Thirty-seven plays in twelve months?

Will a completion of the Complete Works of Shakespeare solve my career crisis?
(SPOILER: The answer is no, not exactly....)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No treachery; but want of men and money

I headed through the stacks toward 822.33 and found the cutest little blue copies of the plays! The Yale Shakespeare edition, copyright 1918 (third printing 1961) measures 4.5 by 7 inches per play. I checked out Henry VI Parts I, II, and III. They even smell old!

I am going to look just like a medieval abbess reading these! That is, a medieval abbess sitting in a Honda in the parking lot at the manufacturing facility. It’s just too humid for a wimple.

I had to make a chart to keep track of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster factions. Since this was the first Shakespeare history I had read in its entirety, I was pleased to see Joan of Arc as one of his characters. Why do they keep these secrets from high school students?

Some of my favorite lines include Mortimer’s description of old age and dying (II, 5, 5-15 and IV, 5, 4) and the comment about the French (I’m French, so it’s OK for me to like it!): “Done like a Frenchman: turn, and turn again!” (III, 3, 85).

By the time I finished Part I and picked up Part II, stuff had started to hit the fan at work, and my lunchtime reading time was put on hold. Now I’m behind schedule (at work and on my Shakesyeare project) and on a daily basis feel I could shout,

May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode;
But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you, till mischief and despair
Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!
(V, 4, 87-91)

Yet, I’m pretty sure that would be a violation of our corporate harassment policy.