Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Shakespeare Returned

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Tonight I retrieved my collected Shakespeare from the container on the back verandah.  And I have been browsing it on and off for a bit, too…

I dreamt a dream tonight.

And so did I.

Well, what was yours?

That dreamers often lie.

I was thinking about those lines the other day – those two lines (I assume they’re two, as my book splits them up without indentations or anything).  I couldn’t quite remember what they were, but I was certain what I felt about them.  Namely, that they are one of my favourite examples of rhymed lines in Shakespeare.  Or rather, they’re an example of a rhyming dialogue couplet where the rhyme so very demonstrably improves the effect.

Perhaps I like it more than the to-do about Queen Mab afterwards.  Perhaps.  (Eamon Farren’s recent take on it was quite wonderful; I saw another in a recorded version from the Globe Theatre, and that actor played it much more melancholy to Farren’s hyperactivity.)

Watching Waiting for Godot last night, another interpretation struck me.  It is based on the idea that Godot is God (which I actually don’t really believe is a correct interpretation – but bear with me).  The thought that occurred was that Pozzo and Lucky (and, to a slight extent, the boy), are sent by God to keep Vladimir and Estragon company.  To help them pass the necessary time a little less painfully.  One remembers the joke about the guy sitting on the top of his roof in a flood.  A guy in a rowboat comes along, and says, “quick, get in my boat, I’ll get you out of here,” to which the man replies, “no thank you, God will save me!”  A little later someone else comes along – a rescue team of some sort – in a powered boat, all kitted out for just such a rescue.  “Quick, get in our boat,” they say, “and we’ll take you to safety.”  “No thank you, God will save me!”, says the man again.  A little later after that – the flood waters having risen to the near peak of the roof – a helicopter hovers over the man, and a rescuer rappels down a dangling rope.  “Quick, hook onto me, I’ll save you,” he says.  “No thank you,” replies the man once more, “God will save me!”  But nothing happens, and the flood waters rise, and the man drowns.  He goes to heaven, and sees God at the Pearly Gates, and he says to God, “but why, God, why did you not save me?”  And God looks confused, and replies, “but I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

(I had to actually write that joke, as I couldn’t remember anything specific about it.  I apologise for the crappy punchline.  But the thought behind it is accurate.)

So yes, perhaps Vladimir and Estragon spend all their time waiting for Godot, and don’t realise that he’s helping them out right under their noses.

Except that I don’t believe “the two are waiting for God” is a good interpretation.  So I can’t believe the above.  But it interested me to think of it for a while.  It passed the time, yes?  Yes.

I feel a little fuller, with Shakespeare by my side.  The book is large; the intellect is heftier.


Written by epistemysics

November 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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