Monday, February 13, 2012

Thrashing out our tempest

This posting is encouraged
by the warmth of two sweet
people in France and is
dedicated with great love
to the memory of two friends 
from the stage with whom I 
stayed up late in this play.
All four deserve better.

The late Tony Tanner reminds 
us, this play was inspired by 
writings of the first Dickie
Hakluyt, Diverse Voyages 
touching the Discovery of
America, 1582. Plus que ça
change ..

I have known more men 
who were young when 
they were trained by 
business or commerce 
schools in batches, 
as meat to be browned 
for a stew, than I have 
known men who struggled 
with Prospero, though
they were young, as 
they lay dying.

Those liberal Arts being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger,
being transported
And rapt in secret studies.

I never thought to buy a ticket 
to Mitt Romney's education. I 
put my study where my heart was, 
and never did look back. But now 
I'm offered a stew much reduced 
in its ingredients' concentration 
I'm not the first or only one.

I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'erprized all popular rate, in my false brother
Awakened an evil nature, and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
A falsehood in its contrary as great As my trust was ..

.. He .. like one
Who having unto truth, by telling of it, 
Made such a sinner of his memory
To credit his own lie, he did believe
He was indeed the duke, out o' the substitution
And executing the outward face of royalty
With all prerogative. Hence his ambition growing - 
Dost thou hear?
To have no screen between this part he played
And him he played it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan.

     We all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again,
     And, by that destiny, to perform an act
     Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come,
     In yours and my discharge.

William Shakespeare
The Tempest
  I, ii, 74-77; 89-96;
          97-109, excerpt
  II, i, 246-249
The Arden Shakespeare
Frank Kermode, editor
op. cit.

Tony Tanner
Prefaces to Shakespeare
op. cit.

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