Friday, May 30, 2008

I Wear Shakespeare

I'm saving my pennies for this: a sterling silver necklace with a quote from THE TEMPEST engraved upon it.

Because I was not nerdly enough before, I have found that lately I crave all things literary in my dress and decor. I wear a watch with Shakespeare's face on it, have little Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare action figures, and even, to my students' ultimate disdain, a Shakespeare Beanie Baby.

But this: this takes it to a new level. First of all, the line comes from one of my favorite speeches, when the all-powerful magician Prospero is on the verge of giving up everything: his daughter Miranda, his beloved servant Ariel, and his power. In contemplating this, Prospero becomes downright existential, realizing that none of his earthly power and possessions really matter, since in the end "our little life is rounded with a sleep" and we ourselves become illusions, or "such stuff as dreams are made on."

It's a speech that I think resonates far more with the over-forty crowd. Usually the listeners in the desks wear expressions suggesting that Shakespeare sure toiled a lot just to create words that would someday bore the 21st Century. But I relate to those words, and love them, more with each passing year. And so I choose to drape myself in them.

Didn't some fashion person once say that we are what we wear? That means I am a dumpy pantsuit and a pair of dowdy shoes--but it also means I am Shakespeare. :)