Saturday, August 20, 2011


Posted by PicasaHats and heads in The Pantiles.

"Be not afeared the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,
That if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds, methought, would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again."
 This one of my favourite speeches in The Tempest and perhaps in the whole of Shakespeare; even though, and perhaps because it strikes a sympathetic note on behalf of  the pathetic and essentially nasty half human, Caliban . It comes to mind this morning when I hear a strange and persistent sound coming from the scaffolding next door. It turns out to be some striped plastic sheeting wrapped round a couple of vertical tubes to warn people  against bumping into them. It flaps in the wind rattling at a high frequency. And for a second reason when Heidi tells me about a dream. "It was so interesting, "she says, "that I wanted to go back into it. But I couldn't."

We meet an old acquaintance. "I'm writing a book," he says. "It's about the man/woman thing, which is so out of balance nowadays". He illustrates the theme: " My Godfather used to say 'there's no such things as strong women, only weak men.'"

4 comments:

The Crow said...

Hmmm...what is required for the man/woman thing to be in balance, I wonder, and who gets to determine that?

Lucy said...

Love that Caliban speech, so comforting. And funny how even the not so nice dreams can be so interesting you don't want to leave them...

Barrett Bonden said...

In choosing a favourite speech from Shakespeare it's important to come up with something of wide-ranging appeal, something that can be unshipped at any likely moment. As you have. Falstaff's reflections on sherris sack have that applicability but when it comes to something that moves me, my choice fits few occasions. So I'm taking advantage of your comment box to record a couple of extracts from Lady Percy's impassioned lashing-out at her father-in-law for leaving Hotspur in the lurch. First for its honesty (warts and all is the best policy) and then for the sheer poetic (rhythmic) emotion of the anguished widow. I'll pay the rental fee later.

He was indeed the glass
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.
He had no legs that practis'd not his gait;
And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;

And him—O wondrous him!
O miracle of men!—him did you leave—
Second to none, unseconded by you—
To look upon the hideous god of war
In disadvantage, to abide a field
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
Did seem defensible.

But when might I be entitled to utter it aloud?

Plutarch said...

I wonder, too, Crow. Such ambition!

Lucy My problem at the moment is tedious boring dreams. Perhaps I forget the good ones.

BB It occurs to me that the speeches to list in a short list is almost endless. I realized that I was sticking my head out. The Historical plays are particularly fruitful.