"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."
~ William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7
I never cared much for Shakespeare’s comedies, with one or two exceptions. I’ll admit, they’re fun to watch and can serve as a great intro to Shakespeare for people who don’t think they’d like his plays. They’re usually so broadly played that even kids can understand, but they’re also often so bawdy you wouldn’t want your kids to see them, nor would you want to explain what that man meant when he said to that woman, “What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman.”
"I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" ~ Act II, Scene 4
It’s an overcast day here on the eastern edge of the Rockies, and the temps have dropped back into the comfortable mid-70s after what may have been summer’s last hurrah yesterday when the high was 94. The cat and I keep each other company while I write, clean out email, wonder which yummy leftover to have for lunch. When life is quiet like this—which it mostly is these days—and I putter around doing a little of this and a little of that, I feel deeply appreciative, and I also have a little nagging feeling that I “should” be doing something, some activity that will have obvious results, like cleaning off the kitchen counters (done) and taking the cardboard boxes in the garage out to the recycle bin (check) and surely there is more. I want to read. I want to eat bon-bons (I’d have to go buy some and I’m not sure where one would get a “bon-bon”), drink iced tea, lounge on the sofa with a good book—and not feel guilty. Know what I mean?
"Can one desire too much of a good thing?" ~ Act IV, Scene 1
Two Shakespearean comedies I love: Much Ado about Nothing (see the movie with Kenneth Brannaugh and Emma Thompson) and Measure for Measure, which is classified as a comedy only because everyone gets married in the end; otherwise, it’s one of his most interesting and complex stories.
Here is my biased but mostly correct synopsis of many of Shakespeare’s comedies:
A woman/man dressed as a man/woman gets shipwrecked on an island with a forest (usually called Arden) where his/her twin is also dressed as man/woman and another set of twins are running around doing the same thing. There’s usually a Duke, a Fool, a Messenger (usually late), and maybe an Ass. Sometimes there is a band of fairies and one of them flies through the air. Hi-jinks, misunderstandings, and merriment ensue. Then everyone gets married, some of them tricked into it. Think “happily ever after.”