Monday Mystery!

Can you identify the play from which this quote is taken?

And, for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,
And weigh’st thy words before thou givest them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more:
For such things in a false disloyal knave
Are tricks of custom, but in a man that’s just
They are close delations, working from the heart
That passion cannot rule.”

For bonus points, can you identify the characters in the scene?

“This day is called the feast of Crispian”

According to Christian legend, Crispin and his brother Crispinian were Roman preachers who spent their days trying to convert the Gauls, and their nights making shoes. The Emperor at the time, Maximian, didn’t take kindly to Crispin and Crispinian’s proselytizing ways, and had them beheaded on 25 October 285 AD. The brothers’ feast day has since been bumped off the liturgical calendar due to skepticism about their actual existence, but their names live on thanks to Shakespeare (and a few historically informed specialty shoemakers).

In Act 4, scene 3 of Henry V, King Henry and his army are on the verge of battle with the French. The British are vastly outnumbered by the French army, and defeat looks inevitable. To rouse the flagging spirits of his weary troops, Henry delivers what is often referred to as the St. Crispin’s Day speech. He spurs his men on with promises of the glory they will share in, whether they win or lose, and the stories that will be told back home of the brave “band of brothers” who fought for England on St. Crispin’s Day:

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Many will be familiar with Kenneth Branagh’s rousing version of the St. Crispin’s Day speech, but here is a budding Shakespearean who could give Sir Ken a run for his money:

Ok, so he leaves out a few key lines, but what vim! What vigour!

There are many ways to celebrate St. Crispin’s Day. You could cobble some shoes, avoid angry Romans, or, maybe just pull out your copy of Henry V and channel your inner warrior king for a dramatic reading.

This has been Genie the intern, reporting for Harry, England, and St. George.

Wordy Wednesday – “In my mind’s eye…”

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is ‘mind’s eye‘, uttered by Hamlet to Horatio:

My father—methinks I see my father—

Where, my lord?

In my mind’s eye, Horatio.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 2

In the scene, Hamlet’s use of the phrase contrasts and foreshadows Horatio’s sight of the deceased king by his own, bodily eyes. Although Shakespeare did not originally coin the term, its utterance in Hamlet likely popularized it. We use the phrase ‘mind’s eye’ today much in the same way Shakespeare had intended; that is, to talk about our ability to visualize images in our thoughts the way that Hamlet is likely haunted by mental images of his deceased father.

Philosophers and cognitive scientists have adopted the word to talk about consciousness yet more broadly as thoughts and perceptions occur to us mentally and at times, use the term more concretely to refer to some hypothesized part of the brain where perception is located.

For most of us, the mind’s eye is synonymous with mental imagery – much like how we may visualize a show on stage while reading one of Shakespeare’s plays!

Wordy Wednesday – “Full circle”

“Full circle” – King Lear

Full circle is a phrase spoken by Edmund in King Lear, Act 5, Scene 3. The Elizabethan use of the word ‘full’ in this context is to mean complete. In Edmund’s case, he means to say that his actions have completed their circuit and, as fate would have it, they have come around to him.

The current use of the phrase is not much different. We usually use the phrase to mean that an action or set of actions have gone through a cycle and returned to the starting point. The main difference between the Elizabethan context and our current context is that we don’t necessarily attribute the inevitable outcome to fate.

This Wordy Wednesday post is brought to you by Tiffany Chan.

Monday Mystery!

From which plays do these “Monday Mysteries” come?

Put your answers in the comment section!


I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it. –
You say right, sir; a Monday morning, twas so indeed.

As, for proof now, a purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning…

‘That I believe,’ said she, ‘for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he foreswore on Tuesday morning; there’s a double tongue; there’s two tongues.’

Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon,
O’ Thursday let it be: o’ Thursday tell her,
She shall be married to this noble earl.

Photo Friday – Playing with Shadow Puppets

Hamlet: "A dream itself is but a shadow." - II.ii, 1358 -

“A dream itself is but a shadow.”
– II.ii, 1358 –

Puppetmongers' Ann and David Powell have been sharing their expertise with SIA! We're working on an adaptation of Hamlet for 2013/14. Ann and David are now off for the Humber Puppetry Intensive... but stay tuned for a full interview and season announcement!

Puppetmongers’ Ann and David Powell have been sharing their expertise with SIA!  We’re working on an adaptation of Hamlet for 2013/14.

Ann and David are now off for the Humber Puppetry Intensive…

but stay tuned for a full interview and season announcement!


To learn more about Puppetmongers, click here.

To learn more about the Humber Puppetry Intensive, click here.