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I've really enjoyed performing Shakespeare. Though Romeo and Juliet is not one of my favorites, I have always adored the Bard's work and am a sucker for his language. I am particularly partial to Hamlet, whose artful words take me soaring, leave me weeping and longing and inspire such great heights, widths, depths and breadth of emotion for me.

Though it is one of his early works, the language of R&J is, of course, still stunning. The balcony scene is well known and quoted...and who can forget Mercutio's Queen Mab monologue? In fact, Mercutio has much rich humor and quotable bits...I particularly enjoy his description of one in love as one who is "cleft with the blind Bow-boy's butt-shaft".

For whatever reason, there are two bits of the show that are haunting me; that stand out and give me shivers each night as I drink them in from backstage...


A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back,
Happiness Courts thee in her best array,
But like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout'st upon thy Fortune and thy Love:
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.


Each night I hear this and I do take heed. I remember to feel gratitude for all those moments in which happiness courts me.


I dreamt my Lady came and found me dead,
(Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think,)
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
That I revived and was an Emperor.
Ah me, how sweet is love itself possess'd,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy.


Perhaps I love this because I'm in an Emperor year. Perhaps I simply adore the sensual, evocative image of breathing life with kisses in one's lips. I think what touches me most though is that image of love, which even in its shadows - even messy and imperfect as mortality is, is yet so rich in joy.

May we all know love in its bright and shadow and know ourselves to be thus the richest of Emperors.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jennlynn_green
Dec. 24th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
My pleasure darlin'. Happy holidays!
kenllama
Dec. 19th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
These are both most excellent quotes, and I too responded to the image of breathing life with kisses. It is sensual and fertile.

::Each night I hear this and I do take heed. I remember to feel gratitude for all those moments in which happiness courts me.::

That one particularly got me too, and I think the actor played the line to excellent effect -- it was like ringing an enormous bell.

I've always thought that Mercutio must be a hugely challenging role -- he's got so much juicy material, as well as plenty that's just plain weird to the modern ear; wild and demanding and silly and stark all in turns and SO MANY WORDS. Watching the show last week, I wanted him to slow down a bit, but if he slowed down, we'd have been there all night.

The Nurse has some of the same challenges -- the both of 'em are talkers; I thought the actress playing the Nurse handled the volume quite well though, and I loved your stage business during one of the early scenes where the Nurse just won't shut up. (Maybe the scene where Lady C goes to inform Juliet of Paris' impending suit?) It was an interesting energetic dynamic between the three of you.
jennlynn_green
Dec. 24th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, I thought Peter DeFaria (the actor playing the Friar) did a great job with those lines. Even from back stage where I could only hear them (and not see him delivering them) he got me every night.

I'm so glad you like the chemistry of the ladies' scenes. While we won't have Alice (Juliet), Carolyn (the nurse) and I will be working together in TUTA's next show (Maria's Field). I think we work well together and the process has been great fun thus far.
chelidon
Dec. 21st, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
May we all know love, indeed. And the pic, above, is near and dear to me as well :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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