On October 27, 2014, voters from across Ontario will head to the polls to elect Mayors, Councillors, and Trustees. We have decided to have our own Shakespeare-themed election! Four candidates from Shakespeare’s plays are vying for your vote in the great Shakespeare election! Here are the profiles of the candidates:
Relevant experience: Ruled as the Queen of Egypt
Thoughts on transparency:
Cleopatra certainly has a history of hiding the truth, if only to protect her own interests and assets. CLEOPATRA This is the brief of money, plate, and jewels I am possessed of. ’Tis exactly valued, Not petty things admitted. Where’s Seleucus?
Enter SELEUCUS SELEUCUS Here, madam. CLEOPATRA This is my treasurer. Let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserved To myself nothing.—Speak the truth, Seleucus. SELEUCUS Madam, I had rather seal my lips Than to my peril speak that which is not. CLEOPATRA What have I kept back? SELEUCUS Enough to purchase what you have made known. CAESAR Nay, blush not, Cleopatra. I approve Your wisdom in the deed.
Thoughts on the environment:
Cleopatra really only loves the earth as long as Antony is in it. CLEOPATRANoblest of men, woo’t die? Hast thou no care of me? Shall I abide In this dull world, which in thy absence is No better than a sty? O see, my women, The crown o’ th’ earth doth melt. My lord!
Thoughts on income and wealth: Cleopatra is obviously wealthy, but she seems to be generous with all of her riches. CLEOPATRA (to SCARUS ) I’ll give thee, friend, An armor all of gold. It was a king’s.
CLEOPATRA(giving money) There’s gold for thee. Thou must not take my former sharpness ill. I will employ thee back again; I find thee Most fit for business. Go make thee ready; Our letters are prepared.
Why it might not work: Death due to a snake bite
Name: Henry IV
Relevant experience: Ruled as King of England
Thoughts on transparency: Everyone around King Henry IV was deceiving and secretly plotting against each other, and the King himself did not rise to the throne under the most noble circumstances, so he may be willing to call someone out on their deception, but he still has his own secrets.
KING You have deceived our trust And made us doff our easy robes of peace To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel. This is not well, my lord; this is not well.
Thoughts on the environment: King Henry IV was very busy defending his kingdom, but he did manage to make note of the damage caused to the field in England by the battles that were happening.
KING No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children’s blood. Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flow’rets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces.
Thoughts on income and wealth: As rich as the King is, he knows that if he is not well, he cannot enjoy the good things that happen to him, and compares it to wealthy people going to a feast with no appetite.
KING She either gives a stomach and no food–Such are the poor, in health—or else a feast And takes away the stomach—such are the rich, That have abundance and enjoy it not.
Why it might not work: Death due to illness
Name: Julius Caesar
Relevant experience: Ruled as Dictator of Rome
Thoughts on transparency: Though Caesar may need to be secretive in his work on the battlefield, he has no problem being honest with his colleagues when he decides to take the day off work.
DECIUS Caesar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Caesar.
I come to fetch you to the senate house.
CAESAR And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the senators
And tell them that I will not come today.
“Cannot” is false, and that I dare not, falser.
I will not come today. Tell them so, Decius.
CALPHURNIA Say he is sick.
CAESAR Shall Caesar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far
To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?
Thoughts on the environment: When Antony read Caesar’s will after his death, it was revealed that Caesar (or possibly Antony) left his private gardens and orchards to the people, so Caesar did seem to be a fan of having and maintaining green space!
ANTONY Also, he’s left you all his walkways—in his private gardens and newly planted orchards—on this side of the Tiber River. He’s left them to you and to your heirs forever—public pleasures in which you will be able to stroll and relax. Here was a Caesar! When will there be another like him?
Thoughts on income and wealth: Caesar was born into a noble family, but became an incredibly wealthy man during his time in the army. During his rise to power, Caesar brought many beneficial economic reforms to Rome, which Antony was quick to point out after his death.
ANTONY He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Why it might not work: Death due to stabbing
Relevant experience: Ruled as King of Scotland
Thoughts on transparency: Macbeth found himself in the middle of a murder plot with his wife, and obviously no one could know about it, or it would ruin his chances of becoming King.
LADY MACBETH Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength to think
So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
Thoughts on the environment: During a confrontation with the Weird Sisters, Macbeth makes it clear that he has no problem with them destroying the world, as long as they gave him the answers he wanted.
MACBETH I conjure you by that which you profess–
Howe’er you come to know it—answer me.
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches, though the yeasty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up,
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down,
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads,
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure
Of nature’s germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken, answer me
To what I ask you.
Thoughts on income and wealth: Macbeth was originally not thirsty for wealth, but certain outside influences caused changes in him that had negative consequences.
LADY MACBETH Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would, ”
Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?
Why it might not work: Death due to Macduff
Now that we have the basic profiles for all of the candidates, it’s time to cast your vote!
Thanks for voting!
Now if you are old enough, make sure to head over to a real polling station and cast your vote today!
Where do you think these candidates would stand on transit issues? Leave a comment and let us know!
Did you know that during Shakespeare’s lifetime he was also an actor? It is not known how many roles he played, but we know he began his career on the stage by at least 1592, since there is reference to this in Robert Greene’sGroatsworths Of Wit. In 1594, he had already established himself as an actor and playwright, then William Shakespeare became a shareholder in Lord Chamberlain’s Men, one of the most popular acting troupes in London. He remained a part of this company for the rest of his career, often playing before the court of Queen Elizabeth I.
Other roles that many believe Shakespeare played were the title role in Edward I: a play by Edward Peele in 1593, and smaller roles in a variety of his own plays, including: As You Like It (Adam), Macbeth (King Duncan), Henry IV (King Henry), and Hamlet (Hamlet’s father). Shakespeare’s first biographer, Nicolas Rowe, referred to a role by William Shakespeare, as “the ghost in his own Hamlet and that he was ‘the top of his performance’. William Shakespeare the actor soon moved on to become William Shakespeare the playwright and theatre owner.
You juggler! you canker-blossom! A Midsummer Night’s Dream (3.2.293)
Away, you mouldy rogue, away! Henry IV P II (2.4.117)
Hang him, swaggering rascal! Henry IV P II (2.4.66)
I was lucky enough to get to observe a TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club session last Saturday morning at Oakwood Village Library, and the children there had a fantastic time hurling a variety of Shakespearean insults at each other! It was really great to see these 7-12 year olds bring so much energy to the lines and deliver them with such relish.
Shakespeare certainly knew how to write a good insult –
Thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows. Troilus and Cressida (2.1.41)
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes. Richard III (1.2.159)
Just this week there’s been a great link doing the rounds on social media – ‘17 Shakespearean Insults To Unleash In Everyday Life’ from BuzzFeed UK:
I cannot choose: sometime he angers me /With telling me of the mouldwarp and the ant, /Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies, /And of a dragon and a finless fish, /A clip-wing’d griffin and a moulten raven, /A couching lion and a ramping cat.  Some, that are mad if they behold a cat; /And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ the nose, /Cannot contain their urine.  I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he’s a cat to me.  civet is of a baser birth than tar.  You fur your gloves with reason. 
Purr! the cat is gray.  Like the poor cat i’ the adage.  Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries, /And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.  If the cat will after kind , pray you, sir, use the carp as you may. 
The cat, with eyne of burning coal, /Now crouches fore the mouse’s hole;  Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally.  Come on your ways; open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat: open your mouth.  The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. 
A pox on him, he’s a cat still.  Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose, /Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!  Zounds … a cat, to scratch a man to death! […] Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm. 
[The Tudors’ secret police court, the Star Chamber. Enter JUDGE, PROSECUTOR, and QUEEN ELiZABETH I; SHAKESPEARE sits in chains in the centre of the room.]
Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accused of folly. (1)
An’t shall please your majesty, I never said nor
thought any such matter: God is my witness, I am
falsely accused by the villain. (2)
Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance!
Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrowed,
For he’s disposed as the hateful raven:
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man. (3)
Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
safely be admitted. (4)
I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus’d;
shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you
not be excus’d. (5)
Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you, (6)
I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. (7)
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever, (8)
The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp’d the noble-minded[.] (9)
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. (10)
It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, (11)
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. (12)
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: (13)
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod. (14)
I told him what I thought, and told no more
Than what he found himself was apt and true. (15)
He said the truth: and what said Surrey then? (16)
To tell you true, I counterfeit him. (17)
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Have burnt that tongue than said so. (18)
I am as true as truth’s simplicity
And simpler than the infancy of truth. (19)
Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! (20)
Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters? (21)
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? (22)
Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
From this time forth I never will speak word. (23)
What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you! (24)
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more. (25)
Lo, here, the hopeless merchant of this loss,
With head declined, and voice damm’d up with woe, (26)
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck’d the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; (27)
Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell; (28)
Take hence this jack, and whip him. (29)
Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: away!
Thou’rt poison to my blood. (30)
All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
All my lady’s love is lost, God wot:
Where her faith was firmly fix’d in love,
There a nay is placed without remove. (31)
The rest is silence. (32)
All words Shakespeare’s own, assembled by David Windrim.
(1) Menenius Agrippa, Coriolanus
(2) Thomas Horner, Henry VI Part 3
(3) Queen Margaret, Henry VI Part 3
(4) Lafeu, All’s Well That Ends Well
(5) Robert Shallow, Henry IV Part 2
(6) Domitius Enobarus, Antony and Cleopatra
(7) Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well
(8) Balthasar, Much Ado About Nothing
(9) Sir William Lucy, Henry VI, Part 1
(10) Luciana, The Comedy of Errors
(11) Venus and Adonis
(12) Duke of Clarence, Richard III
(13) Iago, Othello
(14) First Gentleman, Henry VIII
(15) Iago, Othello
(16) Richard III, Richard III
(17) Antonio, The Merchant Of Venice
(18) Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII
(19) Troilus, Troilus and Cressida
(20) Edmund, King Lear
(21) Henry IV, Henry IV Part 2
(22) Brutus, Julius Caesar
(23) Iago, Othello
(24) Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(25) Aaron, Titus Andronicus
(26) The Rape of Lucrece
(27) Ophelia, Hamlet
(28) Lady Anne, Richard III
(29) Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.
(30) Cymbeline, Cymbeline
(31) The Passionate Pilgrim