Join Bob Smith on a journey through all of Shakespeare!
Coming Tuesday, September 9th – Troilus and Cressida
For our 28th play at R.D. Scinto presents Nights with Shakespeare we’ll explore the devastating Troilus and Cressida.
What a play! Loaded with stunning speeches and phenomenal characters.
Troilus and Cressida has been described as, “A poison which should be taken down from the shelf when the rats of the world are on the march.”
Given the horrors of 9-11, the atrocities in the Mid-East, with plagues and genocide on the African continent, might this be such a time?
It’s the Trojan War. Prince Paris snatched Helen of Troy from her husband. And the Greeks came to get her back. Seven years ago! Everyone’s exhausted as the spiteful conflagration drags on. Despite daily bloodshed absolutely nothing is being accomplished. The revengeful infighting Greeks are spread out in tents on the Phrygian plane below Troy. And Troy like many besieged cities in history struggles to endure. What a setting for a love story. Or maybe more properly stated a lust story.
Every so often in his masterworks Shakespeare rages at the foibles of human sexuality. [Hamlet’s heartbreaking nunnery scene. King Lear’s vicious attack on female genitalia. Othello tearing at a faultless Desdemona.]
Riverside Shakespeare says, “The modern theater has decided firmly, and rightly, that the play is a brilliant but scarifying vision of a world in pieces. Since the Second World War it has scarcely left the stage. Troilus and Cressida’s intellectualism, savagery and disillusion speak forcefully to contemporary audiences naturally skeptical about ideas of honor, nobility and military glory.”
When I was a kid in Stratford I had the extraordinary privilege to be in this magnificent play. I can’t tell you how life-altering it was to spend months living inside Shakespeare’s lacerating pain. The production was so emotionally powerful that the culturally savvy young Kennedy’s brought it to the White House. Within months the President was dead. No theater piece could have been more foreboding.
It’s a tough play built to counter a tough world. And I always save it for when a Shakespeare study group has made a long journey together. Now. . . it’s time! Please come.
– Bob Smith
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