Can we talk about Romeo’s speech at the beginning of act V? It is unquestionably my favorite passage of the play. He comes on the stage, still oblivious to the malign fate which is about to ensnare him, and he exudes once more his perennial faith in the power of dreaming, his illusions of love blissfully inhabiting his whole self. ‘If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,’ he says, ‘My dreams presage some joyful news at hand. / My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne, / And all this day an unaccustomed spirit / Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.’ Here is his exultant surrender to fantasy, allowing dreams to weave his spirits as they please. I’m particularly fond of the following lines:
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead—
Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to think!—
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips
That I revived and was an emperor.
Ah me! How sweet is love itself possessed,
When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy.
I can never seem to get enough of this passage: his dreams expose his belief that Juliet has the ability to heal him—a conceit which he reiterates a few lines later, when he states that ‘nothing can be ill if she be well’. The savior of his dreams is undeniably an active Juliet, one that comes to him, one whose vitality is capable of rescuing him from the embrace of death (with a love kiss, in true Disney-princess fashion). Heroically, she inspires so much life in his lips that he is reborn as an emperor—because for him true wealth is bestowed by love. In his conversation with the Apothecary he transmits his contempt for the power that gold holds in his society; it is ‘worse poison to men’s souls, / Doing more murder in this loathsome world’ than poison itself. It is Juliet’s self that confers, metaphorically, all the fortune he desires, love being his timeless source of ‘sweet[ness]’ and ‘joy’, bathing his weary heart in ‘cheerful thoughts’.
In the last scene, his actions and his words are governed by the obscure, the tragic, the macabre. It’s marked by the eeriness of his opening the tomb and embracing Juliet’s corpse (at least, as far as he knows, she is now a corpse). He forges a bond between them that goes beyond time, beyond life itself, beyond the limits of language: he no longer proves his love through a vow to the moon, but through a ‘dateless bargain’ sealed ‘with a righteous kiss’, and the promise to protect his wife from lascivious Death, ‘the lean abhorred monster.’
And then there is his defiance of the stars, his ultimate divorce from the weight of the world. ‘Then I defy you, stars!’ His love dreams inexorably slip through his fingers, and yet this only augments his irrevocable longing to be devoured by them, and thus destroy the yoke ‘of inauspicious stars’. No matter what the consequences are, whether it be Paris’ life and his own, he will lie with Juliet eternally, his bereavement filled with the need to unite the physicality and the otherworldliness of his love at once. Although he returns to the domains of sad-heartedness, there is something rapturous about his death, hovering poetically between his adoration of Juliet and his weariness of the world: there is the ecstasy of finding an eternal place by Juliet’s side, but also his ‘sea-sick weary bark’ annihilated by ‘the dashing rocks’. It is a discovery of life in death, a contemplation of the sublimity of chaos, the torches being the only light in the darkness of the crypt (it was Juliet who taught them to burn bright!). It is excellent as well lamentable—two adjectives which Shakespeare included in the title of the play.
Non posso esprimere alcun segno di amore più di questo bacio. – William Shakespeare
I can express no kinder sign of love, than this kind kiss.
Voglio baciarti, baciarti con dolcezza e passione, è la cosa più bella che posso desiderare, appoggiare le mie labbra piano piano sulle tue assaporando i tuoi baci imprigionando il tuo sapore sulle mie labbra. Voglio baciarti, ancora baciarti con mille baci trovare mille parole per dirti che ogni tuo bacio è unico. Guardarti negli occhi e dirti semplicemente che sei l’amore della mia vita, la donna dei miei sogni, tutto ciò che ho sempre desiderato.
The importance of the mention of 20 minutes has been highlighted in a post by @the-7-percent-solution which I think is brilliant! Then again, all her posts are brilliant!
This also got me thinking. It’s not the first time numbers have been important on this show. The number 57 (the number of times Irene Adler texted Sherlock… John your jealousy is showing) could be correlated to Sonnet 57 as written by Shakespeare. In said sonnet, Shakespeare expresses his love to a young man and how he fears that his lust for the man may jeopardize their relationship has become a reality.
Initially, I saw this sonnet as Sherlock’s
feelings towards John but the more I read over it, it made more sense if they
were John’s feelings towards Sherlock. Let me explain.
Being your slave,
what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and
times of your desire?
I have no precious
time at all to spend,
Nor services to do,
till you require.
John is Sherlock’s roommate, best friend and blogger. They spend
nearly all their time together. Even during their first encounter, John is at
Sherlock’s call and beacon. Sherlock texts him to go to Baker Street and he
does, despite Mycroft’s warning. He’s willingly to sacrifice himself to save
Sherlock from Moriarty. He cancels a date to tend to Sherlock after he’s
drugged by Irene. He helps Sherlock get into the military base at Baskerville.
Need I go on?
Nor dare I chide the
Whilst I, my
sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the
bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid
your servant once adieu;
I think this portion relates to John’s feelings after Sherlock
“dies” at the end of The Reichenbach Fall. John probably sits alone in 221B as
he watches the time go by, unable to get angry for what Sherlock did. He wants
to be angry at Sherlock but a part of him can’t. He also wants to be bitter
about Sherlock abandoning him with only a goodbye but again, he probably can’t
bring himself to. Sherlock is his best
friend. I don’t think anyone would be able to bring themselves to hold
resentment towards their best friend after their death.
Nor dare I question
with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or
your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad
slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are
how happy you make those.
The reason John is so angry after Sherlock comes back during
The Empty Hearse is that he thinks that Sherlock faked his death to get away from
him. To go be with Irene Adler. He clearly was jealous of Irene’s constant
flirting with Sherlock. And his anger stemmed from being left behind by
Sherlock yet he still harbors feelings for the man.
So true a fool is
love that in your will,
Though you do any
thing, he thinks no ill.
And at the end of the day, like the fool that he is, John
Watson still and will always love Sherlock for the man that he is and will
never think ill of him.
Now what does Sonnet 57 have anything to do with this post? Well, in relation to the number 20 in reference to 20 minutes, I read over Sonnet 20 which Shakespeare also wrote to a male lover. While Sonnet 57 is John’s feelings for Sherlock, I believe Sonnet 20 is Sherlock’s feelings for John. Again, let me explain.
A woman’s face with
Nature’s own hand painted
Hast thou, the
master-mistress of my passion;
This is Sherlock’s initial feelings for John. Someone who
has captured his interest as well as his feelings.
A woman’s gentle
heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change,
as is false women’s fashion;
John is a kind man and Sherlock sees that. In Season 3 and
4, we see that John doesn’t like sudden change. I guess, in the very first
episode we can see that John is having a hard time adjusting as his life
suddenly shifted from the war to civilian life.
An eye more bright
than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object
whereupon it gazeth;
John Watson has beautiful eyes but they’re also eyes which
look at Sherlock without the judgement that may others have looked at Sherlock
with. The sincerity “gilding the object whereupon it gazeth” with the object
A man in hue, all
hues in his controlling,
Much steals men’s
eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
Sherlock sees John as a man who is attractive to both men
and women. Alluding to John’s bisexuality????
And for a woman wert
thou first created;
Till Nature, as she
wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of
By adding one thing
to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick’d
thee out for women’s pleasure,
Mine be thy love and
thy love’s use their treasure.
These last few lines may refer to Sherlock despising a world
where it’s still not widely accepted to be homosexual as “Nature” has given him
someone (a.k.a John Watson) who cares for Sherlock for who he is but made him
male so Sherlock may not ever be allowed to be with him. John Watson is male
and thus must be with a woman (“But since she prick’d thee out for women’s
pleasure”). However, Sherlock doesn’t care for what gender John Watson is. Sherlock just wants John Watson to love him the way he has always loved John and will always love.
William Shakespeare expressed envy at the talents of his peers and wished that he was a better writer.
As a writer, you’re always going to think other people are better than you. You’re never going to be completely pleased with your abilities, and you’re always going to be envious over something-or-other.
You can’t let that stop you. If you want to be a writer, you have to start understanding that maybe you’ll never fully appreciate your own talents. We’re all our own worst critics, after all. And that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continually strive for improvement. It just means that you can’t let your failures and your fears stop you.
Somewhere out there, the person who could be the world’s next great writer is picking up their pen or opening up a word document for the first time and staring in terror at the blank screen. They have no idea they could be great someday.
If they let their fear stop them, they never will be.
I was walking down the street the other day and as I was walking past two guys one of them shouted “oi! are you a closeted shakespeare nerd?” and I genuinely love shakespeare so I casually said “I’m not in the closet about it” and kept on walking and as I was walking away I heard his friend say to him “Dude go after her!”