now is the winter …
February 6, 2021
Shakespeare’s famous couplet from Richard III:
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
is generally truncated and only the first line referenced.
For years, I too used it to refer to the cold, miserable season; I too assumed Mr. Stratford-upon-Avon had given us mortals an apt descriptor for the winter doldrums. But once I realized I was taking the line totally out of context, and once I read the entire couplet did I understand its wonder, its beauty.
- The soliloquy is Gloucester’s harangue against his brother King Edward.
- The initial couplet is sarcastic and playful using the word sun to both mock and confuse.
- Winter of our discontent is as wonderful as Made glorious summer.
The next four lines feel like something I would read in the Palmer Report. It’s as if Bill Palmer is addressing his fellow Democrats, but without his constant reminder not to get complacent, because gerrymandering and voter suppression can take the delightful measures all away.
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.
And then comes this weak piping time of peace. My only hope, and I believe the country’s only hope, is that the GOP is leaderless. The GOP seems to have lost its thinkers, its statesmen; its elders, its spokesmen. The Grand Old Party seems to have lost its soul; it has certainly lost its mind.
If the shift to Republicanism started with Goldwater in 1964, the GOP has had a some 50 years to deteriorate into the party that believes Jewish lasers started the California wildfires.
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy 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.
I began this post, because I wanted to record the date that I got my COVID vaccination appointment – February 9. And from there I went to the Bard.
Also, I’ve been grabbing many pics off the FB site Dal Rinascimento ai Pittori Macchiaioli e oltre and have been trying to use them. Both the above winterscape and the featured image on the mainpage are from the FB page.
1. The winter landscape, at the top, is by Scottish painter Joseph Farquharson.
2. The featured-image – the post thumbnail on the main-page – is by Italian painter Alessandro Tofanelli.