What a great introduction to our imminent study of/ participation in a production of scenes from Shakespeare’s As You Like It! Thank you Julie for your wonderful tour of the resources in the Mitchell Library, the Dixon Library and the Shakespeare Room itself! We were taken through the Mitchell (fabulous space for letting the creative spirit soar!)
out into the foyer where there is that stunning inscription – in Sydney sand stone- of those amazing words from the 19th Century historian Thomas Carlyle. What a stunning reminder -to students of literature- of what our study is all about!
IN BOOKS LIES THE SOUL
OF THE WHOLE PAST TIME
THE ARTICULATE AUDIBLE
VOICE OF THE PAST
WHEN THE BODY
AND MATERIAL SUBSTANCE
OF IT HAS ALTOGETHER
VANISHED LIKE A DREAM
From here we went to the Shakespeare Room, this wonderful tribute to the creative genius who brought so much power and insight into the English Language. Amazingly, during his lifetime, his plays were circulated on sheets of paper as actors’ copies. There was no book of his plays published in his lifetime. There was- extraordinarily- no impulse on the part of Shakespeare himself to get his words down for perpetuity! Talk about humility!!!! Nowadays every writer/ academic is desperate to get his or words down in order to be SEEN! Not so our Mr Shakespeare. It wasn’t until 7 years after his death that a couple of his friends got together and decided to collect all those actors’ scraps of paper and put together a volume of his plays. This was the first folio (1623) of which there is only one copy in our State Library (worth around 6 million dollars!):
The play we will be working on (for our performance) is (as shown in this page of the Folio) As You Like It. In the Shakespeare Room the stained glass windows depict the Seven Ages of Man. Here are stages 3, 4 and 5:
BLOG TOPICS ARISING FROM YOUR VISIT TO THE SHAKESPEARE ROOM IN THE MITCHELL LIBRARY
1. Describe your response to the carved words from Thomas Carlyle about the value of books. How does this idea reinforce your own sense of the value and purpose of studying literature?
2. Describe your reaction to the Shakespeare Room. How does this support your own imminent study of and participation in As You Like It?
The following image is from one of the 19th Century Illustrated Volumes of Shakespeare’s works shown to us by Julie in the Dixon Room. This is the moment where Rosalind (having fallen in love with Orlando Act 1 Sc 2) gives him her bracelet (click on all images to enlarge them!):
3. Describe the scene depicted in this 19th Century interpretation of the event.
My warmest gratitude is extended to you… For your passion, dedication and conviction in sharing your knowledge in literature, to us, your ‘deligent’ (in your word) students.
Michael Ken Huynh