Thursday, August 25, 2005

"A Wilderness of Monkeys"

What a performance of The Merchant of Venice tonight! Despite the sad, unexpected passing of artistic director Patrick Christopher-Carter, Halifax's Shakespeare by the Sea's troupe matches up with the best that I have seen.

The line of the night, and one I hope to use at various times, befitting the good fortune that hangs over the collective heads of myself and friends, is simple and magnetic:
"We are the Jasons. We have won the fleece."

Do I need to repeat it? Bill Shakespeare has done it again. And I absolutely adore this random commentary re: the play:

There is a happy—and that is not to say sappy—ending for everybody in “The Merchant of Venice”—everybody except Shylock. “Thou torturest me, Tubal!” he
exclaims when he learns that Jessica has traded that ring for a monkey. “It was my turquoise. I had it of Leah [his dead wife, Jessica’s mother] when I was a bachelor.”

And then, in an extraordinary line: “I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.”

Which says it all. Such is the world. A wilderness of monkeys.


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