Ghost Light (ghost_light) wrote,
Ghost Light
ghost_light

30 Days of Bill

Day #1: Your Favorite Play - King Lear
Day #2: Your favorite character - Edmund
Day #3: Your Favorite Hero - Orlando
Day #4: Your Favorite Heroine - Rosalind
Day #5: Your favorite villain - Edmund
Day #6: Your favorite villainess - Tamora

Day #7: Your favorite clown

I am a little uninspired for this one, in spite of the fact it was the topic of the best bar conversation I have ever had.

There was a place on Northern Lights, now sadly gone. that brewed some truly deadly beers. Even their fruit beer was so high octane it would leave you lipsed. LonelyDumptruck were a beer or two in and talking about clowns and fools in Shakespeare. As we were discussing if the Fool in Kind Lear could really stand up to Jaques in As You Like it (or some such, we were a beer or more in at the time) a well-dressed Native fellow a couple stools over began to ecplain that these characters actually fall into 3 different characters: Fools are actually licensed fools - members of the royal household who have full liberty to say what is on their mind, even to the King (the Fool in King Lear or Touchstone) clowns, who may be wise, but are not as free to speak their minds (Launce in Two Gwentlemen of Verona, the Grave Diggers in Hamlet) and rustics, who are simple folks who get the short end of the wit stick (William in As You Like It, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing)

It was a great drunken conversation. I wish I could simply transcribe it here for you, but it was years ago and a couple beers into the evening. As I faced this question, I was going to write something light and funny about my favorite clown being Crab the Dog in Two Gentlemen of Verona. It is a lesser known play, sadly, and Crab is probably best remembered for being "...a bit with a dog" in Shakespeare in Love or, in the play, for being in the room only "...a pissing while" before doing what dogs are want to do.

The problem is, even as I write this, Touchstone is clinging to my rational mind like a barnicle.

Can I be a rational Shakespeare s scholar without profession my love for the quick-witted fool who stole the heart of a shepard girl from the only character Shakespeare named after himself? Can I turn my back on the character who's great monologue is memorable in spite of only being filler to cover the leading lady's costume change from a boy's outfit to a wedding dress?

I think I can. Can you forgive me?

If you can, I leave you with one of my favorite moments about Shakespeare's comic characters, from Pamela Dean's Tam Lin: "You can't hate Robin for what he did. After all, Will wrote Feste for him."




Day #8: Your favorite comedy
Day #9: Your favorite tragedy
Day #10: Your favorite history
Day #11: Your least favorite play
Day #12: Your favorite scene
Day #13: Your favorite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favorite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favorite speech
Day #18: Your favorite dialogue
Day #19: Your favorite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favorite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favorite couple
Day #27: Your favorite couplet
Day #28: Your favorite joke
Day #29: Your favorite sonnet
Day #30: Your favorite single line
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