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Book Reviews

Jo Nesbo – Macbeth

Scandinavia’s king of crime turns the tragedy into a deliciously oppressive page-turner

120866955Set in a run-down, rainy, industrial town, Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem.

Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom a master of manipulation named Hecate – has connections with the highest in power and plans to use them to get his way.

Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies.

What follows is a pause resisting story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

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Excerpts

My life thou shalt command, but not my shame

My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonour’s use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeach’d and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander’s venom’d spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison.

THOMAS MOWBRAY (The Tragedy Of Richard II), Shakespeare

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Excerpts

Hamlet * To be or not to be?

Fear of the unknown is possibly the only thing keeping a man from killing himself to end his troubles. And the sleep might still take over!

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.

Categories
Poetry

Sonnet 18 – “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Categories
Poetry

Sonnet 18 – Shakespeare

Sonnet 18 is the best known and most well-loved of all 154 sonnets. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. The stability of love and its power to immortalize the subject of the poet’s verse is the theme.

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Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

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Art

The Twelfth Night * William Shakespeare (RSC Theatre)

I was well impressed a few nights ago when I went to see the cinema-distributed version of the Shakespearian Play “The Twelfth Night”. I have not seen it before and I must say the costumes were astounding and so was the acting. The main setting is purely Victorian, late 1890s, and lace and lush black clothes adorn one mistress and lovely Indian apparel the second.twelfth-night-production-photos_-2017_2017_photo-by-manuel-harlan-_c_-rsc_234366.tmb-img-1824.jpg

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Poetry

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?

After the lovely Sonnet 116 and Sonnet 130, I present to you another love poem.  Despite being a popular Shakespeare poem, this is not a sonnet of any kind. It only has twelve lines and a sonnet needs fourteen. Of course, this poem isn’t even written in iambic-pentameter! It’s rhyme scheme is AABCCB-DDEFFE.

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.
What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies not plenty;
Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

This poem is about Shakespeare telling a mistress that she should stop waiting for the right man to come along and sweep her off her feet and instead settle for him because he’s there right now. “What’s to come is still unsure: / In delay there lies not plenty;”. Besides, he says, maybe they will turn out to love each other anyway, “Journeys end in lovers meeting”.
This is a song, to put it simply, where a man is wooing a woman.
He feels that she is not paying attention to him and so is trying to convince her that he is her own true love.

He is telling her not to keep looking around for a love in a different place, because he’s right in front of her.

He is telling her not to delay, because we only have the present for certain. We don’t know what the future will bring.

So the longer she delays the greater the chance that she will lose the sweetness of her youthful love with him.

In the film of the play, “Twelfth Night: or What You Will”, directed by Trevor Nunn (absolutely wonderful director of Shakespeare–his Macbeth is the best I’ve seen) he has Feste the clown use it subtly to bring out the feelings between Maria and Sir Toby and to kind of encourage them to quit playing around with their feelings and do something about it. When Maria joins in with Feste there’s a kind of unsaid sense that she feels her youth slipping by without love and that she does love Sir Toby.

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Poetry

Sonnet 104 -To me, fair friend, you never can be old, Shakespeare

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were, when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,

Categories
Poetry

Sonnet 73 Autumn poetry from Shakespeare – That time of year thou mayst in me behold

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

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Excerpts

Why I loved King Lear * Shakespeare

Let it be so.

Thy truth then be thy dower.

For by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate and the night, By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist and cease to be— Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved As thou my sometime daughter.

Then that’s the way it’ll be. The truth will be all the inheritance you get. I swear by the sacred sun, by the mysterious moon, and by all the planets that rule our lives, that I disown you now as my daughter. As of now, there are no family ties between us, and I consider you a stranger to me. Foreign savages who eat their own children for dinner will be as close to my heart as you, ex-daughter of mine.