King Richard II

King Richard II

    “For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground
    And tell sad stories of the death of kings”

King Richard the Second in
Shakespeare’s Richard II (III.ii.155-6)

The reason being? Revolution and the play in performance.

King Richard II

I was pretty sure I wrote about this in a horoscope, but a cursory search revealed nothing. The story being, on the eve of a revolution, or an attempt at an overthrew of the Queen, the Essex faction paid Shakespeare’s acting troupe a relatively huge sum for a single performance of the play. The hope was that the play’s tone would help incite a riot and further the cause of the overthrow.

Fake news.

Yeah, didn’t work. But as a theatrical, historical note, interesting. An obvious hat-tip to the use of media manipulation, back in its time. Having seen the play a time or two, and having listened to it several times, there’s a few long passages that are deeply poetical — and to me — quite moving.

Some years ago, before my father passed, my mother had a plaque put on a park bench in London (UK), and it’s sort of a memorial, now.

The quote — obvious roots — made me think. What quote would I like on my headstone? Bit macabre but it is Scorpio time and the three-day party has just passed.

“For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings”

There’s an elegiac quality to the lines, and taken in context, even better. Out of context, it’s still has a dolorous, sonorous flow.

Perhaps it is the dark of the morning, the wan winter light that barely leaks into the sky, perchance it is other influences, but this is always weird time, for me.

My headstone? This week?

    “For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground
    And tell sad stories of the death of kings”

Shakespeare’s Richard II

In — or out — of context, I like it. Some beautiful poetry in that play, clearly presages his later works.

“For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!”

    Richard II — Act 3, Scene 2

astrofish.blog

astrofish.blog


#shakespeare

Kramer Wetzel

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: