Monday, February 2, 2009

Monologue Monday - King John by William Shakespeare

I've got some pretty good news, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow to announce any specifics on here. I need the material.

So, this monologue is one that I've had in my head for a long time, but never really wanted to memorize until this year. It's Lewis, the Dauphin of France talking to Cardinal Pandulph. It's from a rarely produced play, so often times gets overlooked. I've had the good fortune to see this play twice, oddly enough during two apprentice years. Once this past year at the Tavern, the other during my time at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Also, this is going to be my companion piece to Hurrah at Last at UPTA. Both are pretty heavily cut, but I think that they retain their shape nicely. Especially this one. It's written in such a way that almost lends itself to cutting. If you can do the whole thing, that's icing on the cake. It's chock full of great stuff. But there's a lot here to pick and choose from.

Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back:
I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful serving-man and instrument,
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
Between this chastised kingdom and myself,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
And come ye now to tell me John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
What men provided, what munition sent,
To underprop this action? Is't not I
That undergo this charge? who else but I,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
Have I not heard these islanders shout out
'Vive le roi!' as I have bank'd their towns?
Have I not here the best cards for the game,
To win this easy match play'd for a crown?
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promised
Before I drew this gallant head of war,
And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
To outlook conquest and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.

He's even got one of the best putdown lines in all of Shakespeare. In this same scene, Phillip the Bastard comes into Lewis' camp and starts talking all this smack about how awesome the English are and how lame the French are. Lewis' response?

There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace;
We grant thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.

"We grant thou canst outscold us." TOLD!

I mean, granted, the English end up winning. But, still...awesome line.


Also, as an update to my last worried post, my family is making due. All is as well as can be expected. If you're the praying kind, my home could still use your prayers, though. As of today, there's still a quarter million people without power. Now, granted, they've made quick and amazing strides from even Sunday, when there were 400,000 some odd houses without power. From what my family says, it still looks like a warzone up there.

Also, this week I'll be doing some filming for reThink which is pretty exciting. I'm very happy to be in their rotation! Here's hoping for more. As time goes by, I really think that Kidstuf might be one of the best things to happen to me in Atlanta.

No comments: