quarta-feira, outubro 11, 2006

ExtraOrdinary Teachings

Today I must pay court to him. Not that it is a need. It will be even less a newness.
It's simply because I want to. It's also because Jaques voice in As You Like It by William Shakespeare has told me a lot.
Among other more obvious truths, because it has eliminated the exhaustive notion of temporariness always applied when interpreting an author. Shakespeare (just like Camões) escapes to yesterday, today and tomorrow. And most important of all, his lessons will be forever taught.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking* in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard*,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon* lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws* and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon*
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his* sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans* teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
(As You Like It, 2. 7. 139-167)

Puke According to the Oxford Dictionary, this is the first recorded use of "puke" meaning "to vomit." Previously the word had been used to mean a dignified dark brown colour. Not surprisingly, once the new meaning took hold, the previous meaning disappeared rapidly; its last recorded use was in 1615 (As You Like It was written in about 1598).
Bearded like the pard As hairy as a leopard.

Capon A capon was a castrated rooster; the capon was considered a delicacy, and may well have been used to bribe officers of the law.
"Wise saws" Well-tried proverbs (clichés perhaps), contrasted with modern precedents. The judge is in more than one way well-rounded.
Pantaloon A reference to the figure of Pantalone in the Italian Commedia dell'Arte
tradition. The Pantalone was a foolish figure, made fun of by the other characters.
The use of "its" for the neuter possessive pronoun did not become normal until late in the seventeenth century; "his" here is therefore generic in meaning.
Sans Without (Jaques is affecting some courtly French).

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