Monday, December 17, 2007


My new commission- to illustrate in paint these words.
My style, no rules except to include the words! This one promises to be interesting!

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

After hearing that his wife has died, Macbeth takes stock of his own indifference to the event. Death—our return to dust—seems to him merely the last act of a very bad play, an idiot's tale full of bombast and melodrama ("sound and fury"), but without meaning ("signifying nothing"). Murdering King Duncan and seizing his throne in retrospect seem like scenes of a script Macbeth was never suited to play. The idea that "all the world's a stage" is occasionally very depressing to Shakespeare's heroes.
"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow"—along with the other phrases culled from this lode of Bardisms—conveys the mechanical beat of time as it carries this poor player-king from scene to scene. "The last syllable of recorded time"—what Macbeth earlier called "the crack of doom" [see p. 25]—casts time as a sequence of words, as in a script; history becomes a dramatic record. If life is like a bad play, it is thus an illusion, a mere shadow cast by a "brief candle." The candle is perhaps the soul, and the prospects for Macbeth's are grim.

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Bev said...

Quite grim sentiments, especially after your bad day yesterday. They could have choosen something more cheerful, perhaps one of Shakespeare's lighter comedies!

I think this quote is a contradiction in terms. It says that life is meaningless but it is written in beautiful poetry, and who could say that Shakespeare's life was meaningless if he could produce poetry like this?

I like the candle reference. We all may be quite like candles with our brief lives, but our influence and what we have achieved with our lives always lives on. You only have to see this going into a church and seeing the candles lit to people who have passed on.

Bev said...

Congrats on getting your new commission! I bet you could do a lot with this.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Lisa,

Well, congrats on the commission!! I never quite heard of anything like this ... that is great!!

Do you have any ideas yet?

~ Diane Clancy

Debi said...

I can't wait to see what comes of this commission. And good on you that you get to do it YOUR way. (Why would anyone want anything else?)

Lots of food for thought and something interesting is sure to come of it. For you. And for us ;)