“…for a jingle of coin we can do you a selection of gory romances, full of fine cadence and corpses, pirated from the Italian; and it doesn’t take much to make a jingle- even a single coin has music in it.”
If you came here expecting a point, I suppose you may be sadly disappointed.
The first post of a blog often contains some kind of mission statement, or introduction or something to indicate what said blog is about. I’ve never been keen on introductions. My English professors have often commented on how succinct I can be, how graceless with my words. I have no patience to tell my audience what will come next, particularly if I’m not so sure about that myself.
Therefore, we will move on.
The quote from before comes from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I encountered that play in twelfth grade and took an instant liking to it. Over the years, I have grown to love it. The cyclical nature, the constant play with established ideas, the insecurity of the title characters… it speaks to something absolutely profound.
It also deals with the fundamental interplay between a storyteller and the audience. “For some of us it is performance,” says the Player to Rosencrantz, “for others, patronage. They are two sides of the same coin, or, let us say, being as there are so many of us, the same side of two coins.”
We bring our own experiences with us wherever we go. If you listen to a conversation, it often takes the form of anecdotes linked to one another by some common theme, or string of common themes. It is these threads of commonality that make communication and storytelling so powerful. The subconscious act of applying our own lives to the language makes it all the more dear.
Throughout the play, Stoppard reminds us that it is a play. The cyclical speech, the references to having been in this situation before, the inability of the title characters to remember anything that wasn’t mentioned in the script, the play within a play within a play… The characters interact with their script and the subject matter even as the audience draws from what they know about Shakespeare’s work to complete the picture.
I’ll leave you with this thought: I acknowledge your bias (even if you don’t want to) and I encourage it. And since I like cohesion, here’s another quote from the play (taken somewhat out of context):
Rosencrantz: So you’re not–ah– exclusively players, then?
Player: We’re inclusively players, sir.