May 03, 2004

"What's gone and what's past help should be past grief."

-The Winter's Tale Act III, Scene 2

That happens to be where I am in the Shakespeare play that I am currently reading, and that line seemed to fit the bill. Shakespeare is now behind me forever. My final was at 12:45, it was nine pages long, and it took me an hour and a half. (Contrast with Dr. Watson's final which will be half a page and take me the full two hours.) So here we are, at the end of Shakespeare . . . And what?

For closure, I envision Dr. Batts standing before us and delivering the following speech:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream.-A Midsummer Night's Dream Act V, Scene 1

And that's pretty much how I feel about the whole thing. My friends are so very obliging when it comes to making things seem totally surreal that I haven't the slightest bit of trouble imagining that I dreamed this semester anyway. Yes, that's what it was . . . A very instructive dream.

Because it has been instructive, in spite of everything. I still enjoy Shakespeare, and am more anxious than ever to finish reading everything he wrote. I am now quite familiar, (perhaps more than I am comfortable being), with those half a dozen plays that we studied this semester, and I enjoy being able to quote them, and remember everything that takes place, who causes it, who says what to who, and recall the exact act and scene with relative ease. I didn't even have to refer to the book for that "Midsummer Night's Dream" quote up there, and that's kind of cool. I just . . . uhhh . . . hope I got it right.

So, that's what I got out of Shakespeare . . . Never let it be said that no one can get anything out of that class. And that's all I have to say on the subject of Shakespeare for the time being. I'm off to get ready for the grand finales of other classes. I leave you with some famous quotes . . . not by Shakespeare this time, but rather about him.

"The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good."
-Robert Graves

"After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations."
-H. L. Mencken

"Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations."
-Orson Welles

"I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life."
-J. M. Barrie

Posted by Jared at May 3, 2004 03:06 PM | TrackBack