Sunday, 18 December 2011

Session 2, Act II

Now that I have set aside the perspective of a drugged-up, angry teenager attending class in between rioting, I get along fine with this play. Everything in this act is delightful, I find; nothing to complain of except some unintelligible stuff from Jacques (textual corruption, suggests the notes at one point). Even ‘All the world’s a stage’ now seems appropriate and amusing. The earlier passage about the weeping deer was touching, as is Orlando’s care for Adam and the generosity of the good -- the forest -- Duke. And it’s full of music -- which productions usually mess up with some horrible, specially composed tune.

I can almost see why that Walworth class in 1951 might have enjoyed preparing scenes for the Shakespeare festival.

‘Lack-lustre eye’ rang a bell: Hazlitt uses it, more than once, I think, to describe some misery-guts like Bentham.

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