Taking a cue from our recent weather, I wanted to know where ‘snow’ was referenced in Shakespeare’s works. Below are a few quotes in which Shakespeare uses the word ‘snow’. Can you tell me which play(s) these quotes were derived?
“If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell.”
“My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this cursed hand Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood, Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence?”
“Pray you mark. (Sings) White his shroud as the mountain snow-“
“And will he not come again?And will he not come again? No, no, he is dead; Go to thy deathbed; He never will come again. His beard was as white as snow, All flaxen was his poll. He is gone, he is gone, And we cast away moan. God ‘a’mercy on his soul! And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b’ wi’ you.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about winter lately. There are several reasons for this, but it’s mostly because Winter snuck up on me a week ago like a thief in the night and stole all my warmth away. You see, I’m a recent transplant to Toronto from the West Coast, so this business of the thermometer dropping to sub-zero temperatures just as soon as you’ve packed away your Hallowe’en decorations is new to me, and I don’t quite know how to cope!
“A sad tale’s best for winter,” says young Mamillius in The Winter’s Tale. These words happen to be true in the case of poor Mamillius, but in general I have to disagree. Winter is a time to discover warmth and cheer in unexpected places, which is why I recommend that you combat the winter blues by cosying up with a warm mug of something-or-other and watching (/reading)…wait for it…The Winter’s Tale.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Winter’s Tale often gets the cold shoulder (har har) from theatre companies or your high school English teacher, who brush it off as a “Problem Play.” But <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>The Winter’s Tale is and always will be one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. The dark realism of the jealousy that destroys a marriage, a friendship, and a life in the play’s first half is beautifully counterpoised by the selfless love that restores all three in the second half. It really warms the cockles of the heart.
Still don’t believe me? Let this quirky (and only slightly creepy) stop-motion animation version produced by BBC change your mind!