Assimilation of Broken Images

Out, out brief candle

Out damned spot

Hurry up please its time

I had not thought death had

undone so many.

Do you know what it is you read?

How can I, if there is no one to explain it me?

Understand?

If I be the wisest, it is because I

know that I know Nothing.

I think, but because I exist,

don’t mean I understand.

Understand.

What is that study that leads

us to the light of understanding?

Burst the bonds of the prisoner

Turn him round to the red hot glow

and naught he knows –

Knowledge is greater than he knew.

Thunder, lightening, and in rain

when hurly-burly’s done

How can we know if fair is foul

The truth be fair to know.

What do we know?

Squat heachens, round and round,

will there ever be an end?

As you wish.

King of Scotland,

King of Denmark,

Rightful heir denied.

Hyacinths from hyacinth girl.

Rue is for remembrance,

You must wear it with difference.

But violets are all used up:

They perished the paternal

Death-filled day.

Is woman woman? Or

Is woman man? –

The terrifying question.

No rock stuck fast

solid ground to stand.

All is crumbling; all –

It is but sifting sand.

The Rock must stand.

Forty thousand brothers

could not, with all their quantity

of love, make up my sum.

What wilt thou do for her?

Wailing!

And gnashing of teeth.

Signifying nothing.

Now you Know.

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The Tempest – A Gloriously Fun Shakespeare

I read this for probably the third time this past year. I was asking myself yesterday what my favorite Shakespeare is, and it feels like an impossible question to answer. But if I ask myself which one I read the most often…

The Tempest wins!!

I’ve read it before, and I’m sure I’ll read it many times again. What with Ariel and his cloven pine, Miranda seeing man for the first time, and the wonderfully random soldiers drunkenly staggering around the stage – it’s just a gloriously fun story!

Plus, I often find it quoted (more than any other Shakespeare) in other literature, or in life itself!

You may recognize some of these:

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.


O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!


Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong 
Hark! now I hear them,—Ding-dong, bell.


You taught me language, and my profit on’t / Is, I know how to curse


My library was dukedom large enough.


I’ll swear upon that bottle to be thy true 
subject, or the liquor is not earthly.

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When to Dance to Death – How to End Your Story

In the Grimm’s version of Snow White, the evil queen attends Snow White’s wedding at the end and receives the sentence to dance in iron-hot shoes until she dies. Snow White gets a happy ending, and the Queen dances to death.

Here, the protagonist is happy and the villain is miserable, and all is right and just in the world, but what about the stories where the main character has a tragic ending, Hamletlike Hamlet or Gone with the Wind? Why did the author decide to give the protagonists in these stories a pair of theoretical iron-hot shoes? 640px-Snow_White_Iron_Shoes.pngWhat was the point? Was it just to break the hearts of readers and make them feel betrayed for investing all this time and attention into the character?

Probably not. If that was their only reason, then they’re a terrible writer (Not to mention person).

But allowing for the benefit of the doubt, what would be their good reason, and how can we know when to apply it in our own stories?

There are two endings to any type of story, and we see them to best advantage in Shakespeare’s brilliant two categories: The Tragedy and the Comedy. (All his Histories can fit into one of these two categories)

Comedy

A comedy ends in rejoicing, marriage, and the promise of a bountiful future.

Tragedy.jpg

A tragedy ends with death, suffering, and general doom and gloom.

COMEDY

Every story has a protagonist, a main character. It is the job of the protagonist, throughout the story, to overcome the internal and/or external dangers that come their way. Sometimes they overcome them through brawn, sometimes wits, sometimes unflinching goodness, and sometimes just pure good luck.

All of those reasons are legitimate and popular methods of storytelling.

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Luke Cage uses brawn. Adrian Monk uses wits. Emma Swan uses goodness. The three stooges use luck.

These stories explore the meaning of good fortune, and how we can achieve it. Often, the main character begins without believing in the benefits of his/her force for good. They think they are destined for unhappiness, and don’t know how to use their inner strength. The riveting nature of the story is how he/she learns to accept and grow, until they are a major force to be reckoned with, and can overcome great evil.

TRAGEDY

Sometimes, however, their inner strength is not enough, or they are not able to grow enough to harness it. This is where fallen nature comes into play.

The InformantI watched The Informant the other night, a movie wherein Matt Damon plays a man helping the FBI to uncover illegal activities inside his company. However, about half-way through, the story takes an unexpected twist. We discover that, although he has been helping to uncover legitimate corrupt activities and thinks of himself as a hero for doing so, he has been stealing 11 million dollars on the side all along.

And he doesn’t see himself as a villain.

This is significant. We realize that he was actually an evil force all along, and his refusal to see it results in the FBI turning their attention away from the first crime and entirely onto him. He finally ends up in jail because he refuses to see that he was in the wrong.

This is a tragic ending.

The Informant involves an internal evil that Matt Damon’s character was unwilling to defeat. There are a few stories, however, which are fewer and far between, in which there is an external villain the protagonist cannot conquer.

This rears its head in plays, mostly, such as Shakespeare and Aeschylus. There are very few films that deal in this genre.

This particular evil is almost always Fate. Any evil can be overcome, the story tells us, unless Fate is against us to begin with. We cannot see it, feel it, or get our hands around its throat, so our lives end miserably because Life/Fate/the gods had it out for us in the first place.

Tragedy is either about refusing to wage inward battles, or losing battles against fate.

So there you go! This is the difference between a happy ending and a sad. You can choose to end your story happy, but make sure it’s because your characters learned their lessons. Or, you can end it sad, but make sure it’s either on account of fate, or block-headed characters!

Did I miss anything? Did I leave out a genre? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

RECAP

Comedy endings are about people who overcame all obstacles, inward and outward, and have a hopeful future because of it.

Tragic endings involve either the protagonist’s refusal to accept their weaknesses and seek to overcome them, or else involve intangible Fate destroying them from the outside, no matter what they do.