Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little Shakespeare Humor

Tonight, my dad and I sat watching a King Lear Shakespeare in the Park video starring James Earl Jones. Caleb sat on a chair beside us, drawing on a magnadoodle while paying minimal attention to the drama unfolding on the screen. Then came the last scene in Act 1, which contains witty banter between Lear and his fool. Actually, Lear was being his usual curmudgeounly self; the Fool, however, was witty. 

Backstory- thought it’s not terribly important for the context of this post- King Lear banishes youngest daughter Cordelia because she refuses to suck up to him. His two older daughters, who are adept at sucking up, are revealed as selfish you-know-what’s after receiving their inheritances, and coldly turn their backs on their aging father.

King Lear’s fool, aka “Fool,” tells the king “I told ya so” by lauding the wisdom of slimy creatures like oysters and snails:

Fool: Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?


Fool: Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.


Fool: Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

KING LEAR: I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my horses ready?

Fool: Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.

KING LEAR: Because they are not eight?

Fool: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.

KING LEAR: To take 't again perforce!

CALEB JENNINGS: (Without looking up.) The fooorce…

(ACT I Ends shortly thereafter.)

HOLLY: If you can’t trust your daughters, who can you trust?

DAD: Your fool.

HOLLY: I should get me a fool. Oh wait… (Certain individuals can fill in the blank there.)

1 comment:

Toaster said...

One of my favorite quotes comes from King Lear:
"Love's not love when it's mingled with regards which stand aloof from the entire point." (Cordelia, of course)
And, being a romantic, I also like:
"Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove-
Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken." (Sonnet 116)