I pray you, as I
to you, trippingly
on the tongue:
but if you mouth it, as
many of your players
do, I had as lief the
town-crier spoke my
lines. Nor do not
saw the air too much
with your hand, thus,
but use all gendy; for
in the very torrent,
tempest, and, as I may
say, the whirlwind of
passion, you must
acquire and beget a
temperance that may
give it smoothness. <
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
IN *U< ■
Shakespeare in American Communities is a national theater touring
initiative made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts in
cooperation with Arts Midwest. Performances will reach more than
1,500 communities across all 50 states, bringing professional theater
productions of Shakespeare and related educational activities to
Americans throughout the country. Through the added component of
Shakespeare for a New Generation, a special emphasis is placed on
reaching students with limited access to the arts.
FOR THE ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts exists to foster, preserve, and
promote excellence in the arts, to bring art to all Americans, and to
provide leadership in arts education. Serving a nation in which artistic
excellence is celebrated, supported, and available to all, the Arts
Endowment is the largest annual funder of the arts in the United States.
t __ \iis Midwest, a nonprofit regional arts organization headquartered in
tx£&k Minneapolis, connects the arts to audiences throughout Illinois, Indiana,
midwest Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and
ii SHAKES ^ AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Recitation and Learning 1
Suggested Class Schedule 3
Practice Checklist 4
Contest Guidelines 5
Contest Evaluation Sheet 6
List of Winners 7
The Monologues 8
The Sonnets 35
SHAKESPl \RI KIa II \TlON I iii
k ■ •>
Lestfr Puny as Othello in the Guthrie
Theater's Shakespeare in American
RECITATION AND LEARNING
A Message from the Chairman
Memorization and recitation have been central
elements of education since ancient times. By
studying and reciting poetry, students begin to
master language as well as develop skills in public speaking.
This practice also helps build confidence and expand students'
knowledge of great literature.
Along with wrestling and the javelin toss, the Ancient
Olympics included contests in music, drama, and poetry.
Performers trained for years and traveled great distances to the
games. (During times of war a temporary truce would be called
and weapons laid down, allowing competitors to pass through
enemy territory unharmed.) There was a deep human wisdom
in this ancient custom that has relevance in todays classroom.
By encouraging your students to study, memorize, and
perform sonnets and monologues by William Shakespeare, the
pre-eminent playwright in the history of the English language,
you will be immersing them in great thoughts and great
Although many students may initially be nervous about
reciting in front of their teenage peers, the experience will prove
valuable — not only in school but also in life. Much of the future
success of students will depend on how well they present
themselves in public. Whether talking to one person or many
public speaking is a skill people use everyday in the world.
To recognize excellence, the National Endowment for the
Arts will send two winners from your school an official award
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
SHAKESPI \RI Rk ITATIPN 1
1. Discuss the sonnets and monologues. The most important preparation for
reading Shakespeare aloud is in understanding the text. When the reader or
actor doesn't understand the text, neither will the listener. Begin preparation
with a class session of discussions concerning the sonnets and monologues.
(Dictionaries will be necessary for this activity. In larger classes, you might
split students into smaller groups for the discussions and text analysis.)
2. Ask students to choose an excerpt to memorize. Each student must choose
one of the sonnets or monologues to memorize and prepare for recitation.
3. Share these memorization tips with your students: 1. Rewrite your sonnet or
monologue by hand as often as you can. Each time, try to write more and
more of it from memory. 2. Read your piece aloud before going to sleep at
night, and repeat it when you wake up. 3. Carry around a copy of your sonnet
or monologue in your pocket or bag. You'll find many moments throughout
the day to reread or recite it.
4. Model recitation skills. The teacher should model both effective and
ineffective recitation practices, asking students to point out which elements
of the performance are successful and which are not. On the board,
develop a list of bad habits that distract the audience or take away from
the performance, such as fidgeting, monotone voice, inaudible volume,
mispronunciations, and (the most common problem) speaking too quickly.
Now develop a list of elements that a successful recitation performance
should contain: eye contact with audience, voice inflection, sufficient volume,
evidence of understanding, pronunciation, and an appropriate speed with
the proper pauses.
5. Practice the monologues. Allow class-time for students to practice their
monologues. Break the class into pairs of students (rotating at each session).
Have each student practice with his or her partner. Partners should offer
constructive criticism, using the included checklist for their critique.
2 SHAKES] MERICAN COMMUNITIES
SUGGESTED CLASS SCHEDULE
Week 1 • Read and discuss the sonnets and monologues in class.
(2-3 full classes)
• Have students choose sonnets or monologues to memorize. They
should look up all unfamiliar words, making sure they understand
and can pronounce every word and phrase. Encourage them to
make helpful notes onto the copies of their selections.
(1 full class)
• Have students practice their sonnets or monologues with partners.
(15 minutes per day)
• The teacher should model effective and ineffective recitation practices.
(1 full class)
Week 2 • Have students practice their sonnets or monologues with
partners each day. They should also work on their memorization
and performance outside of school. Students should have their
selections completely memorized and be able to recite without
using a page by the end of the week.
(15 minutes per day)
Week 3 • Hold the class-wide recitation contest.
(1-2 full classes)
• Winners compete in the school-wide competition towards the end
of the week.
SHAKESPEARJ RECITATION ( 3
A performer should be loud enough to be heard by the entire
Most of us speak too quickly when we are nervous, which can
make a performance difficult to understand. Speak slowly, but
not so slowly that the language sounds unnatural or awkward.
Speak at a natural pace.
Avoid monotone recitation. If a performer sounds bored,
he or she will project that boredom onto the audience. One
should also avoid using too much inflection, which can make
the recitation sound insincere.
Stand up straight and attentively. Appropriate gestures and
movement on the stage are encouraged, as long as they are
Be sure you know the meaning and correct pronunciation of
every word and line in your excerpt. If you are unsure about
something, it will be apparent to the audience. Don't hesitate
to ask your teacher for help.
Engage your audience. Look them in the eye. If you have
trouble with that, look past them to the far wall, but try not
to look down unless appropriate to the text.
Posture and Presence
Evidence of Understanding
4 SHAKESPEARJ U KICAN COMMUNITIES
First the teacher will hold a class-wide recitation contest. The two highest scorers from
each class will take part in the school-wide competition, held at an assembly with all
students present. Schedule a date and time for the school-wide assembly as soon as
possible. For larger schools, allow only one finalist from each class to take part in the
school- wide competition. (Eight to twelve competitors would be ideal.)
At the competition, students should stand before the class (or the school), introduce
themselves, identify what they will perform (for example, "This is 'Sonnet 18 1 by William
Shakespeare," or "This is an excerpt from act two, scene two, of Romeo and Juliet. I will
read the part of Juliet"), and begin.
The teacher will act as the judge using the following evaluation sheet. Select three
teachers to judge the school- wide competition. Two winners from each school will be
sent an official award document from the National Endowment for the Arts, signed by
Chairman Dana Gioia.
SHAKESPEARJ RECITATION CONTES1 5
CONTEST EVALUATION SHEET
Name of Performer:
Monologue or Sonnet:
1 : Poor
2: Below Average
4: Very Good
Posture and Presence
Evidence of Understanding
6 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
LIST OF WINNERS
Names of Winners
(type or print legibly)
Number of Participating Students:
Name of Teacher:
Signature of Teacher:
Please return this form to:
National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506
s||\klsri \R| RICITATION ( 7
ROMEO AND JULIET Act II, Scene!
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady; O it is my love!
that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing; what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
1 am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
8 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM ActV, Scene 1
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman; the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Egypt;
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poets pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposd a bear!
SHAKESPl \RJ RECITATION ( 9
MACBETH Act V, Scene 5
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
10 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
TWELFTH NIGHT Act I, Scene 1
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall;
O it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. Enough! No more;
Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! How quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price
Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
Ml UCESPI \R1 RECITATION < 11
OTHELLO Act V, Scene 2
It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light.
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again;
It needs must wither. I'll smell it on the tree. [Kisses her.]
O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And love thee after. One more, and this the last;
So sweet was ne'er so fatal.
12 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Richard, Duke of Gloucester
RICHARD III Act I, Seme 1
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
1, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
SHAKESP1 \R[ RECITATION CON1 - 13
JULIUS CAESAR Act III, Scene 2
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest —
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men —
Come 1 to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here 1 am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause.
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason! Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
14 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
HAMLET Act III, Scene 1
To be, or not to be: that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep; perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.
SHAKESPI \RI RECITATION CON1 15
HENRY V Act IV, Scene 3
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day, and live old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
And say, "Tomorrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say, "These wounds I had on Crispins day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words —
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester —
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered —
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother. Be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England, now abed,
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
16 SHAKI IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
AS YOU LIKE IT Act II, Scene 1
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winters wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, 1 smile and say,
"This is no flattery; these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am."
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
SHAKESPEARE RECITATION CONTES 17
HAMLET Act II, Scene 2
Now I am alone.
what a rogue and peasant slave am I.
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing,
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appall the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
Ha, swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
1 should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
18 SHAKESPEA IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
THE TEMPEST Act IV, Scene 1
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex'd.
Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled.
Be not disturb'd with my infirmity.
If you be pleas 1 d, retire into my cell
And there repose. A turn or two I'll walk
To still my beating mind.
SHAKESP1 \RI RECITATION ( 19
AS YOU LIKE IT Act II, Scene 7
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
20 SI IAKI SPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
HENRY IV PART 2 Act III, Scene 1
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Natures soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boys eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slipper)^ clouds,
That, with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot.
Deny it to a king? Then happy low. lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Ml \MMM \RI RECITATION ( 21
HENRY V Prologue
O for a Muse of fire that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the war-like Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that hath dar'd
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
22 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM Act II, Scene 1
Set your heart at rest;
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossipd by my side,
And sat with me on Neptunes yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following (her womb then rich with my young squire)
Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.
Ml \KIMM \RI RECITATION ( 23
ROMEO AND JULIET Act 11, Scene 2
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
24 MIAKISPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Act I, Scene 1
How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she;
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.
He will not know what all but he do know;
And as he errs, doting on Hermias eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing 1 d Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste;
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjur'd everywhere;
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
1 will go tell him of fair Hermias flight;
Then to the wood will he tomorrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.
But herein mean 1 to enrich my pain.
To have his sight thither and back again.
SHAKESPEAR1 RJ ION C 25
A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM Act 111, Scene 1
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And 1 do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
26 SHAKLSPIARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Act IV, Scene 1
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest Gods
When mercy seasons justice.
SHAKESPI \RJ RICITATION ( ON 27
HAMLET Act III, Scene 1
O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword;
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observ'd of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O woe is me
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
28 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
ROMEO AND JULIET Act III, Scene 2
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus' lodging. Such a wagoner
As Phaethon would whip you to the west
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,
That runaways' eyes may wink, and Romeo
Leap to these arms untalk'd of and unseen!
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites
By their own beauties; or, if love be blind,
It best agrees with night. Come, civil night,
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black,
And learn me how to lose a winning match,
Play'd for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
Hood my unmann'd blood, bating in my cheeks,
With thy black mantle, till strange love, grown bold.
Think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night!
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven's back.
Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-brow'd night;
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess'd it, and though 1 am sold.
Not yet enjoy'd. So tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
Ml \klMM \RJ RECITATION COh 29
CYMBELINE Act HI, Scene 6
I see a man's life is a tedious one:
I have tired myself, and for two nights together
Have made the ground my bed; I should be sick,
But that my resolution helps me.
OJove! I think
Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be relieved. Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way; will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
A punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fulness
Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord!
Thou art one o' the false ones. Now I think on thee,
My hunger's gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to't: 'tis some savage hold;
1 were best not to call; 1 dare not call: yet famine,
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty and peace breeds cowards: hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother.
30 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Act I, Scene 5
Where thinks t thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he?
Or does he walk? Or is he on his horse?
O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
Do bravely, horse, for wotst thou whom thou movst?
The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
And burgonet of men. He's speaking now,
Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?'
For so he calls me. Now I feed myself
With most delicious poison. Think on me,
That am with Phoebus amorous pinches black
And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
When thou wast here above the ground, I was
A morsel for a monarch, and great Pompey
Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect, and die
With looking on his life.
SHAKESPI \KI RECITATION ( 31
TH E TEMPEST Act I, Scene 2
If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch
But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O I have suffer'd
With those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her.
32 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
ROMEO AND JULIET Act U, Scene 5
The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;
In half an hour she promis'd to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him. That's not so.
O she is lame! Love's heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
Driving back shadows over lowering hills.
Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw Love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She'd be as swift in motion as a ball;
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me.
But old folks, many feign as they were dead;
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.
God, she comes! O honey nurse! What news?
Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.
Now, good sweet nurse; O Lord! Why look'st thou sad?
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;
If good, thou sham'st the music of sweet news
By playing it to me with so sour a face.
1 would thou hadst my bones, and I thy news.
Nay, come, I pray thee, speak; good, good nurse, speak!
SHAKESPI \KI RECITATION 33
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Act IV, Scene 3
The more my wrong, the more his spite appears.
What, did he marry me to famish me?
Beggars that come unto my father's door
Upon entreaty have a present alms;
If not, elsewhere they meet with charity.
But I, who never knew how to entreat
Nor never needed that I should entreat,
Am starv'd for meat, giddy for lack of sleep;
With oaths kept waking and with brawling fed.
And that which spites me more than all these wants,
He does it under name of perfect love;
As who should say, if I should sleep or eat
Twere deadly sickness or else present death.
I prithee go and get me some repast;
I care not what, so it be wholesome food.
34 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
Shall I compare thee to a summers day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summers lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou growst;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
"As an imperfect actor on the stage"
As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strengths abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of loves rite,
And in mine own loves strength seem to decay,
O'erchargd with burden of mine own loves might.
O let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense.
More than that tongue that more hath more expressed
O learn to read what silent love hath writ
To hear with eyes belongs to loves fine wit.
SHAKESPI KRI RECITATION ( - 35
"Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed"
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind when body's work's expir'd;
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see;
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! Thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find.
"When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes"
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least.
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate.
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then 1 scorn to change my state with kings.
36 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
"When to the sessions of sweet silent thought"
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight;
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which 1 new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.
"Not marble, nor the gilded monuments"
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rime;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise.
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
Ml \kl sPI \IU RIVI1A1 ION covn^ 37
'That time of year thou mayst in me behold"
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
"How like a winter hath my absence been"
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year;
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen;
What old December's bareness everywhere.
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widowed wombs after their lords' decease;
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans and unfathered fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.
38 SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
"Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul"
Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Supposed as forfeit to a confin'd doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time,
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of him, I '11 live in this poor rime,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes;
And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds"
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worths unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proVd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
SHAKESPl \RI RICH \1 ION ( 39
"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"
My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
"When my love swears that she is made of truth"
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.
40 SI IAKESPEARE IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
FOR THE ARTS MIDWEST