Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare

Greetings, what-ho, prithee, forsooth, and hey nonny nonny!

This weekend English teachers and Rennfest nerds celebrated the birthday of William "Randolph" Shakespeare, universally acknowledged as "the bard" and the lion of Western literature. I had the chance to visit the birthday party at the Folgers Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and submitted for your approval is this photo catalog of the day's events.

The Folgers, the temple of our bardolatry. You'll notice that if I were to compare this particular day to a summer one, it wouldn't come off as noticeably lovely or temperate.

A child learns about the joys of morris dancing.

These kids are learning what a rapier is. Thank goodness! That's two fewer people on Earth to whom I'll have to explain what this blog title means.

Here we are at the costume parlor. I, as Sir Francis Drake, am putting the sword to Lauren, the Queen Isabella of La Spania, to get her to renounce her Catholicism.

They also had a costume for those who wanted to dress up as Lady MacBeth. (Jared pats self on the back for his own cleverness.)

This is the reading room of the Shakespeare library. There's a distinct...Hogwart-ishness to it.

Here is Jared with world-class Shakespearean legend Derek Jacobi. When it comes to Shakespeare chops, this guy strides the globe like a colossus. I told him that I remembered watching his "Hamlet" in my high school English class. What I didn't tell him, however, is that I remembered him best from "The Secret of Nimh." I told him, "Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt!" and asked him what his favorite Shakespearean soliloquy was. He said "Richard the Second, Act Five." Here is an excerpt.

I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world:
And for because the world is populous
And here is not a creature but myself,
To cheque time broke in a disorder'd string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
This music mads me; let it sound no more;
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.

It was a fun party. Sigh. Our revels now are ended!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

What a magnificent cake!

It looks like a wonderful festival! How fantastic.


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