Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Life and Death of King John Act 4, Scene 1


on my way to a birthday party after a long day of rehearsal, celebrating a job change for Sean's boss, and wondering whether or not the rapture is going to happen. feeling exhausted to tell you the truth. i am also wondering what the heck is the deal with which Shakespeare plays are super popular and which are not. i just don't get it. this play i'm reading is awesome. Two Gentlemen of Verona was fantastic. so what's the deal? why is it that it's A Midsummer Night's Dream that everyone's done a million times? i never knew these other plays would be so great. how do these things happen? how can these other great plays become more visible?

act 4, scene 1
Hubert and some executioners plot Arthur's torture and death in a room of the castle. he tells them to heat their irons in the fire. when Arthur comes in and it's time, he will call for them and they will burn his eyes out. the executioners hide and Arthur enters. Arthur explains to Hubert how melancholy he has been. (see quote below.) Arthur can tell that something is wrong with Hubert, and Hubert explains by showing Arthur his death order. Arthur cannot believe that Hubert would do this to him, but Hubert explains that he must. Arthur can hardly believe it. the two of them have grown so close and Arthur loves him so much. this betrayal is unfathomable to him. Hubert calls out the executioners, who roughly bind Arthur to a chair. Arthur tells them he will not run, so there is no need to tie him up. Arthur begs Hubert to send the executioners away and to do it himself if it must be done. Hubert excuses the executioners, who are relieved to be free of the task. Arthur then begs Hubert to kill him without burning his eyes. Arthur uses his poetic senses to finally talk Hubert out of killing him at all. Hubert explains that John must think he is dead, and they leave together to hide Arthur away.

oh my gosh this scene was so incredibly sad! this would be a great duet scene for an acting class or something. (except i still have no idea how old Arthur is.) the dialogue is gorgeous, and the journey that these 2 characters go on in this scene is nothing short of epic. just sayin'. check it out. stat.

why was it that Hubert was supposed to burn his eyes? that seems so specific, yet random. is there some reason for this particular order that i am unaware of?

what is the true turning point in the scene? i know that Arthur getting Hubert to get rid of the executioners was a big step in the right direction for him, but from a critical standpoint, i can't figure out Hubert's true point of no return. any thoughts?

i am loving this play! if you haven't read this one, i highly recommend it.

quote of the day:
'by my Christendom,
so i were out of prison and kept sheep,
i should be merry as the day is long;
and so i would be here, but that i doubt
my uncle practices more harm to me.
he is afraid of me, and i of him.
is it my fault that i was Geoffrey's son?
no, indeed, is't not; and i would to heaven
i were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.'

for tomorrow: act 4, scenes 2 and 3

-rebecca may

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