Saturday, March 31, 2007


Shakespeare, Richard III

Quotations and notes to myself after reading Shakespeare's Richard III.

1.1.66 (gynecocracy):
Why, this it is when men are ruled by women.
1.1.109 (pun on subjects):
We are the Queen's abjects and must obey.
O, cursèd be the hand that made these holes;
Cursèd the heart that had the heart to do it;
Cursèd the blood that let this blood from hence.
1.3.48-51 (what becomes of one who can't kiss arse):
Because I cannot flatter and look fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
1.3.147-148 (insult):
Hie thee to hell for shame and leave this world,
Thou cacodemon! There thy kingdom is.
1.3.225 (another insult):
Thou hateful, withered hag ...
1.4.91-92 (brevity):
What, so brief?
'Tis better, sir, than to be tedious.
1.4.139-149 (could be a riddle, except answer occurs a few lines before):
I'll not meddle with it. It makes a man coward: a man cannot steal but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour's wife but it detects him. 'Tis a blushing shamefaced spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom. It fills a man full of obstacles. It made me once restore a purse of gold that by chance I found. It beggars any man that keeps it. It is turned out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing, and every man that means to live well endeavours to trust to himself and live without it.
2.1.107-108 (thought crimes):
My brother killed no man; his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
2.2.35-39 (heauton timoroumenos):
Ah, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
To chide my fortune and torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul
And to myself become an enemy.
2.2.124 (lectio difficilior for fetcht):
2.3.13 (paedocracy):
Woe to that land that's governed by a child.
2.4.35-41 (expect and be prepared for the worst):
When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; but if God sort it so,
'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
2.4.60-61 (life):
Accursèd and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld?
3.1.45-46 (description of myself):
You are too senseless obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional.
3.4.11-13 (strangers to each other):
We know each other's faces; for our hearts,
He knows no more of mine than I of yours,
Or I of his, my lord, than you of mine.
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforcèd smiles,
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time to grace my stratagems.
3.5.90-94 (children resembling fathers):
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by true computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot,
Which well appearèd in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble Duke my father.
3.6.9 (asyndetic, privative adjectives):
Untainted, unexamined ...
3.7.4-14 (children resembling fathers):
Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?
I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France;
Th' unsatiate greediness of his desire
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France,
And his resemblance, being not like the Duke.
Withal, I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind.
4.1.102-103 (teen = grief, woe):
Eighty-odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wracked with a week of teen.
4.2.76 (what to say about noisy neighbors):
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers ...
4.3.121 (what to say to those who solicit charitable contributions):
I am not in the giving vein today.
4.4.1-2 (wheel of fortune):
So now prosperity begins to mellow
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
4.4.28-30 (oxymorons):
Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurped,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days...
4.4.83 (insult):
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backed toad!
4.4.88 (wheel of fortune):
One heaved a-high to be hurled down below.
4.4.130-135 (advantage of emotional incontinence):
Why should calamity be full of words?
Windy attorneys to their clients' woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries,
Let them have scope, though what they will impart
Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.
4.4.323-324 (apology):
I cannot make you what amends I would;
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
4.4.344 (underneath the bedcovers):
The sweet silent hours of marriage joys ...
5.3.6-7 (life's troubles are inevitable):
Norfolk, we must have knocks, ha, must we not?
We must both give and take, my loving lord.
5.3.78-79 (what to reply when asked "How are you?"):
I have not that alacrity of spirit
Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.
5.3.183 (rhetorical device ladder):
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
5.3.254-256 (cf. Lincoln's second inaugural address):
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
Like high-reared bulwarks, stand before our faces.
5.5.268-269 (cf. Lincoln's second inaugural address):
Then if you fight against God's enemy,
God will, in justice, ward you as his soldiers.

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