Kristi's "Love Affair" with The Bard (Shakespeare)
So, how many of you have picked up on my little nods to the Bard? My blog is called “Bounded in a Nutshell”, and "The Boys of Syracuse" is a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. I wanted to call my newsletter "The Queen of Infinite Space," which comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but it was pointed out that referencing Shakespeare on a page featuring Suspense and YA Fantasy books was a little counter-intuitive. So I decided to hide an "easter egg" for those of you curious enough to look for such things.
CONGRATULATIONS ON FINDING THE BARD'S EASTER EGG!
My favorite line from A Comedy of Errors is no secret - if you've followed me long enough. It comes when Antipholes of Syracuse has just been accosted, mistaken for his brother, and he says:
“Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advised?
Known unto these, and to myself disguised?
I'll say as they say, and persever so,
And in this mist at all adventures go.”
I just love his willingness to go along with the confusion and see where things will lead. I try to approach life with that openness, since my go-to response is often a strong desire to control things - even if they are beyond my control.
The other two references above come from Hamlet, when Hamlet is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and says...
Hamlet: To me [Denmark] is a prison.
Rosencrantz: Why then your ambition makes it one. 'Tis too narrow for your mind.
Hamlet: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.
Guildenstern: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
But what does it mean, Kristi?
To me, the key is in the words “count myself.” It doesn’t matter what the world says or does. It matters what I believe. Bad dreams notwithstanding, I count myself, I believe that I am a Queen in my own immediate surroundings – I do try to be a good and gracious Queen, whose purpose is to be an example...who am I kidding? I'm not so noble, but I do try to be the change I want to see in the world.
And what matters infinite space? I cannot be in all places at all times. I can only be where I am, and here within my own shell, I am Queen. However, to paraphrase Buckaroo Banzai, “Wherever I go, there I am.” So my space is indeed infinite, no matter if I am bounded in a nutshell!
Well. That got a little more philosophical than I intended, but why should I backspace over it? I like to think if you've gotten this far, you understand me well enough to enjoy this little ramble.
If you are not familiar with Shakespeare, I recommend A Comedy of Errors or Much Ado About Nothing as good places to start for the fun ones. Hamlet is a great tragedy. Better, I think, than Romeo and Juliet.
I will let you in on a little secret. While I have read some of the plays, I prefer to watch Shakespeare. I have been fortunate enough to attend many marvelous productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
If you don't have a theater near you, I humbly recommend Kenneth Branagh's versions of Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet, and the old BBC presentation of A Comedy of Errors, which might be hard to find. Consider this three play collection instead: Shakespeare: Three Classical Stratford Comedies.
And just for fun, I thought Shakespeare in Love was highly entertaining.
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