shakespearean fools

Gemini- The Jester

I keep coming back to associating Gemini with the trickster archetype, the clowns, the Jesters, the characters we see all through history, from ancient Greek Gods of chaos and trickery to the Shakespearean fool (who was the smartest character in the plays.) This is because for all the nonsense Gemini speak, there is something to be learnt there, an undercurrent of immense intelligence. They would happily trip you up, push you off your chair for humour, but they would treat a pauper as they would a Prince.

The Fool From King Lear- “ This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.”

3

Faking Shakespeare,

William Henry Ireland was a down on his luck attorney, terrible poet, and lousy actor by day, con artist by night who in the late 18th and early 19th century took the Shakespearean world by storm.  In 1795 Ireland claimed to have come across a cache of letters and legal documents belonging to the playwright William Shakespeare.  He published the collection in the book Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare on December 24th, 1795.  The book became an instant hit across Britain and the United States, giving “insight” into the Great Bard as no written works of Shakespeare are known to exist.  Ireland became wealthy by publishing the book, but he was not going to stop there.

Shortly after publishing his book, Ireland then claimed that he had the manuscript of a lost Shakespearean play called Vortigern and Rowena. The play was a tragedy, similar in nature to MacBeth and Hamlet, in which a king is overthrown and murdered, resulting in the main character plotting revenge and a reclamation of the throne.  News of the new lost Shakespearean play swept across the English speaking world, igniting a revival of interest in Shakespeare and his works.  Ireland fooled almost everyone, he must have been a damn good con man and master forger.  Even academic and expert antiquarians were convinced that it was the real deal.  Francis Webb, secretary of the College of Heralds and expert in historic documents declared, “It either comes from his pen, or from Heaven”.

The more grander his claims, the more willing people were to blindly gobble it all up.  However there were problems with Ireland’s claims which did not have real Shakespearean experts fooled.  The most notable of which was that Ireland was a mediocre at best playwright, certainly not worthy of the Great Bard.  Vortigerrn and Rowena was certainly no Shakespearean masterpiece.  In 1796 the play premiered to a packed house consisted of Ireland’s critics and supporters.  The play went well at first, however over time the actors, many of them veteran Shakespearean actors, began to over exaggerate and over act their lines in mockery of the play.  Then critics began to hoot, holler, yell catcalls and insults.  Suddenly the theatre erupted into a riot as critics and supporters fought each other in a large brawl that lasted around 20 minutes. Vortigern and Rowena never played again until 2008.

After the play’s premiere fiasco, criticism continued to mount against Ireland.  Finally in 1805 Ireland published a confession admitting to his forgeries.  Later in 1834 he attempted to republish Vortigern and Rowena under his own name, but with little success.  He spent the rest of his life perpetually impoverished until his death on the 17th of April 1835.

All about you

Aries- They are the dragon heart newborns of the zodiac. As protective as they are fierce, but with an unseen vulnerability.  They don’t step with care, but are as authentically innocent as can be. They are people that crave independence but fear being left alone.

Taurus- They are the earth spirit of the zodiac, collecting that and those which are precious and sustaining them for the future. You will not be able to pry the nostalgic jewels out of their hands once they have latched on. And their slumberous dreams speak of what they cannot access, due to the internalized nature of this sign. 

Gemini- The trickster likened to the Shakespearean fool (often the most intelligent character of the play) gathering snip bits of information and riddling them out for all to hear. There is sense in their nonsense, you just have to stand on your heads to hear it. 

Cancer- The Lunar carer, a sign that wishes for closeness and distance (for their own protection) all at once. The wails and smiles of this tidal sign drowns and uplifts. They never feel like they are on the straight and narrow, as they understand that life waxes and wains like the cyclic nature of the moon. 

Leo- The majestic God/Goddesses, often accused of egotism, but we all know that they crave as much as they share, and would never wish to see someone cry. For gathering the selfish stereotype, they cannot possibly be further from it. It’s just sometimes, they put on a brave, self sufficient face for fear of being taken advantage of. 

Virgo- They have Halo crowns of good will, and will bow to serve anyone in need. Their helpfulness and consideration often masks their crippling need for perfection. But we don’t see this, we don’t see the agonizing rhythms of their overworking brain, only the daisy chain of good deeds they collect on their journey. 

Libra- The graceful tightrope walkers of the zodiac, trying to maintain and nourish all areas of life. Generally seen as an easy going sign, but we don’t see the behind the scenes frenzy of their airs and graces. They are the slightly chilled air that we breath in moments of sweltering heat, the kind that kisses your face with whispers of “It will be okay, it will all rebalance.”

Scorpio- A sign condemned for the emotion of hatred, which can sometimes be self reflective. But they want to see you in your basest form, which can be complimentary (someone truly sees me) or intimidating (there are things I don’t want you to know.) 

Sagittarius- The nomadic travelers and discoverers, asking questions such as “how does that work?” and more importantly “why does that work?” They don’t enjoy the seriousness of life, and prefer for things to just be than plan. 

Capricorn- They must achieve. They must plan for the worst. They must pressure themselves like we outsiders know nothing of. Yet this sign is often overlooked. Why? Maybe because in a world where show business rules, we forget to glance backstage and see who is really holding the show together. 

Aquarius: The futuristic, other worldly creatures of reason and insanity. Images such as anime, Artificial intelligence, spaceships and master computers come into the mind when they are thought of. For such expressive people, they can be oddly internalized.

Pisces- “Sorry.” Don’t say sorry Pisces, it wasn’t your fault, you weren’t ever there. And yet they still apologize. Maybe it’s because sometimes they walk in so many people’s shoes they forget the boundaries between themselves and others, taking credit for both humanities graces and sins. 

Gemini

Gemini may speak in quick witted riddles, yet there is much insight and knowledge if you listen close enough. Like the Shakespearean fool, maybe they are the ones who infuse nonsense with insight. It’s working out which is which that is the challenge.