Thursday, April 25, 2013

to snare the nimble marmoset

Be not afeard. 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 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.
--Caliban, The Tempest Act 3, Scene 2.

Yesterday, instead of paying attention in class, I read a letter from my friend Mara, detailing her journey to academic victory. I would encourage you to read this blogpost, as it is a more condensed,  more polished version of the letter (which was written in the throes of late-night-early-morning-post-thesis-defense jubilation).
I don't know if it will make you weep, but while the rest of the class was watching the short film on Winston Churchill (see, I was kind of paying attention) her letter brought me to tears.

Yesterday, I was also brought to tears when I went to the Globe to see The Tempest.
Caliban, the ugly, savage monster, has two of the most beautiful speeches of the play.
To hear those lovely words formed by the mind of a crude creature is magic. 
And you wonder if words have the power to save a creature.

I was surprised, I think, by how often I laughed. 
How ridiculous and hectic, chaotic and goofy the bumbling antics of all these humans were, and then, all of a sudden, a holy hush would fall over the jostling crowd--from the families in the dress circle to the "groundlings"  on the ground floor--and they would stop and listen to the most masterful words fall out of the lips of mere mortals.

Something greater than ourselves was happening here.
Words written five hundred years ago were still somehow capturing the essence of what it meant to be human, transcending it, and lifting up an entire theatre of people with them.
We begin to believe that maybe we are such stuff that dreams are made of.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know whether to be flattered or concerned. The Tempest is amazing, though -- wish I could have seen it!