Friday, November 7, 2008

Silence is the . . .

Much Ado about Nothing. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Perf. Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton and Keanu Reeves. 1993. DVD. MGM, 2003.
This time through teaching Much Ado about Nothing, I noticed a connection I should have noticed before. Don John is a man of few words (at least in public). The clip below, in which Keanu Reeves demonstrates a wide range of emotion, demonstrates this:

video

When we got to Claudio's inability to say much upon his engagement to Hero, something clicked. His "Silence is the perfectest herald of joy" actually marks him as a character to receive less of our sympathy in this play filled with delightful fast-talkers who do receive our sympathy. I'll need to think more on the connection between silence and villainy in the play.  Or, perhaps, I'll just ask my students about it on the final exam and get them to do the thinking about it for me.
Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

No comments:

Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest