Tuesday, September 13, 2011


hey Shakespeare lovers. here's what's going on. after a ton of sleepless nights, overworked days, talking, deliberating, praying, disappointment, confusion, and general other struggle... i have decided to put the Shakespeare project on hiatus. i was offered a job teaching 2 classes at UCF. i also have a part-time job at LUSH and another part-time job at Disney which i will lose if i don't work 145 hours by the end of the year. i also have a paper to write on Robert Wilson for ASTR. i am also working on my thesis. i am also rehearsing for a long-awaited acting opportunity in The American Dream. and i am also about to start rehearsal to A.D. for Gem of the Ocean. i am also planning for my dance concert application. and i am also planning a wedding. and trying to be a normal human being, which is pretty much not happening. when i started this project, i had no idea i'd be offered this opportunity to teach. and this gig is taking up a crazy amount of my time. Theater, History 3, anyone? so after much deliberation, i have decided NOT to quit the project, but rather to put it on hiatus for one year. i will pick the project back up on July 15, 2012. that will put me on perfect track to accomplish my goal. i will have graduated from my Master's program, my thesis will be done, i won't be teaching, and i probably won't have 4 theater projects in the works. i might be moving and planning a wedding, but i'm guessing my commitments will be much less overwhelming. as sad as it makes me, this decision has pulled a huge weight off my shoulders. 1-3 extra hours a day? yes, please! i still won't get any sleep, but i will get a lot more accomplished. i hope everyone will understand where i am coming from AND i hope you will join me next July for the completion of the 365 days of Shakespeare project!!!!!!!

4 poems, 15 plays, 62 sonnets down. 1 poem, 22 1/2 plays, 92 sonnets to go.

when i am sitting in the Caribbean while Sean goes to medical school, i will be able to do that easy peasy lemon squeezy.

-rebecca may

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2 Henry IV Act 1, Scenes 2 and 3


school is quickly approaching! how did that happen?!?!?!? ah! and auditions galore! it's happeninggggg! bring on Gem of the Ocean!

act 1, scene 2
Falstaff is getting on his high horse. big time. he is being even more difficult than usual now that he feels a little security being somewhat closer to the top of the food chain. he runs into the Lord Chief Justice and his servant on the street. he tries to avoid a conversation with him, but eventually gets dragged into one. as soon as they start talking, the Lord Chief brings up the robbery Falstaff took part in (from the previous play). the Lord Chief sent for Falstaff before he left for battle, but Falstaff did not go to him. Falstaff tries to deflect and maneuver out of the conversation until he can steer it into a huge fight about something else altogether. Prince Hal comes up, and the Lord Chief mentions that King Henry is trying to keep Falstaff away from Hal by sending him into battle with John instead. after the Chief Justice leaves, Falstaff groans over his current state.

act 1, scene 3
the Archbishop, Mowbray, Hastings, and Bardolph are gathered at the Archbishop's palace. they are worried that they do not have the men and resources to fight King Henry and his army again. Hastings feels that as long as they can count on Northumberland, they will be fine. Bardolph argues that without him and his men, they will be "too feeble". he does not want them to make the same mistake Hotspur made: counting on men that did not come through in time. Hastings reminds them that the king does not have many more men than them, if any, and his army is split. a third of them are fighting the French, a third for the Welsh, and a third for them. they should be fine. the Archbishop believes that the people are sick of Henry, the man they chose as their leader, and will turn on him. (see quote below.)

people must really have loved Falstaff, huh? i mean, his scenes are pretty long. and most of the information is completely frivolous. it's in to please the crowds, right?

at the end of scene 2, is Falstaff trying to get out of going back into battle?

here's what i love about scene 3: they agree they don't want to make Hotspur's mistake. Hotspur assumed that he would have back-up, and when he didn't, he pressed on anyway. in trying to avoid his mistake, they really end up making it anyway. they just make different assumptions. they assume the number of men King Henry will have, they assume that his army is split in three, and best of all, they assume that the people will turn on him and join them. HA! let's see how this goes, shall we?

the play is named after a king we haven't yet seen once. interesting. he is brought up in every scene, but not yet seen. i dig it.

quote of the day:
'what trust is in these times?
they that, when Richard lived, would have him die,
are now become enamored on his grave.
thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
when through proud London he came sighing on
after th'admired heels of Bolingbroke,
criest now, "o earth, yield us that king again,
and take thou this!" o thoughts of men accurst!
past and to come seems best; things present, worst.'
   -Archbishop; act 1, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 2!

-rebecca may

Monday, August 15, 2011

2 Henry IV Induction and Act 1, Scene 1


yet another busy day! school clothes shopping with my cousin, training for teaching my classes at UCF, cleaning, and Shakespeare. not to mention planning a little surprise for my awesome Sean! bwa ha ha. so let's get er done! new day new play woot WOOT!!!

this character named Rumor introduces the play by telling us that rumors are flying throughout the country that the rebels have won the battle at the end of the last play. the truth is, of course, the opposite.

act 1, scene 1
Lord Bardolph (not to be confused with Falstaff's Bardolph) has come to see Northumberland, who is very ill. he delivers news from Shrewsbury that King Henry is severely wounded, Blunt and Prince Hal have been killed, and others are fled or prisoner. he did not see this for himself, but heard the news from a reliable source. Travers arrives to deliver very different news. he claims that Hotspur has died in battle. Bardolph and Northumberland are incredulous. Morton arrives, also with news. his story matches Travers'. he also reveals the rest of the truth: the rebels have lost, King Henry and Prince Hal are alive and well, Hotspur is dead, etc. Northumberland freaks. out. (see quote below.) Bardolph and Morton try to talk him off the ledge. Morton also delivers news that the Archbishop is on fire to fight. he's using his position to get soldiers on fire too. this eases Northumberland's mind as he gets ready to take action.

Induction? say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!? that is the most random mess ever. first of all, why this reference to Virgil's Aeneid? why does this character exist? why does he give this speech? i have no clue. second of all, i don't understand why rumors and misinformation are flying around so rampantly. why would that happen? it doesn't make sense to me. i just don't get this induction thing at all. i would LOVE for someone to explain it to me. please and thank you!

i love the quote from Northumberland. it really prompted me to think. Shakespeare has an amazing way of saying something quite interesting in such a succinct and lovely way. love it!

nothing much to say yet. looking forward to seeing Prince Hal's journey develop even further.

quote of the day:
'for this i shall have time enough to mourn.
in poison there is physic; and these news,
having been well, that would have made me sick,
being sick, have in some measure made me well.
and as the wretch whose fever-weakened joints
like strengthless hinges buckle under life,
impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,
weakened with grief, being now enraged by grief,
are thrice themselves. hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!'
   -Northumberland; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of act 1!

-rebecca may

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2 Henry IV Intro Info


well, i was supposed to wake up today at 8:30am today to pick my family up from the airport with Sean and then celebrate his mom's birthday for work. unfortunately though, i woke up feeling verrrrry sick. so instead Sean had to go to the airport alone, go to his mom's alone, and come home to take care of me. and then take me to work. he is SO. GOOD. i don't know what i'd do without him. and right now he is fast asleep and i'd like to join him so let's get our blog on.

here's what i learned about 2 Henry IV today:
-apparently this play was written pretty directly after the first part. this was probably at least partially due to the fact that Falstaff was hugely popular and the public wanted more of him. i find that to be incredibly interesting. what was it about Falstaff that made him so popular for Elizabethan audiences? what do you think?
-the similarities between Henry IV parts 1 and 2 are numerous. in fact, these 2 or more alike than any other 2 plays in all of Shakespeare's canon. a couple of examples are: the use of character foils and the structural pattern of alternating political scenes and comedic scenes.
-look out for rumors and justice to play as a big device in this play.
-we see Prince Hal grow up in the last play, and in this play we will continue to see him come into his own. where do you think this play will take him?

for tomorrow: induction and act 1, scene 1

-rebecca may

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sonnets 57-62


oh boy, sonnets again. after a meeting about Gem of the Ocean, a pit stop to school, 2 wedding sites, amongst other events, all before 4pm, my brain is kinda fried. but can i do this? yes, i can. and yes, i must. and my reward for hard work accomplished will be... SPONGE BOB! that's good motivation right there.

57- the poet is basically saying that he is (someones?) slave. he has nothing better to do than be at their beck and call. 'like a sad slave', he waits, blindly trusts, and pines.
58-continuing from 57, he gladly suffers. yes, it is hell to wait, but he places no blame on his love for this. of course.
59- this sonnet is a complicated in a lovely way. the cyclical nature of history and behavior is the focus of this one. time revolves because history does. as Bevington says, 'striving to give birth to a new creation, merely miscarry with the repetition of something created before'.
60- (see quote below.) time just keeps on moving forward, whether we want it to or not. nature creates such unique beauty just to rip it apart as time rolls on.
61- the poet stays up all night thinking about his love. is that what she (he?) wants? he waits and waits while imagining his love off having fun with who-knows-who.
62- the poet has some serious sin in his life. what is that sin, you ask? the sin is self-love. yup. vanity. but then he looks in the mirror and realizes that he's getting old and maybe isn't as great in actuality as he is in his head. the last couplet here, i'm not so sure about.

sonnets 57 and 58 = blech. if only they were written sarcastically, it would be great. but i don't think that's what's going on here? he is grovelling? guilt tripping? being incredibly manipulative? whatever it is, it's gross.

sonnets 59 and 60 are lovely. read them. you'll get to thinking about time and mortality.

it's around sonnet 61 that i really start to get concerned for the poet. he starting to sound not just like an obsessive, manipulative, needy lover but also sort of like... a stalker. i envision Shakespeare sitting in the dark at his window like a creep waiting, waiting, waiting... perhaps with crow bar in hand.

sonnet 62 i have no words for. can anyone help me with that last couplet? i'm a little confused.

quote of the day:
'like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
so do our minutes hasten to their end.
each changing place with that which goes before,
in sequent toil all forwards do contend.'
   -sonnet 60

for tomorrow: 2 Henry IV Intro Info

4 poems, 15 plays, 62 sonnets down. 1 poem, 23 plays, 92 sonnets to go. still behind. but i can do it.

-rebecca may

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 5, Scenes 3-5


so i was supposed to spend my morning and afternoon with my family and my evening working. instead, i had to go see a doctor because my left eye is on fire. it's red and gross. the doc says it's just worn out. it's swollen. and i can't wear my left contact for at least a week. and i don't have glasses because i don't have insurance. so i will have perma-headache for a week. and the real kicker? my insurance kicks in in ten days. gahhhhhhh. please forgive me if my cranky pants come out in this blog today. i'm trying to restrain them.

act 5, scene 3
Douglas and Blunt, dressed as King Henry, are on the battlefield at Shrewsbury. Douglas fights and kills Blunt thinking, of course, that he is the king. Hotspur arrives and Douglas proudly shows him the dead "king". Hotspur reveals the truth and tells Douglas that there are many men dressed as Henry to confuse them. they exit and Falstaff enters. he has lost most of his men. Prince Hal is right behind him. he asks to use Falstaff's sword, but Falstaff won't give it up. he offers his gun instead. Hal goes to get it, but finds a bottle of alcohol in the holster instead. Hal is ticked off and leaves Falstaff there, spouting his usual nonsense.

act 5, scene 4
King Henry, his sons, and Westmorland are on the battlefield. Hal is injured, begging his father to continue pressing on. Henry wants him to rest, but he won't do it. John and Westmorland press on and Hal proudly follows. King Henry, left alone, meets with Douglas. they fight, Hal runs in to help his dad, and Douglas flees. the king presses on and Hotspur enters. they fight. Falstaff and Douglas enters. they fight. Falstaff falls. Douglas flees again. Prince Hal deals a deathly blow to Hotspur. (see quote below.) Hotspur dies. Hal respectfully covers his face. he sees Falstaff, says a few final words to his old friend, and leaves. Falstaff rises, of course not dead at all. he thinks that if he can rise, so can Hotspur. he decides to stab him one more time and tell everyone that he actually gave Hotspur his final blow. Princes Hal and John enter and Falstaff tells them his tall tale. a retreat sounds they've won!

act 5, scene 5
King Henry and his entire posse assemble on the battlefield, victorious. the king comes down hard on Worcester for lying to Hotspur. Worcester and Vernon are sent off to their death. Douglas is being held in Hal's tent. out of respect, Hal asks for him to be let go completely free of his charges. they all agree. King Henry sends John and Westmorland off to York to fight Northumberland and Scroop. he and Prince Hal will head off to Wales to fight Glendower and March. together, they will kill this rebellion.

a bunch of the men dress as the king? genius! was this Shakespeare's idea? or historical fact?

so i guess i was wrong about those letters to Hotspur. i thought they would turn out to have important information, but they actually never came up again. and i guess i was also wrong about his lack of ability to listen. i thought that would be his death. but it wasn't really. he just got killed by Prince Hal. not as exciting as i would have hoped.

well well well Prince Hal. what a grown up he has become! his journey has been huge. i love seeing the grace and integrity he has shown in the last couple of scenes. where the heck did THAT come from? my question for the next play is, how will he treat Falstaff? what will happen to him? i can't believe Falstaff has gotten away with so much already. and yet, i can't help but feel sympathetic toward him. but that's part of what makes him such a great character, right?

quote of the day:
'o Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth!
i better brook the loss of brittle life
than those proud titles thou hast won of thee;
they wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh.
but thoughts, the slaves of life, and life, time's fool,
and time, that takes survey of all the world,
must have a stop. o, i could prophesy,
but that the earthy and cold hand of death
lies on my tongue. no, Percy, thou art dust,
and food for--' (he dies.)
   -Percy a.k.a. Hotspur

for tomorrow: back to sonnets

-rebecca may

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 5, Scenes 1 and 2


is the Summer really almost over? REALLY?!? how is that even possible? i'm freaking out for real. i still have a billion things to do. not cool, Summer. not cool.

act 5, scene 1
the King and his crew are near his camp in Shrewsbury, when Worcester and Vernon arrive from Hotspur's camp. the King greets them and expresses his regret that they are meeting under these circumstances. he offers peace, and Worcester admits that he doesn't like the situation. he does, however, tell the King that it is his fault and not theirs that they are in this battle. the King stands up to him, but cannot entirely refute his claims. Prince Hal admits that he respects Hotspur very much. he also admits that he plans to rip apart their army. he would like to fight one-on-one with Hotspur. the King tries to offer peace instead. he says he will forgive them all if they commit to peace. Worcester and Vernon leave to deliver the message, and the King and his company leave as well. Falstaff hangs around, doubting his commitment to this battle in classic Falstaff style. (see quote below.)

act 5, scene 2
Worcester and Vernon are re-approaching their own camp when Worcester tells Vernon that they can't tell Hotspur about King Henry's offer. Vernon disagrees, but Worcester shuts him down. he believes that no matter what Henry says, when it comes down to it, they can never truly be forgiven. they will have to pay for their treason. Hotspur arrives and Worcester tells him that Henry is ready for battle. he flat out lies about what Henry said. on the other hand, he tells the absolute truth about what Prince Hal said. a messenger arrives with letters for Hotspur, but he casts them aside. Hotspur and his men prepare for war.

i find Hal's reverence for Hotspur a little odd. where did that come from? didn't he insult him earlier in the tavern? or did i make that up? where does this come from? maybe he has a better understanding of Hotspur's courage now that he is facing war himself. he must be scared.

Hotspur, Hotspur, Hotspur. i don't know what those letters said, but something tells me that ignoring them was not a good idea. maybe i'm wrong, but it seems significant that once again, he is not listening.

and what is Falstaff's place in all of this? what is going to happen to him? he's a mess.

quote of the day:
'honor pricks me on. yea, but how if honor prick me off when i come on? how then? can honor set to a leg? no. or an arm? no. or take away the grief of a wound? no. honor hath no skill in surgery, then? no. what is honor? a word. what is in that word 'honor'? what is that 'honor'? air. a trim reckoning! who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. doth he feel it? no. doth he hear it? no. 'tis sensible, then? yea, to the dead. but will it not live with the living? no. why? detraction will not suffer it. therefore, i'll none of it. honor is a mere scutcheon.'
   -act 5, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of the play!

-rebecca may

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 4, Scenes 1-4


yeah baby! i read the whole act today. booya! and i'm going to try to do the same tomorrow. i can do it, right? hell yes i can.

act 4, scene 1
Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas meet at their camp. as Hotspur and Douglas express their mutual love for one another, when a messenger delivers news of Hotspur's father's sickness. Hotspur is upset that this might affect his chances of winning the battle against King Henry. he soon turns the situation around in his mind, however. he decides it's good because it means that not all of their powers are being used all at one time. they will have a back up plan. Worcester is concerned that people will think they don't have him on their side, which will make them look weaker. Vernon arrives that King Henry is marching toward them. in even worse news, Prince Hal is with him. Hotspur is upset. (see quote below.) in even worse news than that, they learn that Glendower cannot bring his men for another two weeks. Hotspur's response is: BRING IT ON.

act 4, scene 2
Falstaff talks. a lot. and i'm not really sure what he's talking about.

act 4, scene 3
Vernon and Worcester try to convince Hotspur and Douglas that they should wait for morning to attack, but Hotspur is impatient and wants to attack right away. Blunt arrives from the King's camp to figure out what Hotspur and co. have against them. Hotspur lays into him, saying that Henry used them, lied to them, and then cast them aside. Blunt relays sentiments of grace, love, and forgiveness from the king. Hotspur sends Blunt back without an answer either way.

act 4, scene 4
the Archbishop that helped Hotspur's camp is freaking out. he has heard about the army that the King has raised, and he thinks the King will win this battle. he feels that he's about to be in big trouble. when the King wins, he will be after the Archbishop next. the Archbishop is desperately trying to send out letters to save his butt.

Hotspur? really? you're more concerned about the battle than your father? NICE. this guy is going down.

can anyone help me with act 4, scene 2? i'm pretty lost.

act 4, scene 3 was a little weird. Hotspur goes on this rant about Henry. he talks forever and ever in classic Hotspur style. but then Blunt says one comment about peace and love and suddenly Hotspur says he has to take time to think about it. wasn't he just saying he was ready to fight like... 2 seconds ago? does he have an emotional imbalance, is he really a bit of a softy at heart, is he scared, or what? what do you think?

i just realized that i am completely ambivalent about who wins this battle. i don't care about Henry. i certainly don't care about Hotspur. i guess the only one i care about is Hal, but not exceedingly. ambivalence is probably not the feeling one hopes to feel about the main conflict in a play. hm... yikes.

quote of the day:
'no more, no more! worse than the sun in March
this praise doth nourish agues. let them come.
they come like sacrifices in their trim,
and to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war
all hot and bleeding will we offer them.'
   -Hotspur; act 4, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 5

-rebecca may

Sunday, August 7, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 3, Scenes 2 and 3


dear rebecca, you better start reading more Shakespeare or you're not going to make it by December 31. love, rebecca.

act 3, scene 2
King Henry chides Prince Hal privately for his wanton ways. Hal tries to submit himself humbly to his father, but Henry obviously needs to get this off his chest. he berates Hal for the following missteps: losing his place on the council, being seen to much in public and in low company, improper conduct. i mean, Hotspur is better fit for the throne than he is. everyone is against him, and he can't even count on his son to help. Prince Hal vows to help his father and to bring Hotspur down. either he or Hotspur will die. King Henry is proud to hear it. his other son recently set out for battle. Hal will follow, and he will follow Hal.

act 3, scene 3
Falstaff and Bardolph are chillin' in another tavern. Falstaff claims that he is wasting away, near death. he sings his own praises-- sort of. (see quote below.) he starts insulting Bardolph, really laying into him, until the Hostess enters. he owes the tavern money, but he's claiming that a pickpocket has stolen his money and a ring he received from his father. the Hostess calls his bluff and they bicker until Prince Hal arrives. Falstaff tries to get Hal on his side, which of course doesn't work, and Falstaff and the Hostess continue to argue. when she finally leaves them alone, Hal reveals that he has paid back all the money that they stole. Falstaff is very unhappy about this. Hal's other news is that he has managed for Falstaff to be in command of a company of infantrymen. Hal asks Falstaff to meet him the next day to receive his orders, and they part ways.

fun fact #1: apparently, the reason that Prince Hal isn't in favor with the council is because... get this... Hal boxed the ears of the Lord Chief Justice. AHAHAHAHA.

fun fact #2: Falstaff calls the Hostess a Maid Marian. he means this with a negative connotation. i love this because to me, Robin Hood is a hero and Maid Marian was a righteous babe who chose love over propriety and station and comfort. Falstaff uses it as an insult because from his perspective, Maid Marian was a woman of ill repute. she was dishonorable and loose. AHAHAHAHA.

why is Falstaff so mean to Bardolph? and why would Hal trust Falstaff with a company of foot soldiers? he's old, fat, and definitely not trustworthy. blind hope? he must truly care for him. like a lot. what do you think about all of this?

quote of the day:
'why, there is it. come sing me a bawdy song; make me merry. i was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be, virtuous enough: swore little, diced not above seven times-- a week, went to a bawdy house not above once in a quarter-- of an hour, paid money that i borrowed--- three or four times, lived well and in good compass; and now i live out of all order, out of all compass.'
   -Falstaff; act 3, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4!

-rebecca may

Saturday, August 6, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 3, Scene 1


i am so excited! i have 3 days off! wowsaaaaaa. and Sean and i are going to look at wedding locations tomorrowwwwwww! we haven't had a day off together in a month! and we haven't had a full day off alone together since... may probably? SO EXCITED!  will somehow have to squeeze Shakespeare into the day. eep! okie dokie, let's get a move on.

act 3, scene 1
Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer, and Glendower are all gathered to make their plans. Hotspur constantly needles proud Glendower, angering Worcester and Mortimer in the process. Glendower is confident they will beat Henry. after all, he has beaten him before. he has a map of all of Henry's land. he has had it split three ways between himself, Mortimer, and Hotspur. Hotspur, of course, isn't happy with his piece which begins yet another quarrel. as they plan for their departure, Glendower goes to round up their wives so they can all say goodbye. Hotspur has a few choice words to say about him. (see quote below.) Mortimer disagrees with Hotspur, adding that he is lucky Glendower didn't punish Hotspur for his disrespect and anger. Glendower returns with the wives, and a mushy scene takes place. we learn that Mortimer's wife speaks no English and he speaks no Welsh, so Glendower must translate for them. it still manages to be pretty romantic. she starts to sing to him. (weird. i know.) Hotspur and Kate have a less romantic goodbye. the couples leave for a bit together to say a proper goodbye.

Hotspur!!!!!! shut uuuuuuuuuup! how is he getting away with his serious attitude problem? i do not get it. he needs to get what's coming to him. for real.

who marries someone who speaks a different language from them? marriage of convenience much? this whole end of the scene with the wives is very odd. like... why is it necessary? what is its function? what do you think?

at the end of the scene, are they off for a quickie? just sayin', that's what it seems like.

quote of the day:
'o, he is as tedious
as a tired horse, a railing wife,
worse than a smoky house. i had rather live
with cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,
than feed on cates and have him talk to me
in any summer house in Christendom.'

for tomorrow: the rest of the act!

-rebecca may

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1 King Henry IV Act 2, Scene 4


in a funk. don't know why. weird how that happens, right? probably need to go to bed and start new tomorrow. yeah, i think i will do that as soon as i am finished here. ok, ready? me too. go!

act 2, scene 4
Prince Hal is with Poins in a tavern in London, messing around and playing childish pranks on the staff. he discusses Hotspur and how he's not ready to fight battles like Hotspur does. Falstaff and company finally arrive, disheveled and ready for a drink. Falstaff thinks Hal and Poins left them there, saying, 'there lives not three good men unhanged in England, and one of them is fat and grows old, God help the while!' Falstaff concocts a wild story to explain how they lost the money. 'if i fought not with fifty of them, i am a bunch of radish.' the story gets more and more wild as he goes, until Prince Hal reveals the truth to him. Falstaff tries to backtrack and say he knew it all along, but Hal is not fooled. a messenger comes with news for Hal. his father is in trouble and needs him. the plot against Henry is unfolding. while Falstaff and Hal play around at what to do (see quote below) , a sheriff arrives looking for Falstaff, but Hal doesn't give him up. he leaves to meet his father.

weird how the Henry line of things has been dropped for so long. we haven't seen him at all since act 1. i find that so strange. Shakespeare, you are so umpredictable!

i wonder what it was like to experience this back then. was all this riffing totally hilarious to them? were people like, rolling in the aisles? or did it all just seem very fun and clever? or was it major dissing? was any of this scandalous? what would have the reaction been to these stream of insults? i SO want to know!

is Prince Hal drunk? i feel like he must be drunk. or depressed. or both. what do you think? he is obviously massively insecure and unclear about what his relationship to England, the monarchy, and his destiny is/should be. how old is he? a teenager? he's sure acting like one. if you take away all the plot points and just focus on his emotional roller coaster, stupid choices, victimhood to peer pressure, bullying, insecurity, etc. he is your typical teenager. what do you think about all of this?

quote of the day:
'there is a devil haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. why dost thou converse with that trunk of humors, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend Vice, that gray Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years? wherein is he good but to taste sack and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning but in craft? wherein crafty but in villainy? wherein villainous but in all things? wherein worthy but in nothing?'
   -Prince Hal as King Henry to himself

for tomorrow: act 3, scene 1

-rebecca may

Monday, August 1, 2011

1 King Henry IV Act 2, Scenes 1-3


hey howdy hey lovely people. i got another jam packed day on my hands, but this time of fun stuff! i'm making some beignets, reading some Shakespeare, going to a LUSH party, and finishing my day with a tv date with my roommate. what could be sweeter? oh yeah, i get to spend the whole day with Sean. and what could be sweeter than that? it's rainiiiiing! i love storms. they're so soothing. yay. okay, reading time!

act 2, scene 1
Gadshill and Chamberlain plan their upcoming thievery. Chamberlain has heard of some people who will be travelling with a large sum of money who will be leaving soon. they agree to work together.

act 2, scene 2
Poins and Prince Hal have played a little joke on Falstaff by hiding his horse from him. he is frustrated and hilarious. Gadshill comes in and they discuss the upcoming thievery. Poins and Prince Hal go a different way, telling the rest of the thieves that they are doing so just in case the travelers escape. the travelers arrive and Falstaff robs them. they exit bound and Prince Hal and Poins come in and rob Falstaff.

act 2, scene 3
Hotspur has a letter urging him not to carry through his plans to overthrow the king. although the letter has a lot of good points, Hotspur won't listen to any of the advice. his wife, Kate enters. she is struggling to understand what is going on with her husband. he isn't himself at all. she tries to make him tell her what's going on, and he freaks out. (see quote below.) he backtracks, although he will not tell her what's going on. he leaves and promises he will have her follow the next day.

as for act 2, scene 1... WHAT?!?! i barely comprehended that scene at ALL. if i didn't have those footnotes, i would've been COMPLETELY lost. do people ever cut this scene? i wonder. in my last post i talked about how every scene felt so necessary and chock full of action and understandable, and BAM! very next scene is like WHA?!?

as for scene 2, i find it so interesting how the play changes when Falstaff is around. is it just me? the pace quickens, the flow changes, the play takes a little loop-de-loop. is anyone with me on this one? he gives the play character like none other. so interesting.

and on to scene 3 and Hotspur... he needs. to SHUT. UP. Hotspur is the perfect name for him. he disregards any opinion that challenges his own. he has zero patience. ignoring that letter will be his downfall. watch. as will talking too much and not listening enough. as will not listening to his wife. he like freaks out on her! i think Hotspur has a serious emotional imbalance. he should seek psychiatric help immediately. oh wait...

quote of the day:
away, you trifler! love? i love thee not;
i care not for thee, Kate. this is no world
to play with mammets and to tilt with lips.
we must have bloody noses and cracked crowns,
and pass them current too. gods me, my horse!
what sayst thou, Kate? what wouldst thou have with me?'
   -Hotspur; act 2, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 2, scene 4

-rebecca may

Sunday, July 31, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 1, Scene 3


hey there, people! i have to say, this play is shaping up to be a good'n. i've only just finished act 1 and i am dying to find out what happens in act 2. that's a good thing considering i need to make up for that lost time in June. perhaps i will read a little extraaa tomorrow! (look at me go!) if you haven't read this one, i'm telling you, pick it up. so good. check it out...

act 1, scene 3
King Henry tells Northumberland, Hotspur, etc. that he has been too soft, but he will not be any longer. he wants the hostages Hotspur took, and he wants them now. Hotspur explains what supposedly happened, claiming that the message Henry received was a lot more harsh than he intended it to be. he claims he was down and out in the battlefield with bodies lying all around him when some hoity toity noble pranced up to him demanding the hostages. he was just tired and impatient when he said no so rudely to him. King Henry isn't taking the bait. he points out that Hotspur is still not giving over the hostages, and is demanding the release of Mortimer from the Scots. he feels that Mortimer isn't worthy of being ransomed. Hotspur stands up for Mortimer saying that he fought hand to hand with Glendower (the Scottish guy who captured him) before he was captured. Henry doesn't believe that for a second. he demands the hostages, warning Northumberland to keep his son in check. Henry leaves, and as soon as he does, Hotspur starts talking crap about him. (see quote below.) Worcester comes in, and Hotspur tells him that he vows to help Mortimer, who just happens to be his brother-in-law. Worcester comments that they can't blame Henry for not wanting Mortimer around. Mortimer was, after all, proclaimed by Richard to be the rightful heir to the throne. Hotspur is outraged and he goes on and on about it. Worcester is trying to tell him something, but Hotspur won't shut up long enough to hear it. when he finally does settle down, Worcester lets him in on his plan to overthrow Henry. Hotspur and Northumberland will get the Archbishop (whose brother died because of Henry), the Scots, and Mortimer all rallied together. they will all meet up and overthrow Henry.

Hotspur needs to shut. up. his mouth is going to be the death of him, i swear. just listen for two seconds, you fool! mark my words, he's going down.

i'm a little confused about the plan. who is getting who? and what is Worcester doing? i am all kinds of confused. maybe it will all become clear as it actually happens? if it actually happens? it all just happened so fast! that's actually something i really like about this play so far- it's dense. and by dense, i mean that a lot happens in every scene. granted, i've only read 3 scenes so far, but the pace is great. i hope it stays like this. does it make the play harder to understand in performance? i wonder...

who will win this? Henry or Northumberland and co.? what do you think?

quote of the day:
'an if the devil come and roar for them
i will not send them. i will after straight
and tell him so, for i will ease my heart,
albeit i make a hazard of my head.'

for tomorrow: on to act 2, scenes 1-3

-rebecca may

Friday, July 29, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 1, Scenes 1 and 2


hello Shakespeare readers! new play today! wahoo! i'm super stoked. i am also stoked to go visit my friend today- she had twins! who does that? then on to work for a closing shift. woot. i also just realized that there's less than a month left of Summer. i really need to kick my reading into high gear and make up for some of that lost time in June. i can do it! okay, i know i'm super scattered today, so let's just move on...

act 1, scene 1
King Henry gives a speech to his people, explaining that they would all like to have a time of peace, and that no more civil war will rip England apart. they will all work together against a common enemy- the pagans in the holy lands. Henry asks Westmorland for news regarding their upcoming voyage, but Westmorland delivers very different news: Mortimer has been captured in Wales by Glendower and Hotspur has gotten himself into a battle with the Scots. Henry acknowledges that this probably isn't the best time to leave England, and relays news he has heard of Hotspur's bravery. he also comments, half-jokingly, that he wishes Hotspur were his own son instead of Prince Hal. (see quote below.) the bad news from Hotspur is that he won't give Henry the prisoners. he is keeping them. Westmorland warns Henry that this must be the bad influence of Hotspur's uncle, Worcester. Henry will wait for an explanation From Hotspur.

act 1, scene 2
Prince Hal are hanging out in London, chatting it up. their conversation is a constant battle of wits. they tease each other incessantly, with an undercurrent of: what will happen to Falstaff when Hal becomes king? Poins comes in, asking them to join him on a little adventure. they are going to leave town for a bit to have some adventures in robbery. Hal doesn't want to go. Poins get Falstaff to leave so they can talk in private and reveals the true plan: to play a major trick on Falstaff and the other fools in the group. they will separate themselves from them after they leave town. the group will go through with the robbery, but Poins and Hal will disguise themselves and rob Falstaff and the rest of the group. when they meet up later and ask Falstaff how the robbery went, he and the rest of them will boast about the adventure. calling them on their bluff will be the jest. Prince Hal agrees to join him.

i L-O-V-E that things are going down just as Richard said they would. we have a phrase that we use that totally fits this situation: once a cheater, always a cheater. in this case it'd be, once a committer of treason... weird though how i once felt kinda bad for Richard even though he sucked at his job and now i'm kind of feeling bad for Henry. like i said, Shakespeare is SO good at making you shift your sympathies.

i don't understand a lot of what Hal and Falstaff are saying. i think it would take some great actors for me to really get it. but what i do get is their closeness and the tenuousness of it all. what WILL happen to Falstaff when Hal becomes king? can Hal really do anything to help him? would we blame him if he didn't? i love where the conversation goes around line 50. Shakespeare creates this complicated multi-layer conversation. how much are they just messing around talking about nothing? and how much is it about Falstaff actually having a place once Henry is king? and how much is it about the grim reality that thieves are hung? people like Falstaff are hung by people like Hal. sad and intriguing. must be fun for actors to play with!

predictions so far: Hotspur and Falstaff will meet ugly ends. we shall see!

quote of the day:
'yeah, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin
in envy that my lord Northumberland
should be the father to so blest a son--
a son who is the theme of honor's tongue,
amongst a grove the very straightest plant,
who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride,
whilst i, by looking on the praise of him,
see riot and dishonor stain the brow
of my young Harry. o, that it could be proved
that some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
in cradle clothes our children where they lay,
and called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!'
   -King Henry; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of act 1

-rebecca may

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth Intro Info


Sean took the MCAT today! yay! done and done. although he plans to re-take it in August just to be safe, i am so happy he has one under his belt. i wasn't happy to stay up til 4:30am to help him wake up and make him a good breakfast, but i think it was totally worth it to make sure he started this important day on the right foot! and tonight we will have vegetarian chili, some of our favorite DVR'd shows, a bottle of wine, and some well-deserved relaxation. that is, of course, after we finish cleaning the apartment and i finish my blog. okay, on your mark get set go!

here's what i learned today, and i have to say, i'm pretty excited about this one:
-1 Henry IV starts off where Richard II left off. Henry wants to get his people together against a common enemy in the Holy Lands, but he can't because there's too much civil war going on at home. the Scots and Whales are both giving him trouble, and his men are off fighting.
-here's who helped him win the throne: Percy (aka Hotspur), Northumberland, Worcester, and Edmund Mortimer. remember when Richard warned... Northumberland was it?... that soon things would change? he said that those who participate in treason are likely to do so again. and guess what?!? it's looking like Richard may have been completely correct. Henry's people are frustrated with the outcome, and perhaps Mortimer would be a better option for the throne.
-i find it interesting that Bevington says that 'Shakespeare's sympathies are many sided' in this play because i have been saying over and over again in previous entries that i have found Shakespeare to be incredibly skilled at creating split-sympathy in his readers and/or viewers. if Bevington is pointing it out now, i can't wait to see what Shakespeare has in store for us!
-women are pretty much absent again. boo. but what they do offer is a different perspective on the men in the play. they kind of show the men's true colors. even though they're not a big part of the play which is kind of blah, it's cool that Shakespeare has these women be the voices of reason, the truth-givers, the wise members of their families, etc. i can dig that.
-Shakespeare seems to be exploring the relationships between fathers and sons in this one. there is, of course, King Henry and his son, Prince Hal. there is also Northumberland and his son, Hotspur. but beyond these obvious choices, there is the relationship between Henry and Hotspur (he at one point jokes that he wishes Hotspur had been his son) and the one between Hal and Falstaff.
-yes! he is here! Falstaff. here is something Bevington said about Falstaff that i loved: 'we excuse much in him because he lusts after life with such an appetite and ingratiates himself to others by inviting them to laugh at his expense.' apparently he is a great foil for Hotspur, his complete opposite. can't wait to finally read this character. and can't wait to read this play! treason, action, wit, confusing relationship dynamics, and Falstaff? sounds good to me!

sounds like we're in for a good one. i hope you'll join me!

for tomorrow: act 1, scenes 1 and 2

-rebecca may

Sonnets 52-56


you ever have one of those days where you plan to wake up at a normal time, but then you accidentally wake up at 1:30 in the afternoon? yeah, that was me today. and it's kind of thrown me off kilter all day. it's extra weird because i plan to wake up at 4am to make breakfast for Sean because he has to drive a few hours to take the MCAT in the morning. so i am all kinds of thrown off. and of course it;s a sonnet day! forgive me if i'm not totally with it today.

#52- the writer describes his love as a treasure that he holds in his chest as a rich man might hold his wealth in a safe.
#53- i have. NO. IDEA!!!
#54- just like roses live again in potpourri, love can live again in writing.
#55- (see quote below.) nothing outlives words. all things will die, but the writer's  love will live on in his poems.
#56- let love be renewed with each new encounter! even though you're full of love now, when you wake up tomorrow be hungry for it again as you are hungry for food.

sonnet 53?!? i have no idea what's going on. help!

sonnets 54 and 55 are scaring me! we spent so much time on this sentiment earlier on this year. i don't want to go back! i was getting SO sick of it. please no, Shakespeare!

i love sonnet 56. it's lovely. you should check it out. go!

i got nothing profound to say, but if you do, please share.

quote of the day:
'not marble nor the gilded monuments
of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
but you shall shine more bright in these contents
than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.'
   -sonnet 55

for tomorrow: Henry IV Part 1

-rebecca may

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 5, Scenes 3-6


so much to do! paper for ASTR, syllabus for Theatre History 3, thesis, clean, read a few plays, blog, etc.! gotta go gotta go!!!

act 5, scene 3
Henry is looking for his son, who is apparently some sort of miscreant boozing about London. Aumerle comes in, completely freaked out. he asks to speak with Henry alone, and Henry obliges. they close the door and lock it. Henry promises not to open the door for anything. Henry also promises Aumerle, who is begging forgiveness, that he will pardon him no matter what the problem is. a moment later, York comes knocking at the door yelling "traitor!" Henry freaks out and opens the door for him. York tells Henry to condemn Aumerle, while Aumerle begs forgiveness. the Duchess, wife of York and mother of Aumerle, comes to beg for Aumerle. everyone pleads with the king. ultimately, King Henry decides to pardon Aumerle. he will, however, persecute every other person who was trying to revolt against him.

act 5, scene 4
Pierce, Exton, and some others are distressed by Henry's distress. they vow to kill the man who is distressing him: Richard.

act 5, scene 5
King Richard is alone in his cell, wordily lamenting his fate. time is his enemy these days. he receives a couple of visitors before Exton and the others arrive. Richard puts up a serious fight, killing a couple of men. eventually, however, he is killed.

act 5, scene 6
Henry is sharing with York the downfalls of some of the English towns.Northumberland and Fitzwater also come to deliver news. Percy, however, arrives with Carlisle and the news that Abbott has killed himself. in a strange move, Henry tells Carlisle that he's letting him go to live a quiet and secret life. he considers Carlisle to be an honorable man. Exton comes in with the biggest news of all: Richard is dead. Henry has mixed emotions. (see quote below.) Henry plans to make a trip to the Holy Land 'to wash this blood off [his] guilty hand.'

Henry has a son? WHAT?!? when did that happen? his 'wanton and effeminate boy'. HA.

here's how i feel about some of these characters... York: moralistic and idealistic to the point that he is going to go DOWN soon. i predict it. Aumerle: he is one. lucky. bastard. he keeps evading consequences. Henry: he's a fool. he's no better than Richard. in fact, he might be worse.

so i'm a bit confused by the end of scene 5. what is it that Exton is feeling about the murder? i can't tell whether he is happy, regretful, or a combination thereof. what's going on there?

what the HELL is going on with Henry? he pardons Aumerle, has a bunch of others killed, pardons Carlisle, is happy that Richard is dead. what is up with him? he seems just as random as Richard was. what is going to happennnnn?

quote of the day:
'they love not poison that do poison need,
nor do i thee. though i did wish him dead,
i hate the murderer, love him murdered.
the guilt of conscience take thou for thy labor,
but neither my good word nor princely favor.
with Cain go wander through the shades of night,
and never show thy head by day nor light.'
   -King Henry; act 5, scene 6

for tomorrow: sonnets!

-rebecca may

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 5, Scenes 1 and 2


okie dokie kiddies. i'm hard core attacking my 5 things to do today: Shakespeare, crunches, work, laundry, read Gem of the Ocean. i got this on lock! if you are reading this, i'm telling you that this 5 goals a day thing really works! check it out. but annnyyyywayyyy, this play is getting good! man, i was really into it when i was reading this morning. check it out...

act 5, scene 1
the Queen is on the path toward the Tower, waiting for Richard to come along the path. when Richard comes by, he begs her not to grieve and to go immediately to France. the Queen cannot believe that he is going out with a whimper instead of a growl. (see quote below.) Richard is VERY 'woe is me' and yet begs his wife not to grieve too much. Northumberland enters with news for Richard. instead of going to the Tower, Bolingbroke has decided to send Richard to Pomfret Castle in Yorkshire. Richard warns Northumberland that corruption leads to more corruption. it won't be long before Bolingbroke will realize that if Northumberland can overthrow one king, he can surely overthrow another. he finishes his warning with: 'the love of wicked men converts to fear,/that fear to hate, and hate turns one or both/to worthy danger and deserved death.' the Queen begs Northumberland to banish both of them, but he says no. she also begs him to let her go with Richard. Richard points out that if they go together, they still won't be able to see each other. they kiss as they part, so full of grief to leave each other.

act 5, scene 2
the Duchess of York is asking the Duke of York to recount what just happened when Bolingbroke and Richard arrived in London. when Bolingbroke arrived, the "greedy" citizens of London cheered him on. when Richard arrived, however, no one cheered, and people threw things at him. Aumerle, their son, arrives. he has been stripped of his title for being a supporter of Richard. York notices that Aumerle has a document on him and demands to see it. Aumerle resists, but eventually York gets it from him. when he reads it, he is shocked to see words of treason. Aumerle has entered into a pact to assassinate Bolingbroke. York will not stand for this treason. although the Duchess begs him not to, York heads out to inform Bolingbroke of this treason. after he leaves, the Duchess sends Aumerle to beat him to Bolingbroke and get out of this mess. she will not be far behind.

one little random thing that's interesting to me- in the beginning of the act, the Queen refers to the Tower of London as being Julius Caesar's. apparently tradition of the time called it Caesar's, but it was actually built by William the Conqueror to keep London in check. interesting! thanks for the history lesson Mr. Bevington.

Richard is seriously playing the martyr here. i understand that he's lost his kingdom, but does he not remember that he was kind of a crappy king? is he not aware? or is his memory just selective? i'm not sure whether or not the answers are in the text. if not, these would be some interesting actor questions. again, i'd love to see this onstage.

what is the significance of Pomfret Castle vs. the Tower? the castle sounds less intense. true or false?

quote of the day:
'what, is my Richard both in shape and mind
transformed and weakened? hath Bolingbroke
deposed thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart?
the lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
and wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
to be o'erpowered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
and fawn on rage with base humility,
which art a lion and the king of beasts?'
   -Queen; act 5, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of the play!

-rebecca may

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 4


so here's my latest plan, and so far (for two days), so good: make 5 goals a day. whatever it is i need to do. even if taking a shower is uber-important for the day, put it on the list. if i accomplish those 5 things, then i can move on to other things. of course things like work go on the list, but it's a great opportunity to motivate myself to get things accomplished that i might normally put off. i also have a tendency to become so overwhelmed with the number of things that i have to do, that i don't accomplish as much as i need to. so... 5 things a day. it's awesome. and guess what's on the list every day? that's right...

act 4, scene 1
Bolingbroke asks Bagot what he knows about Gloucester's death. (remember that? from long long ago?) Bagot points his finger at Aumerle. he also accuses Aumerle of not wanting Bolingbroke to be king. Aumerle gets pissed and throws down his gage. Fitzwater refutes Aumerle and throws his gage down. Aumerle continues to deny the charges and Percy points his finger at Aumerle as well. he's so upset, he throws down his gage. soon, yet another gage is thrown down. Surrey gets on Aumerle's side, pointing fingers at Fitzwater. so guess what? he throws his gage down too. more gages are thrown down and taken up. Aumerle even has to borrow a gage! someone's gage is thrown down against Norfolk (the other man banished. remember that?). the news is revealed that Norfolk is actually dead. York enters with news that Richard is giving up his crown "with willing soul". Carlisle, however, speaks out against it. he is a clergyman, and gives his honest opinion. he thinks it's wrong to basically try Richard when he isn't even there. they are going against God's will, and they will be published. Northumberland calls him a traitor and has him taken into custody. Richard is finally brought in. he's talking a little crazy. giving up his crown is obviously taking its toll on him. (see quote below.) he does eventually give his crown over to Bolingbroke, but he is losing it. Bolingbroke plays at being respectful, but it seems like it's just a show. the one thing Richard asks is for Bolingbroke to let him go instead of trying him. if he lets him go, Richard promises he will never be heard from again. Bolingbroke, however, has him taken to the Tower. after everyone leaves, a few of the Lords agree to meet in secret to discuss how to fix this whole situation.

so we remember that the gage being thrown down is a challenge from one person to another? if the other person picks up the gage, the challenge is accepted. got it? ok good.

so all this gage-throwing... is this meant to highlight the ridiculousness of the situation? or is the tension supposed to be mounting here? to me, it's bordering on funny. i wish i could see this on stage!

hm... looks like Bolingbroke is turning into exactly the tyrant that he accused Richard of being. anyone else seeing that?

quote of the day:
'alack, why am i sent for to a king,
before i have shook off the regal thoughts
wherewith i reigned? i hardly yet have learned
to insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
to this submission. yet i will remember
the favors of these men. were they not mine?
did they not sometime cry, "all hail!" to me?
so Judas did to Christ. but he, in twelve,
found truth in all but one; i, in twelve thousand, none.
God save the King! will no men say amen?
am i both priest and clerk? well then, amen.
God save the King, although i be not he;
and yet, amen, if heaven do think him me.
to do what service am i sent for hither?'
   -King Richard

for tomorrow: act 5, scenes 1-3

-rebecca may

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 3, Scenes 3 and 4


alright kids, i have to be honest. i am really struggling with this one. i can't quite get into it. there's so many characters, and i'm not attached to any of them but York. the plot isn't very exciting. and i'm not connecting with the words very much. is there anyone out there that loves this play? i would love it if you would share your love with me. help me get it!

act 3, scene 3
Bolingbroke has learned of the goings on of King Richard and the Welsh army. he is pleased by the news, but York warns him to be respectful of his king. Percy arrives with news that King Richard is currently in the castle just ahead. Bolingbroke has Northumberland approach the castle to let Richard know that he comes in peace as long as he is un-banished. Richard appears and is rather snarky about Bolingbroke's presence in his country, as well as his own divine rights as king. (see quote below.) Northumberland swears that Bolingbroke is only there to receive his pardon. Richard grants it to him, but immediately admits to Aumerle (still on Richard's side) that he hates having to do this. he does not want to pardon Bolingbroke. he is only doing it because he will be overpowered if he does not. Northumberland asks King Richard to come down and meet Bolingbroke in the courtyard so they can talk face-to-face. Richard begrudgingly agrees. Bolingbroke kneels to Richard who retorts with, 'up, cousin, up. your heart is up, i know,/thus high at least (reaching for his crown), although your knee be low.' then...???

act 3, scene 4
the Queen is wandering about in York's garden with her lady. she is extremely depressed, and nothing can sway her from it. she sees the gardeners approaching. knowing that they will likely talk about current events, she decides to hide and listen in on their conversation in hopes that she will learn something of her Richard. the gardeners inadvertently reveal to her that Richard was 'seized' by Bolingbroke. the Queen reveals herself and prods them for more information. the gardener is unhappy to have to tell her that all is lost for Richard. the Queen immediately decides to go to him and leaves.

so York is really confusing me. we are told that York is on Bolingbroke's side, but he's not acting like it. he is physically with Bolingbroke, but his allegiance still seems to lie with Richard. what's up with that?

i am really confused about what happens at the end of act 3, scene 3. in the next scene we learn that Richard has succumbed to Bolingbroke. is that what is going on here? it's around line 196 that i get confused. any insight out there? love that zinger from Richard that i included in my little synopsis. so good!

scene 4 is an interesting little thing. Bevington calls this English garden a metaphor for the 'despoiled garden of Eden'. innnnnteresting. what do you think of that?

quote of the day:
'we are amazed; and thus long have we stood
to watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
because we thought ourself thy lawful king.
and if we be, how dare thy joints forget
to pay their awful duty to our presence?
if we be not, show us the hand of God
that hath dismissed us for our stewardship;
for well we know, no hand of blood and bone
can grip the sacred handle of our scepter,
unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
and though you think that all, as you have done,
have torn their souls by turning them from us,
and we are barren and bereft of friends,
yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
your children yet unborn and unbegot,
that lift your vassal hands against my head
and threat the glory of my precious crown.'
   -King Richard; act 3, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4

-rebecca may

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 3, Scenes 1 and 2


home from North Carolina. super bummed. missing my friends. haven't been feeling well. praying Sean gets into med school somewhere a little more north of here! let's jump in...

act 3, scene 1
Bolingbroke calls forth Bushy and Green. he harbors a grudge against them, blaming them for his banishment. and apparently, after he was banished, they plundered his belongings. Bolingbroke sends them off to be executed. he also sends word to the Queen that he has nothing but love for her and means her no harm.

act 3, scene 2
back in Wales, Richard finally arrives. he is happy until he is chided about Bolingbroke winning over England. without missing a beat, he comes right back with confidence that he is in the right and the traitor Bolingbroke will never win. (see quote below.) Salisbury enters to deliver bad news: Richard is a day too late. the Welsh army that was there to help him have all fled to Bolingbroke. they thought Richard was dead. Richard, however, feels optimistic. Scroop enters to deliver more bad news: Bolingbroke is wreaking havoc on England. many people are rebelling and joining his forces. Richard asks after Bushy, Green, etc. Scroop delivers even more bad news: they are dead. at this, Richard starts to FREAK OUT. Richard recovers momentarily to get a message sent to York to try and muster up an army. then he receives the worst news of all: York has deserted. he is now on Bolingbroke's side.

York?!?!? NOOOOOOOO.

whose side are we supposed to be on here? yet again, i don't know. Shakespeare is pretty darn good at that. what do you think? feel bad for Richard? think he deserves it?

quote of the day:
'discomfortable cousin, know'st thou not
that when the searching eye of heaven is hid
behind the globe that lights the lower world,
then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
in murders and in outrage boldly here;
but when from under this terrestrial ball
he fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
and darts his light through every guilty hole,
then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
the cloak of night being plucked from off their backs,
stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
so when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
who all this while hath reveled in the night
whilst we were wand'ring with the Antipodes,
shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
his treasons will sit blushing in his face,
not able to endure the sight of day,
but, self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.'
   -King Richard; act 3, scene 2

for tomorrow: the rest of act 3

-rebecca may

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard II Act 2, Scenes 2-4


so we drive from Florida to North Carolina to see Alice Ripley in Next to Normal- the last stop in the U.S. on Saturday, we have tickets in the 2nd to last row. we can't see anything, but at least we can hear the show. lol then on Sunday afternoon we have FRONT ROW tickets that we paid a pretty penny for. we are SOOO excited. we walk in the theater, and discover that Alice Ripley is not performing. i literally cried. because i'm ridiculous. (no offense, but it's just not even close to the same without Alice.) we wait around for a couple hours to see if she would perform that night, but no... SO BUMMED. so. bummed.

act 2, scene 2
the (no-name) Queen of King Richard is seriously depressed. her husband is gone to Ireland, but she also has a nagging feeling that there is more grief to come. just as Bushy is trying to convince her that she has no reason to be worried, Green enters with news of Bolingbroke's arrival on English soil. many of their kinsmen have fled to Bolingbroke, to fight on his side. York comes in. he is worried that the people of England are on Bolingbroke's side too. York asks their kinsmen that are left to muster up as many men as possible to fight for England. after York leaves, the men discuss how impossible they find this task. is anyone on Richard's side anymore? Bushy and Green plan to head to Bristol Castle, and Bagot will head to Ireland to fetch Richard.

act 2, scene 3
Bolingbroke, Northumberland, and co are trudging through England near Berkeley Castle when they catch up with Northumberland's son, Harry Percy. Percy delivers more bad news about the country falling apart to his father. York comes to talk to Bolingbroke and find out what the heck is going on. he basically gives Bolingbroke a big WTF. (see quote below.) Bolingbroke explains that he was banished as Bolingbroke, but when his father died, he became the new Duke of Lancaster. he returns as Lancaster now. York says that he understands where he is coming from, but he doesn't think it's right to take matters into your own hands. you must trust in God. Bolingbroke announces that he is headed to Bristol Castle to (talk?) with Bushy and the rest. York accompanies him.

act 2, scene 4
a Welsh captain is talking to Salisbury. the captain is explaining that they have been waiting for 10 days without word from King Richard. they are ready to split. Salisbury tries to convince him to stay just a little longer, but he won't. they fear that King Richard is dead.

this play is so weird. we start with this formal event, and i would call it the point of no return. but then it feels like it launches straight into the crisis. there's no build to that. it's just pow! right out of the gate! i really do wish we could see more of what has happened to Richard and how he has changed rather than just hearing from the characters that he has. what was he like before? what are his bad influences like? what do they do to get him to make these bad decisions? is he really a good guy underneath all that? i am also surprised by how little stage time Richard has actually had so far. where is he? what is he doing? i think that actually adds a lot. he's the king, but he doesn't ever seem to be around.

this play has too many characters!!! i just didn't even mention them all. there's so many guys coming in and out, pretty inconsequentially, and it's nuts. how would you even pay this many actors? lol. i wonder how much of this people cut when they produce this play.

i. love. York. he seems to be the only one with a good head on his shoulders. anyone else with me here?

quote of the day:
'grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
i am no traitor's uncle; and that word "grace"
in an ungracious mouth is but profane.
why have those banished and forbidden legs
dared once to touch a dust of England's ground?
but then more "why?" why have they dared to march
so many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
frighting her pale-faced villages with war
and ostentation of despised arms?'
   -York; act 2, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 3, scenes 1 and 2

-rebecca may

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard II Act 2, Scene 1


we are currently in North Carolina having a fabulous time. there's nothing i would rather do than spend the weekend hanging out with my fiance, my roommate, one of my oldest friends, and her gorgeous family. oh yeah, and add the amazing Alice Ripley in the phenomenal Next to Normal? yes please! Shakespeare time is scarce, so let's go! it's going to be a quick one...

act 2, scene 1
Gaunt is dying and desperately wants to talk to Richard. (see quote below.) when Richard shows up with his peops, Gaunt really lays into him. he tells Richard to slow down and basically be better at his job or he will pay for it. Richard brushes him off, of course. Gaunt leaves. moments later, he is dead. Richard immediately turns his attention toward warring with Ireland. Richard plans to seize everything of Gaunt's to help fund his plans. York can't take it anymore. he speaks out against this plan, but Richard won't listen. York leaves, disgusted. Richard makes plans to leave the next day for Ireland and leaves. left behind are some of his men, who begin to reveal that they are actually unhappy with Richard's plans. they are concerned that he is not himself lately. he has squandered so much money (on who-knows-what), taxes his people unfairly, and is losing the favor of the people. these men have heard that Bolingbroke is on his way back ready to fight Richard. the men leave to meet with him.

my favorite part of this is that the Queen's name in the play is "Queen". she has no real name. GREAT.

i also found it interesting that line 280 is missing. possibly censored? ooooh. wish i knew what it was!

we keep hearing that Richard is acting differently lately. why is that so? we keep hearing that he is surrounded by bad influences. who? and why? and instead of deserting him or working against him, why doesn't anyone just try to help him get away from those bad influences? what's the deal here? and also, as always with the histories, i wonder how close to reality this is. anyone know any of these answers?

quote of the day:
'methinks i am a prophet new inspired,
and thus expiring do foretell of him:
his rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
for violent fires soon burn out themselves;
small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
he tires betimes that spurns too fast betimes;
with eager feeding food doth choke the feeder;
light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
consuming means, soon preys upon itself.'

for tomorrow: the rest of act 2

-rebecca may

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard II Act 1, Scenes 2-4


1 day til harry potter, 2 days til north carolina, and 3 days til Next to Normal! SO EXCITED IT'S INSANE!!! i'm ready! i do have to get through 2 days of work before the fun begins, but i can do it. and speaking of work, i work a late shift tonight, so let's do it to it!

act 1, scene 2
Gaunt and the Duchess of Gloucester (widow to the Duke of G, supposedly killed by Mowbray) are in the middle of a heated discussion. the Duchess wants Gaunt to take matters into his own hands and take care of Mowbray, but Gaunt prefers to do nothing. he will leave matters to fate, a.k.a. the will of God. the Duchess tries everything, but Gaunt will not budge. they part, the Duchess alluding to her death.

act 1, scene 3
it is St. Lambert's Day! everyone is gathered for the battle between Mowbray and Bolingbroke. according to their beliefs in "trial by combat", the person who is guilty will die in this fight. they go through all the formalities of getting the fight underway, but at the last minute, King Richard calls it off. he really doesn't want them to fight. (remember, he thinks it will be bad luck for England for this to happen at this time of year.) Richard reveals that the he and the other powers that be have come up with a sentence for the two men. Bolingbroke will be banished for ten years. Mowbray, however, is banished forever. Richard also has them swear that they will under no circumstances meet again. Bolingbroke has some final words for Mowbray (see quote below.) and Mowbray warns Richard that Bolingbroke may not be what he appears to be. Mowbray leaves. Richard sees how sad Gaunt is. he feels so sorry for him that he reduces Bolingbroke's banishment from ten years to six years. Richard leaves. Gaunt and his son Bolingbroke say their goodbyes. Gaunt tries to get Bolingbroke to think positively, but he just can't.

act 1, scene 4
King Richard receives word about Mowbray and Bolingbroke's exit from England. Richard is concerned about the way the commoners reacted to Bolingbroke leaving. he is wary of his relationship with the people. now that the banishment is out of the way, they will turn their attention toward the ;rebels which stand out in Ireland'. Richard tells his peops that they will farm out their land or get extra tax money from the wealthy people of England- whatever it takes to fuel their battle against Ireland.

in scene 2, is the Duchess saying she is going to kill herself? i'm not sure i'm reading that right.

is Mowbray's warning about Bolingbroke in scene 3 a bit of foreshadowing? i have a bad feeling about Bolingbroke. he seems like bad news. and then this warning from Mowbray. i think Bolingbroke might cause some trouble for Richard and England.

now to scene 4... so Richard is a little concerned about Bolingbroke's relationship with the people of England. is this the real reason Bolingbroke is banished? was this whole thing just an excuse to get rid of him? or is this concern something new?

oooh Richard. in scene 4 i am really starting to see the seeds of an inadequate ruler. anyone else with me on this?

quote of the day:
'Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
by this time, had the King permitted us,
one of our souls had wandered in the air,
banished this frail sepulcher of our flesh,
as now our flesh is banished from this land.
confess thy treasons ere thou fly this realm.
since thou hast far to go, bear not along
the clogging burden of a guilty soul
   -Bolingbroke; act 1, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 2, scene 1

-rebecca may

The Tragedy of King Richard II


only 3 days til we are in North Carolina!!!!!!! yahoo! we will get to see one of my two best friends, her husband, her wonderful children, and we get to see Next to Normal on tour with Alice Ripley! TWICE!!! gah! it's going to be an AMAZING weekend and i just can't wait to be there. and hoppppefully the car ride will afford plenty of time for Shakespearing! yeah, that's right, i just made a proper noun into a verb. i hope to finish this play this week. woot.

act 1, scene 1
in some sort of royal formal setting, King Richard and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster are entertaining complaints brought to them by Bolingbroke (John's son and Richard's cousin) and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Lancaster. Bolingbroke and Mowbray are there to accuse each other of high treason. the accepted course to take care of a dispute of that nature is trial by combat, and the two men are ready and willing to battle it out. Bolingbroke accuses Mowbray of three different counts of treason. Mowbray denies it all, of course, with reasonable explanations. King Richard asks them to make peace. (see quote below.) the men, however, will not give in. King Richard, unhappy with the outcome, tells them they will have their opportunity to battle on September 17, Saint Lambert's Day.

so this is that formality Bevington was warning us about that open and conclude this play. i certainly hope it drops off for the rest of the play. i find this style of writing to be extremely difficult to read. anyone else?

i'm not sure i'm completely clear on the nuances of this dispute. i understand that Bolingbroke and Mowbray don't like each other and are accusing each other of various things. Richard tries to get them to let it go, but they won't.  my questions are: why is it Bolingbroke turning Mowbray in for treason? what is their relationship? and what exactly does Mowbray have against Bolingbroke? i'm extremely unclear on that.

Saint Lambert's Day! how cool. so Saint Lambert's Day is September 17. September 17 also happens to be my lucky day. and i have celebrated it as such every single year since... 2000 or so. so it's cool to learn about this. i also learned that Saint Lambert was killed for upholding marital fidelity. what a cool dude. he was like- no hoes for me! i can stand behind that.

quote of the day:
'wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me;
let's purge this choler without letting blood.
this we prescribe, though no physician;
deep malice makes too deep incision.
forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
our doctors say this is no month to bleed.'
   -King Richard

for tomorrow: the rest of act 1!

-rebecca may

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second Intro Info


new play! woohoo! wow, life is so good. today i got to sleep in, do a little Shakespeare, watch some tv, and tonight i get to go out for dinner with my amazingly wonderful and handsome fiance. yay for today! also, as far as Richard II goes, i know nothing going into this. and by nothing i mean NOTHING, so if there's anyone out there with knowledge of this play, do share! please and thank you!

stuff i learned about Richard II today:
-okay so i just figured out that this tetralogy (comprised of Richard II, the two Henry IVs, and Henry V) immediately precedes the Henry VI/Richard III tetralogy chronologically. so Henry V will leave off where we started 1 Henry VI. it's kind of cool to read them in reverse like that, when we already know what will ultimately happen at the end of the Wars of the Roses. wouldn't it be cool to see all 8 done... like across a year or something... starting with this play? i'm sure someone has done that before. would. be. awesome.
-be on the look out for this one central paradox explored in the play: a good man and a good ruler in one person is... impossible? does one cancel the other out? Richard is charming, interesting, and introspective, but an incompetent king. is Bolingbroke the opposite?
-also look for 'dirty politics going on behind the display' of what looks like a perfectly sound government. the doctrine of passive obedience was common during Richard's time, and still was during the Elizabethan time that this was written in. divine right and passive obedience go together, basically meaning that the ruler of England is chosen by God. whoever it is, good or bad, is meant to be in power. if the ruler is bad, the people are meant to see it as a test given them by God. they should remain passively obedient and deal with it until someone better comes along. to fight against the powers that be is to question God's authority.
if you think about it, it's pretty ingenious of the ruling powers to pass down this doctrine. of course rebellions happened, but it was a pretty smart way to keep them at a minimum. clever. very clever.
-maybe we see a slight anticipation of King Lear in Richard II? we can determine that as we go.
-and apparently this play kind of fits in with the "lyrical" period with Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

i'm excited for this one! and i hope you will read along with me!

for tomorrow: act 1, scenes 1 and 2

-rebecca may