The idea of dead Cordelia’s body as a ‘saturated sign’… is relevant to the spectacle of female death everywhere on Shakespeare’s stage. Desdemona dies, as she was accused, in a love triangle, only it is Emilia, not Cassio, who lies between husband and wife. Lady Macbeth’s ending, like the witches’, is a weird vanishing, prepared for by that strange spectacle that embodies her absence, the sleepwalking. Cleopatra’s ending is a spectacle that, spectacularly, re-genders the Roman triumvirate, making her, in death, queen, wife, and mother suckling the serpent. Gertrude drinks the poison intended for Hamlet and so unwittingly re-enacts a version of the older Hamlet’s murder. Ophelia’s funeral … mocks the ‘maimed rites’ that have blighted her play from the beginning; finally, she occupies the grave that the Ghost and Yorick have vacated. All of these scenes play out near-parodic re-enactments of original theatrical moments–and render them as devastating critiques. At the end of King Lear Cordelia and her sisters, dead silent, replay, with a difference, the problematics of female speech that wracked the opening and that matter again here. They are, finally, monsters, though not quite as Lear made them: not Scythian cannibal nor lustful centaur nor monster Ingratitude, but monstrances, shows of violence, one poisoned, one stabbed, one strangled… Medusa, too, had two sisters.
Carol Chillington Rutter, Enter The Body: Women and Representation on Shakespeare’s Stage
“I do another new song for you and I can’t even attempt to translation but in English…You know, I gave an introduction to the song and I thought I was being very smart. The way I remembered it’s King Lear who says to Cordelia after she is dead that they are gonna go away and every third thought gonna be on death. That’s not the play. That’s incorrect play. It was pointed out to me in London. It’s actually from The Tempest. And the Duke says it, or…i can’t remember who says it..now I don’t know. Clearly, I don’t know.
But I do know the name of the song. It’s called Every Third Thought. And it’s not about death, it’s about love.”
what would the sakamaki brothers do if they found their mothers having a conversation with their s/o? I know Cordelia and Beatrix are dead but for this let's say they're alive just to have a chance to speak to their sons' s/os
I had a lot of fun writing this! Thank you for sending this wonderful prompt in!
Shu: Walking outside towards the gazebo, Shu is surprised to see his mother, Beatrix, holding a conversation with his s/o. He watches them from a distance for awhile until his s/o spots him and beckons him to come over. Greeting Beatrix and his lover properly before taking a seat beside his lover, Shu wonders if Beatrix will force his s/o into strict training in order to be with him. It’s a little unsettling for Shu, and he can’t help but grip his s/o’s hand tightly as they converse with Beatrix. He hopes she won’t be too critical of his lover as well.
Reiji: Having a love/hate relationship with his mother, Reiji isn’t sure if he likes the sight of his mother talking to his lover. Why was she finally giving him attention? He was utterly confused by this. Taking brisk steps towards them, Reiji would inform Beatrix that he and his lover have matters to attend to, forcing the two of them to say goodbye. Taking his s/o’s hand in his own, Reiji drags them away and warns them to never be alone with Beatrix without him at their side. He doesn’t want his lover to be too attached to Beatrix.
Ayato: Ayato is repulsed by the fact that Cordelia is awfully close to his s/o, and it doesn’t take much for him to quickly run to his lover’s side and pull them away from his mother. Colliding his s/o to his chest, Ayato glares at Cordelia and asks her what the hell she’s doing. No matter the response, Ayato threatens to kill Cordelia if he sees her around his lover ever again. He doesn’t trust Cordelia enough to leave his s/o alone with her, and he’ll warn his lover over and over again about her too. He can’t stand the old hag hanging around his beloved.
Kanato: Kanato is a little shocked when he sees Cordelia talking to his mother, and he asks her why she’s suddenly interested in his lover. He’s wary of the situation because he can’t understand Cordelia’s motives to talk to his s/o. Regardless of her sweet nothings, Kanato doesn’t buy it, and commands his s/o to leave with him. He may punish his s/o later for being alone with his mother, believing that his lover will abandon him for her. It’s how he remembered Cordelia in the past, and he personally doesn’t want this to happen to him.
Laito: Laito’s usual cool personality freezes over as he watches his s/o conversing with Cordelia. He approaches the two of them calmly and wraps his arms around his lover, hoping to provoke Cordelia and make her lash out at them to see her reaction. It’s suddenly a battle of sharp words and intense jabs at each other’s past love affair together that puts his s/o in an uncomfortable position, and Laito uses this opportunity to walk away his lover from Cordelia. He’ll have fun again with Cordelia since he now has a lover at his side.
Subaru: Subaru is a little anxious when he sees Christa talking to his s/o in the garden. He’s afraid of approaching them and suddenly having Christa fall into one of her crazed outbreaks, so he waits for his s/o to come to him instead. When he reunites with his s/o, he asks her if Christa said or did anything bad to them, but his lover would reply, “No,” and that it was “too bad that Subaru wasn’t there because Christa wanted to see him.” Subaru is practically walking on eggshells thanks to this, and he’s unsure of what to do next.
Buffy 3.07: “Revelations,” Morality, and a Healthy Dose of Hypocrisy
I’m massively late to this party (is twenty years fashionable??) but I’m watching Buffy for the first time and have feelings~ about “Revelations.”
For those who don’t recall or who haven’t seen the show, this is the episode where Xander ‘catches’ (aka spies) on Buffy and Angel together, and rather than confronting her about it and making even the slightest attempt to understand why she’d keep this secret (not that any of them did that regarding why Buffy ran away…), he immediately went to tell the whole Scoobie gang so they could stage an “intervention.” As you can imagine, it doesn’t go too well.
And as I’m sure you can tell, I’m not the biggest fan of Xander, or the gang’s characterization this season. I could write whole essays—and frankly I just might—on how they consistently treat Buffy like absolute shit. But that’s not this post. Right now I want to deconstruct the utter hypocrisy at work in this episode.
Ultimately the decision the gang comes to is that Buffy is blinded by her love of Angel, which is true, but the problem I have with this is that at no point do they or the narrative acknowledge that they’re all blinded by love, particularly when it comes to romance and supernatural situations. To name just a few:
Xander has consistently been blinded by lust (cough*objectifying women*cough) and it has put him into circumstances where he’s nearly been eaten and/or killed, requiring that the others save him. It’s enough of an issue that they’ve made it into a running gag rather than acknowledging the problems inherent in Xander’s Nice Guy-ness.
Giles can think of nothing but saving Jenny when she’s possessed by the demon that he created and later puts himself and the others in danger when he tries to avenger her death.
Cordelia has a small moment (again played for laughs) where she thinks Xander has been turned into a deadly sea monster and promises to still love and take care of him, going so far as to buy him bath toys to play with.
As adumbrated above, Zapffe arrived at two central determinations regarding humanity’s “biological predicament.” The first was that consciousness had overreached the point of being a sufferable property of our species, and to minimize this problem we must minimize our consciousness. From the many and various ways this may be done, Zapffee chose to hone in on four principal strategies.
(1) ISOLATION. So that we may live without going into a free-fall of trepidation, we isolate the dire facts of being alive by relegating them to a remote compartment of our minds. They are the lunatic family member in the attic whose existence we deny in a conspiracy of silence.
(2) ANCHORING. To stabilize our lives in the tempestuous waters of chaos, we conspire to anchor them in metaphysical and institutional “verities”–God, Morality, Natural Law, Country, Family–that inebriate us with a sense of being official, authentic, and safe in our beds.
(3) DISTRACTION. To keep our minds unreflective of our a world of horrors, we distract them with a world of trifling or momentous trash. The most operant method for furthering the conspiracy, it is in continuous employ and demands only that people keep their eyes on the ball–or their television sets, their government’s foreign policy, their science projects, their careers, their place in society or the universe, etc.
(4) SUBLIMATION. That we might annul a paralyzing stage fright at what may happen to even the soundest bodies and minds, we sublimate our fear by making an open display of them. In the Zapffean sense, sublimation is the rarest technique utilized for conspiring against the human race. Putting into play both deviousness and skill, this is what thinkers and artistic types do when they recycle the most demoralizing and unnerving aspects of life as works in which the worst fortunes of humanity are presented in a stylized and removed manner as entertainment. In so many words, these thinkers and artistic types confect products that provide an escape from our suffering by a bogus simulation of it–a tragic drama or philosophical woolgathering, for instance. Zapffe uses “The Last Messiah” to showcase how a literary-philosophical composition cannot perturb its creator or anyone else with the severity of true-to-life horrors but only provide a pale representation of these horrors, just as a King Lear’s weeping for his dead daughter Cordelia cannot rend its audience with the throes of the real thing.
Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race