Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
“I had a dream, which was not a dream at all” right from the beginning Lord Byron is telling us that these terrible things he is describing are really happening. The description he gives of the sun extinguished and days that bring no sun reminded me of what I’d heard about “the year with no summer” when Mt. Tambora erupted in 1815. It was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. The massive eruption caused dramatic climate changes all over the world; this was the world Byron was writing of. To many this must have seemed like the fire and brimstone of judgment day bearing down on the world. However the newly emerging forms of science had their own, less radical explanations. Maybe Lord Byron is questioning his faith in the face of these new scientific explanations. He uses biblical descriptions of judgment day to describe what he’s seeing, however through his eyes in this land of darkness he no longer sees G-D in nature and the people around him. In lines such as “the meager by the meager were devour’d” and when he speaks of one dog “faithful to a corpse” he is attacking the idea of faith. Then in the last two lines when he writes, “Darkness had no need or aid from them –She was the universe” he is saying there is no G-D, no higher power, only flawed weak people. Maybe the question he is asking is whether in this new world of science and reason there is any room left for faith.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
And here are our three interpretations: Olivier, Tennant, and Hawke:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe. Act 1, Scene 2
at around the 4 minute mark, in this clip from the Royal Shakespeare Company film:
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
Kenneth Branagh's performance of Hamlet's soliloquy in Act 1, scene 2