Contents Contact

Out door low stage with sun rising and statue behind.

A Stage

Duke S.
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
Jaq. All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

William Shakespeare (1599)

Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own;
Which is most faint;

William Shakespeare (1610)


An open stage, here barely distinguishable from the wider world, a stage within a stage: a world within a world. Shakespeare conjures worlds to divert, but also to induce our reflections, to reveal the traits we share with his creations. His skill with metaphor Two people walking on disintegrating bridge. Metaphor balances a tension between novelty and familiarity. is to squarely hit what enlightens, and reduce misleading analogies A line of sheep passing beside a wood. Analogies assist us, but also often mislead us. - as it is with all great story Path between trees. Stories join together disparate ideas for us in our collective communications. telling. Theatre greatly raises the game of story telling, fleshing out language into a human world, the more easily to enchant us, so maintaining the suspension of our disbelief. Thus charmed we may see more of what is important. In his plays the conjuror keeps to the shadows; just occasionally stepping out, as in the quotations above, here we sense that the stage and the world eliding; for indeed the play’s the thing wherein Shakespeare catches our conscience. Mother, son, and health worker posing for photograph. A page which takes tentative steps into the minefield of conscience and consciousness.

Jaques famous line comes in Act II vii line139 of As You Like It. In the Tempest Prospero seems as much like an alter ego for Shakespeare as we are ever allowed to see, this line comes from his final goodbye Act V Epilogue line 1. And Hamlet’s “...the play’s the thing /Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” is the closing line of Act II ii.

This open air stage (in Hà Nội by Hoàn Kiếm Lake) is being lit by the rising sun, and overlooked by the be-shadowed statue of the shadowy Lý Thái Tổ a Vietnamese leader of a thousand years ago.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 28th October 2023

Murphy on duty to this site