"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2
It’s a bright and coolish morning, a breeze through leaves, long shadows and fewer hours of daylight. The breeze becomes wind and the trees wave so hard they look like they could march away down the street and form a forest on the other side of town.
Hamlet. I used to go to at least one of the summer plays at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and I tried always to go when Hamlet was playing. I once saw Val Kilmer in the lead role. When I saw the play done at the Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival, it was set in modern times, and when Hamlet is on a parapet on a foggy night and a guard asks, “Who goes there?” Hamlet takes out his wallet and flips it open. I thought Mel Gibson was pretty darned good in a movie version of Hamlet, though he was a little old—Hamlet was a teenager. But then, Olivier was a little old when he played Hamlet, so let us all willingly suspend disbelief.
I have no problem at all when a director takes liberties with the setting of a Shakespeare play or the time in which it took place or even gender—I once saw a production where the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern characters were played by women—as long as they don’t tinker with the language. Shakespeare cannot be improved upon. And the stories are so timeless that it doesn’t matter if they’re in modern dress (jeans and a tee shirt) or ancient (garters and stockings, down-gyved or snug to the leg). I saw Richard III set in pre-WWII Germany and Taming of the Shrew set in a 1950s drive-in theater.
So I’m noodling along here on this post, not getting anywhere fun. Last night when I was trying to sleep, my thoughts about today's post were eloquent, humorous, brilliant—it was after midnight, so I should have written it then. Anyway, I took a break frm this post to check Facebook and then checked my Google Mail (an account I have for non-personal stuff), and I clicked on a link from Zulily: Blowout on Women’s Footwear! Now I’m laughing and my Shoe Bitch is making fun of what some women put on their feet.
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't." Act II, Scene 2
If there's any method in this madness, I'll eat my Birkenstocks. Zulily has 72 pages of what they call "shoes" in this blowout. I looked at two pages. I love shoes and have had my share of pointy toes and deep platforms. Once I was all dressed up in a black satin onesie with flared pant legs (it was the 70s) and notched collar, and with it I wore black leather platform heels. Before we left the house, I went to use the bathroom one last time (something I didn't want to do in a public restroom, since I practically had to strip naked to get the onesie off), and I misjudged the distance from my fanny to the toilet seat (because of the height of the shoes) and thumped down hard on my butt. Shoes can be dangerous!
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ~ Act I, Scene 5
No kidding! This one is shown with the shoes, but it’s not a shoe. I think it’s a raft—with a bit of shelter at the prow—that would tip easily in uneasy seas. WARNING: Not meant for human foot. Can't you just see a kid borrowing this from his mother's closet, adding a chopstick mast and a hankie sail and then setting this into the rushing stream of an overflowing gutter after a good rain?
"O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!" ~ Act I, Scene 5
I call this "wondrous strange" thing a “shoe contraption.” The first time I saw one on a woman’s foot, I about tripped over my own feet (shod in Birkenstocks). I couldn’t figure out how she got it on her foot. So I spent some time looking down at women’s feet when I was in a grocery store or at a restaurant, and sure enough—the shoe contraption showed up everywhere. So one day while following a woman out of a store, I saw the little zipper at the back of the shoe. Mystery solved! Well, at the least the mystery about how she got it on her foot. Why she would wear it is another mystery entirely. I know I'm being hypocritical, since I wore equally stupid things on my feet in my day.
"The time is out of joint." ~ Act I, Scene 5
My granny wore shoes like these. In black. Without the wedge but with sturdy heels. I think they were considered sexy back in her day. I'm not sure that is still true.
Whatever you put on your feet, go see Hamlet done on the stage. Go to a good production and prepare for a treat. But read a synopsis first, something I've done before every Shakespeare play I've seen, even when I was familiar with the play.
Here’s my idea of a synopsis of Hamlet:
Hamlet returns home from college because his mother has just married his uncle only weeks after his uncle killed his father so he could marry Hamlet’s mother and be King. Hamlet spends the whole play dithering about whether or not to kill his uncle because his father—as a ghost—told him to. In the middle of this dithering, he stabs Polonius through the arras (not a body part) and causes Ophelia to drown herself in sorrow (not the name of a river). She’s a wimpy little thing anyway, completely undone by her father Polonius’s death. By the end of the play, everyone is dead (Gertrude did drink, in spite of Claudius’ warning) except for Horatio, who lives to tell the tale. The end.