Monday Mystery- Let It Snow!

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.”

Winter is Coming

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!

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER?

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – June 11-17th

(Reasonably accurate, though, I wouldn’t bet your best jumper on it)

MONDAY:  Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun (1).  But, in the midst of this bright-shining day, / I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud, / That will encounter with our glorious sun (2).  So foul a sky clears not without a storm (3).  It will be rain to-night (4).  Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,/ Such groans of roaring wind and rain (5).  High 28.

TUESDAY:  A glooming peace this morning with it brings; / The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head (6).  Another storm brewing; I hear it sing i’ the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor (7).  Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short (8).  High 25.

WEDNESDAY:  The sun, / Who doth permit the base contagious clouds / To smother up his beauty from the world, / …please again to be himself (9)!  High 22.

THURSDAY:   The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, / Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light… / …the sun advance his burning eye / The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry (10).  High 21.

THE WEEKEND – FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; / Not separated with racking clouds, / But sever’d in a pale clear-shining sky (11).  High 23, 26, and 29.

And so, farewell.  Fair weather after you!  (12)

Using TLNs (through line numbers):

1)  Richard III, I.i, 1-2

2)  Henry VI, Part III; V.iii, 2777-2779

3)  King John, V.ii, 1833

4)  Macbeth, III.ii, 1257

5)  King Lear, III.ii, 1718-1719

6)  Romeo & Juliet, V.iii, 3280-3281

7)  The Tempest, II.ii, 1101-1104

8)  Richard II, II.ii, 713

9)  Henry IV, Part I; I.ii; 297-300

10)  Romeo & Juliet, II.iii, 1055-1056 and 1059-1060

11)  Henry VI, Part III; II.i; 651-653

12)  Loves Labour Lost, I.ii, 439-440