?" ... if you really mean it.

One last thing: at the play's finale, and Benedick proposes to Beatrice, asking whether or not she loves him, she says: "Why no, no more than reason." ... and he replies in kind, when she asks him the same question. At first, this seems like they are just being coy, and a bit disingenuous, in order to avoid public embarrassment. But -- this is basically the same thing that Cordelia says to King Lear, when he has the expectation that her love for him be without bounds...

So... maybe this is something that Shakespeare (and others) truly believed? That love within reason is the best kind?

Just a thought that came to me, while I was typing this up...

*(except in the clip I saw of the David Tennant/Catherine Tate version... which, for some reason, was played with a slapstick vibe.... which... Just. No)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Storyteller)
[Edited: I'm awake, now, and the thoughts I had about Benedick are still going around in my head, so I'm going to pick up from where I was dropping off [srsly, folks, my eyes were closing of their own accord], and finally get this out of my head.)

I posted about this a couple of days ago, right after I watched it... But it's taken a couple of days for all my thoughts to percolate -- so this is the full-on geek version.

So, this weekend, I found the full, 1984, BBC production of Much Ado About Nothing online, and watched all two and a half hours. It was nowhere as slick or polished as a commercially produced, theatrically released, movie. And if you complained to me that the acting was as stiff and measured as an over-starched dress shirt, I would not argue...

However... I've read the full text several times, and I've seen several versions acted out: a few different versions in live theater, and Kenneth Branagh's film version. But reading words on a page never quite conveys the subtleties of tensions between characters. And in most acted productions, there's always (it seems) going to be something cut out by the modern director. And so this is the first time I'd watched the full text fully acted, and I came away with insights and feels (All the feels!) that I haven't had before.

[ETA: In writing this post, I've gone back and reread the text, and realize a few lines have been cut... but far fewer lines than is usual).

Where I go into detail, Part one: the tense, dramatic parts )

Detail, part two-a: The Rom-Com bits: Beatrice's side )

Detail, part two-b: The Rom-Com bits: Benedick's side )
---

Conclusions )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
A playlist of 154 short videos, each roughly a minute in length, each nothing but one or two still images with voice-over (really?! that counts as "video?" pffft!)...

Except:

The images are photos of pages from one of the thirteen extant copies the first edition (1609) copy of Shake-speare's Sonnets; this particular volume now residing in the now residing in the British Library. And the voice-over is each sonnet being read aloud.

Dude's reading is a little bland, imnsho. But I still get a little thrill reading along with early seventeenth century poetry, in seventeenth century spelling, and seventeenth century typography, with the lay-out on the page, and all.

Here's the playlist link:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1C16CA27F7D0EF38

I still think sonnet 31:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWhu_wI30Yo&list=PL1C16CA27F7D0EF38&index=31&feature=plpp_video
has ALL THE SAD

Sonnet 31 )
(Cheer up, Emo!Bard...) Ooh, I just want to hug him into a million tiny pieces ... (don't worry, I wouldn't, really. I might offer him cake).

Sonnet 44:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwM2A7F263Y&list=PL1C16CA27F7D0EF38&index=44&feature=plpp_video
still makes me wonder if Will didn't have the Internet in mind, after all (after all, the Doctor knew him...)

Sonnet 44 )

I recited Sonnet 130
http://youtu.be/dFlzMqV0EUc
to Audrey, the other day, to illustrate the point how the sonnets are like mini-essays (of the sort we used to learn to write in school: Three paragraphs, each detailing one point in support of your thesis, and than a conclusion, which explains everything you just said: the three quatrains and the couplet). And her comment, when I'd finished, was: "Gee. I hope he had other skills as a lover, besides giving compliments! ha, ha!"

But I dunno: the more I think about it, the more I think 130 is more romantic than the famous: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" one. Because I'm always suspicious of love based on physical beauty (a. Because, yes, beauty fades, and I'd be scared my lover's affections would fade with it, but also, b. as a "monster," I've never fit that beauty script, anyway, and c. every guy who's tried to use that script on me has always turned out to be a sleaze). I'd rather have someone admit that yes, your breath smells bad, but I still love you more than anyone who gargles with perfume three times a day.

Sonnet 130 )

The closing couplet is the money shot, folks!

(but I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I?)
capriuni: footnotes are where the cool kids hang out (geek pride)
So yeah... the other day, I wrote this as a quickie post:

[Quote]
A proposal for a definition of "Geek," which can exist independent of any particular cultural trend (e.g. video-games, comics, or spec. fic):

Noun:

Someone to whom the sentence: "You're over-thinking this," is inherently nonsensical.
[Unquote]

This is the ultimate antithesis of a "quickie post" It has All the Words... But a bunch are under cuts, and I'll understand if you don't actually read them all (though it would be nifty if you read some). Basically, this is where a non-geek would say I'm over-thinking this...

That thought came to me in the middle of watching the newest music video from the YouTube Channel called "Geek and Sundry," which is provided under the cuts below for those who are curious. Go Watch / Read / Whatever. I'll wait 'till you get back.

I'm the one that's cool -- video behind the cut for NSFW or kids visuals )

I'm the one that's cool -- Song lyrics for those who can't watch vid, behind the cut for length )

The thing is, I've always considered myself a "geek,"* but I had to Google about two-thirds the cultural references in those lyrics before I understood them. And I really think "geek" is really more about: 1) A general attitude toward the world around you and 2) your favorite ways of solving problems than it ever was about which particular cultural tastes you have.

I mean, take this soliloquy from Hamlet, for example: if these aren't the words of a Geek-type wishing he could be more of a Jock-type, than I don't what is (whether these are words strictly specific to character and situation, or [as I suspect] the author getting a wee bit autobiographical)

Video of he Soliloquy from the end Act 2, Scene 2 in *Hamlet* as acted by David Tennant )**

Text of the Soliloquy )

Here's where I stop quoting and start babbling my own words about everything above -- Starting with *Hamlet* and finishing with why I think 'Geekdom' is MORE than just science, math, computers, and science fiction, but even so, I understand why so many people think Geek=Science ... What do you mean, I'm 'over-thinking this?' )


*or rather, as someone of that personality type -- the year I graduated left high school, (I stayed an extra year after I was qualified to graduate so I could be in the new Advanced Placement History and English classes): 1982, the first definition of "Geek" in the dictionary was still "Someone who bites the heads off chickens," and I was never that.

**There's also a video that compares the performances of both Simm and Tennant, back-to-back, but of the two, David's version comes across to me as more frantically barely-out-of-adolescence in age, in terms of don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-feelings and resulting social awkwardness, so I think of this performance as one of the geekiest ever. Makes it easier to remember that Shakespeare wrote the character to be college student... Or it could just be because of that tee-shirt he's wearing in the scene ;-)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I'm in the middle of writing a poem cycle in iambic pentameter; each poem is based on the Italian (or "Shakespearean") Sonnet, but is not -- I'm adding a six-line "prologue" to each, to set the scene, so the poems are all 20 lines in total.

But, I have been going back to read Shakespeare's pieces, to purge any lingering earworms, and get my inner metronome in working order. ...And that got me thinking about my changing taste, in having a "favorite."

During my late adolescence (late teens -- early twenties), my favorite was clearly Sonnet 29: that perfect anthem of Clinical Depression:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes... ).

Recently, however, I've rediscovered sonnet #44. Now, that I feel myself surrounded by a circle of friends (love you guys -- you know that, right?), the emotional isolation of that previous favorite rings just a bit less true. However, the fact that I can't actually share tea and cake and hugs still stings to the bone, and I find myself wanting to memorize this sonnet next:

Sonnet 44

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that, so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time's leisure with my moan,
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.

--

I think "But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought" is my new favorite line: that wonderful mix of melancholy and wry humor that I've loved Ol' Will for, all these years.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
"They that went on Crutches" (the intersection of Disability and Old Age) (basically, I just expanded yesterday's DreamWidth post where I asked: "Should I include Old Age in discussions of Disability?" 'cause by the time I finished writing that, I realized I should, and, what's more, I could use that passage from The Winter's Tale as my example -- it is, after all, a classic literature text written in the form of a fairy tale. So it fits my blog in all 12 dimensions of known space.

Oh, and according to my Blogger dashboard, Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream passed the 1,500 unique page-view mark sometime yesterday (not including my own checks, to see if anyone has replied).
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (question)
Should I include depictions of the Elderly as depictions of Disability, if the symbols of Disability (walks with a crutch or cane, has palsy in the hands or head, etc.) are serving a greater purpose as a symbol for Advanced Age?

For example: in the opening scene of The Winter's Tale there are these lines:

CAMILLO:
I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it
is a gallant child; one that indeed physics the
subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on
crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to
see him a man.

ARCHIDAMUS:
Would they else be content to die?

CAMILLO:
Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should
desire to live.

ARCHIDAMUS
If the king had no son, they would desire to live
on crutches till he had one.
----

I've seen it argued that Shakespeare isn't really talking about the quality of life of "the Disabled," but is simply using "went on crutches" as a short-hand code for "very old," in the same way walkers (walking frames) are used as a gag reference to the elderly by modern comedians.

On the other hand, if part of the bias against the elderly (the reason to poke fun at them) is that they become disabled as they age, doesn't that count as depictions of the Big D "Disability" in folk tales?

And boy-howdy! if I included folktales that specifically mentioned an old woman's cane or crutch, the number of relevant stories would shoot through the roof (O Hai thar, nearly every depiction of fairy tale witches!).
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When did it become The accepted interpretation that Caliban = Native PoC, especially because "Caliban" sounds so much like "Cannibal" that that must be what Shakespeare meant?

I have a sneaking suspicion that that's a relatively modern assumption. But I'm not sure what keywords to use in Googling to verify or dispute that.

Any ideas?

Meanwhile, I'm rereading the last few chapters of Jane Austen's Persuasion, thanks to remembering that Mrs. Smith (nee Hamilton) -- the woman who reveals the truth to our heroine about the true character of her sleazy cousin -- is: "afflicted with a severe rheumatic fever, which, finally settling in her legs, had made her for the present a cripple." which gives me another entry topic for Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream. ... Any afternoon I can spend with Jane Austen is a good afternoon, in my books. And furthermore, I have it as an etext, so I can copy and paste the passages I want to cite, instead of typing them in (*Gives the side-eye to the paperback volume that wouldn't stay open, and had no paragraph breaks on any of its pages*).

So it's all good... or -- mostly good.
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Okay, to anyone who isn't me, this will be totally random. But I looked for it, and found it on YouTube, and it cheered me up. So:

According to the info provide with the vid, this was made by the Beeb in 1978; I think it was around 1980 that it first showed up on my television on PBS, one rainy Sunday afternoon. It doesn't hurt that that's a young and saucy Helen Mirren in the part of Rosalind, either.



The text of the scene )

I love the line: "let us make an honorable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage."

The next scene, with cynical Jaques and the lover Orlando, is pretty snarky and fun, too. But this is the scene where I realized: a) I understood Shakespeare, b) Shakespeare was full of sex jokes, and c) I understood the sex jokes. Subversive and heady stuff for a sixteen year old who didn't follow the cultural trends of her high school peers.

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