25 Days of Thanks- Number 17

I vow to finish these…

Thankful- Shakespeare

Today was not my day with words.  Thoughts came out as garbled, jumbled, messes of ideas. I’m sure people who were listening to me talk today looked at me in the middle of my sentence and all they heard was “Muah Muah Muah Muah” like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons.  To be completely honest, I don’t even know if that last sentence even made sense but the point is, some days I’m on and others I’m not.  Today was definitely a “not” day, so let’s see how the rest of this post goes.

Romeo and Juliet was my first exposure to William Shakespeare.  Meh.  It really didn’t do anything for me.  The love story was good.  The ending pulled at the heart strings but I just didn’t connect with it.  I had done a little acting by that point so I’m always a fan of reading a good play, and it is a good play but it just didn’t hit me.  It wasn’t until Mr. Kane’s seventh grade English class that The Tempest hit me like a ton of bricks.  Love story, comedy, then breaking the 3rd wall asking for the audience to help him out in the end, thought it was brilliant.

Now, I didn’t rush out and buy his sonnet books or a bunch of his other writings, it was just one of those readings that stuck with me.  The Trial by Kafka, A Separate Peace by Knowles.

Soon after came Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, and I kept having fun reading them.  They were the readings I didn’t buy the Cliff Notes for.  (Ok, well maybe I did but it was only to help.  I survived high school English with the help of my grandmother, grandpa, parents, and Cliff Notes)  At Canisius, I realized why.  Little Theater at Canisius put on a Shakespeare play each year I was there.  I wasn’t ever an actor in the show, I usually just worked backstage.  A lot of the rehearsals were serious to get down the tone, but there was always a bunch where we’d get to have a laugh with it.  And that’s when I realized why I liked his stuff, he was having fun with it.  He knew the way to connect with the audience was to not only bring the pain but also the laughter.  Romeo and Juliet didn’t really have this but in a lot of his works, he knows how to bring the funny.  Sometimes it can’t be seen on paper but with the right actors and the right director, it’s not too bad.

But this guy also had a way with words.  In a short sentence he can sum up a years worth of ideas.  True it was in the old English and sometimes takes a double take to get at the true meaning but this guy could use that wordy language to it’s finest.  Sometimes it can take a while to get there, but maybe like me, even in his “not good with words” days, he manages to hit a home run here or there.

One of my favorite Shakespeare bits is a popular one that sums up life in very short words.  Think it’s appropriate to share here as I’m about to make my exit from RIT.  I hope your play on your stage is always a good one…

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
— Jaques (Act II, Scene VII)

Thanks for reading and continuing to read about my strange eventful history:-)


One Response to “25 Days of Thanks- Number 17”

  1. Topher Says:

    Here’s to honor….

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