Friday, January 28, 2011

2 Henry 6: Act 3, Scene 3 and Act 4, Scene 1


hello friends. well, we have made it through another week. i am about one and a third days behind on my Shakespeare, but i am confident i will gain that back at some point. and guess whaaat?! i'm seeing some Shakespeare tomorrow! UCF is doing Twelfth Night! even though i haven't gotten to that play, i already feel like i will have such a better understanding of the performance. i feel like when i go to see Shakespeare, i understand 70% of what's going on. (except Hamlet, of course, because it's my favorite and i've spent more time with it.) my expectation is that i will be closer to 85%. with Shakespeare, you have to get into the rhythm of it. when you're used to reading/hearing it, you understand SO much more. i am excited, and will report back tomorrow night!

okay, here we go:
act 3, scene 3
   (Henry, Salisbury, and Warwick at the Cardinal's deathbed)
Henry: talk to me!
Cardinal: if you are death, i will give you all of England if you will let me live.
Henry: you must be pretty terrible if you are this scared of death.
Cardinal: i am losing. my. MIND!
Salisbury: no one disturb him. let him die in peace.
Henry: Cardinal, if you are thinking of heaven, hold up your hand.
   (Cardinal dies)
Henry: he didn't give us the sign. i hope God saves his soul!
Warwick: evil life begets evil death.
Henry: don't judge him, we are all sinners.

act 4, scene 1
(fight at sea!, then on the shores of Kent, Lieutenant, Walter Whitmore, Suffolk in disguise, prisoners, etc.)
Master: okay fools. we are holding you three gentlemen for ransom. so your families need to cough it up. a thousand crowns for you two and (to Suffolk) for you...
Whitmore: i think we should kill this one to revenge the eye i lost in battle.
Lieutenant: oh, calm down.
Suffolk: i will pay whatever ransom you demand. i am a gentleman.
Whitmore: and so am i.
Suffolk: OMG i know you! your name is Walter. oh crap, that prophecy said i would die by water, which sounds an awful lot like Walter. i must tell you, i am actually of royal birth!
Whitmore: cool. i'm going to kill you.
Suffolk: but we know each other! remember me? you can't kill me!
Whitmore: Lieutenant, please let me kill him.
Lieutenant: okay, but first, let me slay him with words. (see quote below.) you are a liar and a beggar.
Suffolk: it is impossible that someone as low as you could kill someone as important as me.
Whitmore: that's what you think. you should be scared right now.
Suffolk: 'true nobility is exempt from fear.' go ahead, be as cruel as you can be. the worse you treat me, the more famous my death will be. i will be like Julius Caesar!
   (Whitmore takes Suffolk out)
Lieutenant: let's gather those ransoms!
   (Whitmore re-enters with the body and severed head of Suffolk0
Gentleman: poor Suffolk. i will take your body back to Henry and Margaret, who loves you so.

doo-da-doo bum bum bum another one bites the dust! and another one's gone and another one's gone!

from the crazy but true files:
-there's a fight at sea in this play. WHAT.
-Whitmore lost an eye in battle? WHAAAT?
-the prophecy said Suffolk would die by water. he died by the hand of Walter. dear Shakespeare, that's a stretch. i understand that, said aloud, they sound the same. but still. just sayin'
-Suffolk lies and says he is of Lancaster blood. WHAT. and he still doesn't live. HA.
-Suffolk also lies and tells them he's delivering a message from the Queen of France? dear Suffolk, that's a stretch.
-apparently, every random person knows all about everyone's business. for instance, Whitmore somehow already knows that Suffolk was involved in Gloucester's death. also, random Gentleman on this boat knows that Margaret loved Suffolk. how do they know these things? everyone knows!

i am loving this play. it seems more sophisticated to me than part 1. anyone else think so?

quote of the day: (btw, they call Gloucester 'Humphrey' in this play)
'thy lips that kissed the Queen shall sweep the ground,
and thou that smiledst at good Duke Humphrey's death
against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain,
who in contempt shall hiss at thee again.
and wedded be thou to the hags of hell
for daring to affy a mighty lord
unto the daughter of a worthless king,
having neither subject, wealth, or diadem.'
     -Lieutenant; act 4, scene 1

for tomorrow: ??? as much as i can!

-rebecca may


  1. Scene 3: Again with the arbitrary signs judged to indicate guilt and salvation!

  2. So here's what the play tries to indicate (in my opinion). Humphrey of Gloucester is loved by the common people. As soon as he dies the masses start rioting. Shakespeare may be saying to the nobility that the masses know more than you give them credit for. Now, he also indicates that they're kind of riotous mindless masses (later in this play) so who knows. The greatest thing about Shakespeare to me is that it's simply great words, and with those great words we can extrapolate whatever we want.

    So we see now that all those who plotted against Gloucester now are struggling. Cardinal's dead. Suffolk's dead. Mag's true love is dead (and she might be losing it).

    But who's sitting pretty? York. Because the other's sent him on an errand to raise an army.

    I try and push this play on so many people as one of the most under-rated in the canon. Glad you're enjoying it!

    I say g'bye Suffolk, ya cocky bastard!