Sunday, June 30, 2013

Merry Wives, ACT FIVE

Sc1 - Quickly meets Falstaff at the inn and tells him where to meet and when. As he is preparing Brook (Ford in disguise) meets Falstaff. Falstaff tells of his second failed attempt. They both head off for the forest where Falstaff will try again.

Sc2 - Page, Shallow, and Slender are hiding in a ditch waiting for the trick to begin. Slender reveals that he and Anne devised a code word so that they will know each other while wearing masks, and be able to run off together.

Sc3 - Mistress Page confides with the doctor about Anne wearing green. They get ready for the trick to begin.

Sc4 - Very quickly Hugh enters leading the ferries.

Sc5 - The wives meet Falstaff a the forest and the trap is set. The fairies rush out and scare Falstaff, until the wives return with their husbands and intervene. The scold Falstaff and he sits up feeling like an ass. Slender returns with a boy in white saying that he grabbed the wrong person and almost married him. Then Caius returns in a rage with a boy in green, saying that he too grabbed the wrong person but did marry him. Confused, the parents wonder what happen to Anne. Fenton and Anne enter, and they tell of their love. The parents are happy and everyone rejoices, and the entire party heads back to the Ford's house for a celebration.

This was a very simple play with some sometimes very difficult language. I think the plot twists were lots of fun, and there were many mirroring stories as is usual in Shakespeare. It was a bit harder to enjoy Falstaff because not all of the insults always came through. On the other hand, he did have his moments, and seeing him get thrown out in a basket, dressed as a women and beaten over the head, and then scared by a bunch of children was amusing. In the end everything works out well for everyone, just as is the common model for the comedies.

I remember now also that Verdi did an opera Falstaff, and I think the story there is much simpler and more fun.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Merry Wives ACT FOUR

Sc1 - At the Page's house Quickly confers in Mistress Page that Falstaff is mostly likely already at Ford's. Hugh shows up for quick comedic interlude where he asks William Page, a schoolboy, questions about Latin grammar and give funny answers on behalf of his accent. After the impromptu test William goes out to play during a school day off.

Sc2 - Back at Ford's house again for round 2 of Falstall trying to woo Mistress Ford. Shortly after he arrives once again Mistress Page shows up to tell Mistress Ford that Ford himself is headed home and this time he's going to check the basket. Undone and with nowhere to hid, Falstaff is rushed upstairs and dressed as an old maid that Ford doesn't like. When the boys show up Ford is once again embarrassed to find no man in the basket and he has to beg his friends to help him search the house again. Falstaff comes down dressed as the maid and Ford beats him on site. Ford doesn't like the maid so he beats "her" right out of the house.

The Mistresses decide that Falstaff has probably had enough and that we won't attempt them again. They decide to tell their husbands how they fooled Falstaff, and then to see if the husbands want to play any more tricks on him.

Sc3 - Some Germans men of court are visiting and require horses. The Host agrees to provide them but he plans to milk the visitors for all the money he can get.

Sc4 - The wives unfold to the husbands and the boys the tricks they have played on Falstaff. Ford apologizes for not trusting his wife. Together a final trick is planned. Falstaff will be lead to Windsor woods to meet the ladies. After they meet the children will run out dressed as ferries and circle around Fallstaff, burning him with candles and asking him why he comes to the woods late at night.

In a side note, Page plans to have Slender steal away Anne, Page's daughter, at this hours and marry her. Mistress Page also has secret plans to have Dr. Caius steal away Anne and marry her at this hour.

Sc5 - It seems the Germans have robbed the host of his horses. Falstaff came back to the inn dressed as a woman and the host mistook him so. Now he returns in his regular dress and the host wants to know where the woman went. The host runs off to find his stolen horses. Quickly arrives and asks to speak to Falstaff so that she can tell him about how Ford has suffered and perhaps arrange a 3rd meeting.

Sc6 - Fenton meets the Host and lays out the plans. While Falstaff is being tricked Anne should be dressed in white so that Shallow can steal her away and marry her, as her father planned. Her mother want's her dressed in green with laurels in her hair so that Caius can steal her away. Anne plans to fool both and run away with Fenton.

Merry Wives - ACT THREE

Sc1 - Caius and Hugh are led together and the others enjoy laughing at both their angry responses. The Host reveals he has deceived them both and the others walk off for a drink. Hugh and Caius make a pact to get revenge on the Host.
Sc2 -  A quick meeting of most of the characters before they depart separate ways. The host will meet Falstaff for a drink. Shallow and Slender are off to have dinner with Anne Page and see if Slender can woo her. The rest, Hugh, Caius, Ford, and Page, are off to Ford's house to find Falstaff and the wives in the act.
Sc3 - The wives meet at Ford's house and arrange a large laundry basket. When Falstaff arrives it is not long before Mistress Page runs in and tells that Ford is coming with men to find Falstaff. Scared out of his wits, Falstaff jumps in the laundry basket and the servants carry him out. Ford and company arrive but find no one. Ford is embarrassed, but they make a plan to go birding the next day, and perhaps confront Falstaff.
Sc4 - Fenton woos Anne but she does not love him. Master Page tells Fenton to go away, and he wants Anne to marry the old man Slender. And wants none of this. Quickly is trying to help everyone, but especially Fenton.
Sc5 - Quickly is at the Gartee again calling on Falstaff on behalf of Miss Ford. Falstaff is to meet Miss Ford again that day. Next Ford returns disguised as Brook and learns how Falstaff escaped and that his wife has called for a second meeting.

Merry Wives ACT TWO

Sc1 - Lots happening. The two mistresses receive their respective letters from Sir John and are both appealed. They conference and plan to lead him on until he is too deep and n and them reveal that they know of his plans.
Meanwhile Pistol and Nym are talking behind Falstaff's back and revealing the plans to Ford and Page. Page trusts his wife will not give into such a plot, but Ford is secretly more suspicious. He plans to use a disguise and discover the truth.
Lastly, the duel between Caius and Hugh is planned, and the host is the referee. Shallow comes along to get the host and Page, and they leave Ford and head to the duel.
Sc2 - At the garter Quickly tells Falstaff that both women want to meet him, and the hour is 10 to 11. Of course Pistol eggs him on. Next Ford comes disguised and asks Falstaff to yus his powers of move to woo Mistress Ford. Falstaff agrees and unfolds that a meeting has already been set. Ford ponders what to do to avoid being cuckolded.
Sc3 - Caius and his man Rugby are waiting for Hugh, but he has not shown. The Host, Slender, Shallow, and Page all show up to watch the fight. Some insults are given to Hugh for not showing, and then Shallow, Page, and Slender head off. They are going to get Hugh, whom the host told to wait elsewhere, believing the fight would be there. Meanwhile the Host will take Caius to see Anne Page, or so he thinks, but the true plan is to lead Hugh and Caius to some place together.

On to The Merry Wives Of Windsor

I've started this play a few times but never got far.
Sc1 - Lots of characters and some hard to follow language. I count there groups, Justice Shallow, Sir Hugh Evans, and Slender, who open the play and set the plan to marry Anne Page in order to procure her dowry. Next is Sir Page, Mistress Page, and Mistress Ford, along with Pages daughter Anne Page. Shallow and friends go to Pages house to resolve a dispute with the third group, Falstaff, Pistol, Bardolph, and Nym, who have made appearances in other Henry plays.
The dispute between Shallow and Falstaff is that Shallow was robbed while drinking with Falstaff and friends. Falstaff of course denies this. At the end of the scene Shallow spends some time alone with Anne while the others have been called into dinner. I assumed this would be an opportunity for courting Anne Page in order to move along their plan, but instead Shallow just keeps saying hen doesn't want to eat.
One more character, Simple, makes an appearance, but I'm unsure of exactly who he's with or what his standing is.
Sc2 - A brief scene between Hughes and Simple. Hugh wants Simple to deliver a letter to Ms. Quickly, who is at Dr. Caius's house.
Sc3 - Falstaff, Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym, all meet the host of the Garter Inn. Falstaff has written letters to both Mistress Foredmandnm Mistress Page. He plans to make love to both of them, in the hopes of getting his hands on Ford's money, which the Mistress controls. As Falstaff and his boy Robin leave to deliver the letters, Nym and Pistol plan to tell the Fords and the Pages of the plans and to foil Falstaff.
Sc4 - At Dr. Caius's house Simple delivers Hugh's message to Quickly. Rugby, Dr. Caius's other servant sees the master coming home and Simple hides in the closet. The doctor finds him so Quickly reveals that he came with the letter from Hugh's asking for her to say a good word to Anne Page about him. The doctor is upset because he himself loves Anne, so he writes a response letter to Hugh challenging him. As Rugby and the doctor leave Fenton, a third suitor, arrives to ask Quickly where he stands with Anne. She tells him Anne loves him, but after he leaves she soliloqizes that Anne loves none of them.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two Gents, Act 5

Sc1 - Eglamore waits for Silvia as she suddenly comes running past. She shouts for them to both hurry to cover of the forest because she fears someone is tailing her.

Sc2 - Thurio, Proteus, and Julia as page enter talking about Silvia's feelings for Thurio. With every soft answer Proteus gives Thurio Julia gives a walloping aside to the crowd.

The Duke enters and determines that Silvia has fled, and the chase for them in the woods is on.

Sc3 - Silvia is captured by the outlaws, but Eglamore got away. The outlaws intend to bring Silvia to see their captain.

Sc4 - Everything wraps up nicely, which I think I remember being a common quality in the comedies. Valentine sees Proteus, Silvia, and Julia as page coming by so he quickly hides. Then he overhears Proteus demand Silvia because he just saved her from the outlaws. At this point Valentine jumps forth and makes himself know, embarrassing Proteus and delighting Silvia. Proteus apologizes in the face of Valentine, who accepts. Next Julia reveals herself by displaying her two rings. Proteus questions why he ever stopped loving her, and the two embrace. Last, the Duke and and Thurio enter. Thurio blesses Valentine with Silvia, and the Duke blesses Valentine with his love and acceptance. All the outlaws are pardoned and marriages are planned.

This play seemed very simple, I think maybe it is on of Shakespeare's earliest.

Act 4

Sc1 - Valentine is confronted in the forest but becomes king of the outlaws when they realize his skill at language and similar banishment.

Sc2 - Julia arrives in Verona in time to overhear Proteus singing to Silvia for Thurio and then after confessing his own love for Silvia. Silvia doesn't buy it and reminds Proteus of his other love and the friend he back stabbed. Julia, listening but unseen, is crushed.

Sc3 - Silvia makes a plan to travel to Mantua in search o Valentine. Sir Eglamore will accompany her.

Sc4 - A brief episode with Launce trying recalling how he tried to make his dog a gift for Silvia because the cuter, smaller dog Proteus sent him to buy escaped at the market. Julia, disguised as a page, delivers a message of love to Silvia from Proteus. Julia hears firsthand Silvia's disdain for the infidelities of Proteus, and even though she is crushed by his betrayal, this display of true love and honesty motivates her. She looks almost alike if not better than Silvia, so she decides to win her love back.

Act 3

Sc1 - Proteus hatches his plan and tells the duke of Valentine and Silvia's plan to escape. The Duke entraps Valentine on his way and gets Valentine to reveal the rope ladder under his cloak. Thus he is banished. In despair he can think of nothing but death. Proteus and Launce meet Valentine on the way out of the city and encourage him to go and keep his love by writing to Proteus, who will then deliver the letters to Silvia.

As Proteus and Valentine depart Launce reflects that his master is very evil. Speed show up and Launce delays him by having him read a love letter. Speed is late to meet his master so he rushes off.

Sc2 - The Duke, Proteus, and Thurio make a plan to deal with the upset Silvia. Proteus will meet with Silvia and tell of how bad Valentine is while at the same time buffering Thurio's reputation. Of course the situation favors Proteus who now is the access point for all messages of love destined for Silvia.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Gents, A2, sc 2-7

Proteus says goodbye to Julia and the two lament their parting. They exchange rings.

We meet Launce, the clown, with his dog. His dog is the only person (animal) not moved by Launce's parting for Verona. Launce is comical in his sadness but is quickly called away by Panthino.

Valentine and Proteus meet again in Verona. Together they go to Silvia who is being attended by Thurio. I think Thurio is a contending suitor, but it wasn't so clear. Thurio doesn't like Valentine and her makes this clear, the two of them battling with words. Silvia treats Valentine like a dog, but still his love for her persists.

After everyone exits the stage Proteus announces his love for Silvia, so quickly his love for Julia vanishing.

Launce arrives in Verona and meets Speed. Speed wants to know of Julia and Proteus's parting, but Launce will only wind his words. Launce is in need of a few drinks. Speed trys to tell of Valentine and how he has become a hot lover, but Launce pretends not to care. The two head off drinking.

Proteus alone enters the stage and siloquizes his situation. He will lose Julia if he goes for Silvia, and he will lose his friend too. But if he doesn't go for Silvia he will lose himself. He decides to forget about Julia and declare Valentine an enemy.

Valentine and Silvia are planning to meet this night. Proteus decides to ward Julia's father in hopes of getting Valentine caught and banished. Julia's father prefers Thurio for his daughter's hand, but Proteus has a trick in mind to take care of him as well.

Back in Milan Julia longs for Proteus. She tells her maid, Lucetta, that she plans to travel to Verona disguised as a male page. She tells how she is afraid of the journey, but for a man as true as Proteus, it will be worth any price.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Act 2

From my tab, act 2 take us to Verona. Valentine and his page Speed have an interesting interaction talking about the lovely Silvia, whom Valentine adores. The page seems to think his master a bit silly and laughs when Silvia asks Valentine to write her a letter to send to someone that she loves. Valentine obeys and Speed tries to point out that perhaps the someone Silva loves is Valentine himself.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

3rd day: Two Gents,Act 1 scene 3

Antonio is the father of Proteus. Antonio meets with Panthino at Antonio's house to talk of his son. It seems that some others think Proteus should be doing more as a boy, and not be kept so close to home. Panthino suggests that Antonio send Proteus to Milian after Valentine, and Antonio likes the idea.

Proteus enters reading a love letter from Julia, but he doesn't want to show his father in case his father takes exception. Proteus makes the excuse that he would love to be of with Valentine, and coming on the heels of Panthino's suggestion, Antonio takes up the bluff.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two Gents - Act 1 cont.

The second scene has Lucetta, which I'm saying with a /ch/ and a /t/ sound, sort of like pancetta. Lucetta and Julia. Lucetta is Julia's maid and has been holding love letter from Proteus. Julia longs for long and is upset that Lucetta withheld the letter, but at the same time she refrains from reading it because that is unladylike. In the end she tears up the letter and then laments doing so.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Getting Started

Two Gents - 5 acts
Act 1 - 3 scenes
Act 2 - 7 scenes
Act 3 - 2 scenes
Act 4 - 4 scenes
Act 5 - 4 scenes

I'm using MIT site because its easy and I've used it before.

It is hard to budget one act a day, because some scenes run long. It is better to go by scene and stop between if needed.

Act 1 - Scene 1
We're in Verona, we've got two gents, Valentine and Proteus, whose names I'm sure are laced with some meaning connected from Greek mythology.

Valentine leaves for Milan and makes fun of Proteus for having a girlfriend, or at least a Crush, while Valentine is free. Speed enters.

Speed is Valentine's servant, and is looking for him. Proteus had Speed deliver a letter to his affection, Julia. Proteus is after lust and love, Valentine is after honor and reputation. Speed and Proteus bicker about payment for delivery, then Speed runs off.

Even after only one scene I've encountered more interesting words than a day's worth of reading the news gives me.

38 by 30

My college English professor once said "Everyone should read all of Shakespeare by the age of 30." A person like me takes this sort of comment to be hard deadline, maybe so that I can still sneak it in at the last minute and feel ok. Here's a look at my progress so far.

Comedies (9 for 16)
1. The Tempest - READ
2. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
3. The Merry Wives of Windsor
4. Measure for Measure - READ
5. The Comedy of Errors - READ
6. Much Ado About Noting - READ
7. Love's Labour's Lost - READ
8. A Midsummer Night's Dream - READ
9. The Merchant of Venice - READ
10. As You Like It
11. The Taming of the Shrew - READ
12. Alls Well That Ends Well
13. Twelfth Night - READ
14. The Winter's Tale
15. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
16. The Two Noble Kinsmen

Histories (8 for 10)
1. King John
2. Richard II - READ
3. Henry IV, Part 1 - READ
4. Henry IV, Part 2 - READ
5. Henry V - READ
6. Henry VI, Part 1 - READ
7. Henry VI, Part 2 - READ
8. Henry VI, Part 3 - READ
9. Richard III - READ
10. Henry VIII

Tragedies (7 for 12)
1. Troilus and Cressida
2. Coriolanus
3. Titus Andronicus - READ
4. Romeo and Juliet - READ
5. Timon of Athens
6. Julius Ceasar -READ
7. Macbeth - READ
8. Hamlet - READ
9. King Lear - READ
10. Othello- READ
11. Antony and Cleopatra
12. Cymbeline

This is just what I remember, and it totals out to 24 of the 38, leaving 14 plays left to read. I'll make a quick schedule now.

1. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
2. The Merry Wives of Windsor
3. As You Like It
4. Alls Well That Ends Well
5. The Winter's Tale
6. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
7. The Two Noble Kinsmen
8. King John
9. Henry VIII
10. Troilus and Cressida
11. Coriolanus
12. Timon of Athens
13. Antony and Cleopatra
14. Cymbeline

If I went at the pace of a play a week I'd be done by the end of September with time to spare. Realistically I should finish sooner, but probably won't. I guess I'll start in and see what happens.