Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shakespeare for breakfast

For breakfast this morning I had tea and toast with orange marmalade and some sonnets. I've been reading Shakespeare to get the bad taste out of my mouth that watching Shakespeare in Love on cable the other night had put there.

So now I'm shilling for the real Shakespeare. Everyone must read these sonnets. And don't just skim with your eyes; read them aloud. Or at least whisper them to yourself.


When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;

Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have exprest
Ev'n such a beauty as you master now,

So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all, you prefiguring;
And for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:

For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

And here's an old favorite:


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove: --

O no! it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom: --

If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Aren't those romantic? Yes, go ahead and read them again. We'll wait for you.

Now back to Shakespeare in Love. Romeo and Juliet was never my favorite play -- that whole double suicide thing is just stupid, not tragic or romantic -- so all those overwrought scenes with Shakespeare and Viola reading lines to each other while they tangled up bedsheets had me tapping my foot impatiently rather than reaching for a tissue. And the guy was married, so those mooney eyes and sighs and all that "true love" simply could not engage my sympathy.

I write love stories, so I like to think I'm something of a romantic. And I like movies, truly. But so many of the ones that are billed as romances just don't do it for me.

So here's a question: What "romantic" movie that everyone swooned over did you just not get?


Chris said...

Moonstruck: Other than "Snap out of it!" there wasn't much in the movie that I got.

--Chris (dFm)

Susan Kaye said...

You've Got Mail. Both were in "committed" relationships when they start the cyber "friendship." Ugh.