SHAKESPEARE ALOUD

Shrew Induction 2

The fun continues in the Induction as Christopher Sly awakens.  There’s another example of music, this one notably for comic effect

Lord

33 Wilt thou have music? (Music) Hark, Apollo plays,

And twenty caged nightingales do sing.

This is a wonderful moment – the music just appears the moment the Lord beckons it – this falls in the category of music supporting transformation.  It could also be a comic moment, depending on the type of music, or how Sly reacts to it.  I love these lines of the Lord’s:

41 Dost thou love hawking? Thou hast hawks will soar

Above the morning lark.  Or wilt thou hunt?

Thy hounds shal make the welkin answer them

And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.

Beautiful and also strange – ‘dost thou love hawking’ always seemed to me a funny thing to ask someone.  These lines are also very touching:

66 Am I a lord, and have I such a lady?

Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now?

I do not sleep.  I see, I hear, I speak,

I smell sweet savours and I feel soft things.

Upon my life, I am a lord indeed.

A real softening on Christopher Sly’s part here – he is suddenly speaking in verse.  And it’s rather good verse to boot.  It’s a complete transformation and the trick is working.

The bit with Bartholomew as his wife is very funny.  There are a very bawdy gags burried (not so deeply) in it.  Here’s my favorite.

Bartholomew

121 I hope this reason stands for my excuse.

Sly

Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long; but I would be laoth to fall into my dreams again,  I will therefore tarry in despite of the flesh and the blood.

Looks like a dick joke to me.

I also love the end of the scene, Sly’s:

Well, we’ll see’t.  Come, madam wife, sit by my side

And let the world slip: we shall ne’er be younger.

BB

 

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