13 Jan 2008

Shakespeare on Life Planning

The Botogol family know what's hot* and what's not, and on Saturday we eschewed the black market demand for our tickets and went to the Donmar warehouse to see Othello

Jealousy, scheming, race, deception; Yes, yes, yes, Othello is all of those, and very good indeed it is too, but the bit that struck me (perhaps the £800 we supposedly could have got for our tickets was preying on my mind) but the bit that got me was Iago's unequivocal advice to the love-lost Rodrigo:

No, don't drown yourself, says Iago, but instead:
[...] Put money in thy purse;
follow thou the wars; defeat thy favour with
an usurped beard; I say,
put money in thy purse. It
cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her
love to the Moor,--
put money in thy purse,--nor he
his to her: it was a violent commencement, and thou
shalt see an answerable sequestration:--put but
money in thy purse. These Moors are changeable in
their wills: fill thy purse with money:--
[...],
she will find the error of her choice: she must
have change, she must: therefore put money in thy
purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a
more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money
thou canst: if sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt
an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian not
too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou
shalt enjoy her; therefore make money.
[...]

RODRIGO:
I am changed: I'll go sell all my land.
Roderigo, thou shouldst have lived at this hour! and thou shouldst have have had an indescribable job in the City, for it's the start of every City worker's plan: Moving out? moving on? moving up? Staying put? New house, extra house? Trading up? Trading down? Mid Life Crisis? New Bike? New Car? New Boat? Interior designer or writer of the great 21st Century novel? Whatever.... just two more bonuses should be enough....

"It's the only bit of honest advice Iago gives to anyone in the whole play", I remarked, sagely in the interval much to the spluttering amusement of the Botogol daughters whom I sometimes think have received a sight more education than is good for them, "Yeah, right", they said, once they had mopped up their J2O "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse"


* Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor, that's what's hot. Oh, yes, and Shakespeare.

1 comment:

Snuffleupagus said...

You LUCKY LUCKY thing... I tried to get tickets. All sold out.