Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finding Small Measure in a Waste of Shame

A Waste of Shame. By William Boyd. Perf. Rupert Graves, Tom Sturridge, Indira Varma, and Anna Chancellor. Dir. John McKay. Shakespeare Retold. 2005. DVD. Open University / BBC, 2005.

That title may sound like a line from a Shakespearean sonnet, but it refers to a scene in A Waste of Shame in which one of Shakespeare’s fellow actors delivers Angelo’s lines from Act II, scene ii of Measure for Measure.

I wish I could gather this brief speech up and put it on the site for all to see, but it’s beyond my technical abilities (and my time limitations!) at this point.  [Note: My technical abilities improved; you may now find a clip here.]

I recalled it because almost all my attention is directed at finishing the revisions on my Measure for Measure essay, due to be presented at a conference in just over a week’s time.

Since I can’t give you the video of the speech itself, I’ll just reproduce the text below. You’ll have to pierce out this blog’s imperfections with your thoughts, thinking when we talk of that actor delivering his lines that you see him putting his proud lines i’ th’ receiving audience’s ear. And also a general pan of the audience that reveals Shakespeare watching his own play and thinking of his lost loves.
Most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art and nature,
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite. Ever till now,
When men were fond, I smiled and wonder'd how.
(MM, II.ii.181-87)

Links: The Film at IMDB.

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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 2008-2039 (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