“The Play’s the Thing”

HamletThe first time I saw a play on the big stage at Stratford Festival  I fell in love with theatre and with Shakespeare.  When I was in high school I went every chance I could get and was thrilled each time.  After seeing the plays it became easier to understand his work. I’ve not been financially able to attend many over the years my visit yesterday to see “Hamlet” rekindled my passion for this theatre and may drive me to abject.

My love of language is obvious though I am no master of it yet.  Such poetry and magic is what makes the playwright a breed apart from all other writers.  The words become phrases and the phrases become part of our lives.

This is so evident in Hamlet.  I was reminded with every speech of the way Shakespeare’s words have wound their way into our every day life and are so much a part of our verbiage that we do not even know the root.

Often Shakespeare and the Bible are confused.   “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”, is one such quote.  It comes from Act I, Sc. III, not any place in scripture, though the scripture sentiment is similar in Proverbs 22:7, which says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

While we don’t quote this one quite so often if you made it through Grade 11 English you likely had to memorize it and say it in front of the class.  I found my lips moving as he spoke it yesterday because even though my head had forgotten it my heart had not.

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. To die, to sleep;

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. Soft you now!

The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.

Within that one is another line I have heard often, “To sleep, perchance to dream…”  I think I probably said a thousand times as I tried to sleep when my children were young.

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About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises, I work as an "Associate Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and soon to be, spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 20 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. My own passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director. I am studying with the Ontario Jubilee Program. This new field I believe puts all my talents with people into one place which and may​ become something I can continue into retirement. Supporting people is what I do best. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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