Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Thanks, Dear Isabel": Inadequate Words on Thanksgiving Day

Shakespeare, William. Measure for Measure. Ed. Jonathan Crewe. Pelican Shakespeare. Gen. ed. Stephen Orgel. New York: Penguin Classic, 2000.

It seems like one of the most inadequate responses in all of Shakespeare. Isabella has just told her brother that the only way to get him out of prison is for her—her, a novitiate!—to sleep with the unjust judge. She adds this line to her explanation of her refusal to do so (and to his agreement to her refusal to do so):
O, were it but my life,
I'ld throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin.
Claudio responds with these words: "Thanks, dear Isabel."

Those lines seem, somehow, not to measure up (ha!) to the offer.

But that's how we feel every Thanksgiving. We have so very, very much to be thankful for—on both a material and a spiritual plane—that a simple "Thanks" seems inadequate.

However, it is heartfelt. And it seems that all the eloquence in the world wouldn't weigh evenly against all that we have been given.

Therefore, we just say, in the words of Sebastian of Twelfth Night,
I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks; and ever thanks. (III.iii.15-16)
Happy Thanksgiving from Bardfilm, everyone!

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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