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Grooming the Groom

Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Joe get to watch their own funeral.

Shakespeare lets Rosalind do what others would love to do as well: give a potential mate an advanced seminar on loving truly.

The exact opposite of speed-dating.

As soon as she has Romeo alone, in the balcony scene, Juliet becomes a literary critic and guns down his gushing, love poet BS.

Romeo. "Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow/That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops--"

Juliet. "O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon/That monthly changes in her circled orb....Do not swear at all/Or, if thou wilt, swear by they gracious self..."

Later - her own words matching her admonitions - Juliet tells him to be "frank" and speak from the heart, not the pages of a chapbook.

In As You Like It (in a shimmering production at the Old Globe), Rosalind has it even better. Like Tom and Huck, she's invisibile. She disguises herself as a man play-acting herself, and gives Orlando - who lacks education and "gentlemanlike qualities" - the what for. As when he was almost late:

Rosalind. "Break an hour's promise in love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him on the shoulder" (i.e. missed the heart).

Rosalind adds, for good measure, "Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I had as lief be wooed of a snail."

They have a practice-wooing. What should Orlando say first?

Orlando. "I would kiss before I spoke."

Ah, dude. Not happening.

Rosalind. "Nay, you were better to speak first, and when you were graveled [stuck, embarrassed] for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss."

Orlando's a slow study (which makes the scene all the more magical). If he can't be with Rosalind, he swears he will die.

Here she comes!

Rosalind. "No faith, die by attorney [by proxy]. This poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet [that is to say], in a love cause."

Rosalind's friend Celia also gets educated. She distrusts openness and natural assertion. Because Rosalind talked so forthrightly, she must not be in love. She "misused our sex."

Rosalind, holding a royal flush in hearts: "No, let [Cupid] be judge how deep I am in love. I'll tell thee, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I'll go find a shadow and sigh till he come."

Class dismissed.

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Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Joe get to watch their own funeral.

Shakespeare lets Rosalind do what others would love to do as well: give a potential mate an advanced seminar on loving truly.

The exact opposite of speed-dating.

As soon as she has Romeo alone, in the balcony scene, Juliet becomes a literary critic and guns down his gushing, love poet BS.

Romeo. "Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow/That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops--"

Juliet. "O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon/That monthly changes in her circled orb....Do not swear at all/Or, if thou wilt, swear by they gracious self..."

Later - her own words matching her admonitions - Juliet tells him to be "frank" and speak from the heart, not the pages of a chapbook.

In As You Like It (in a shimmering production at the Old Globe), Rosalind has it even better. Like Tom and Huck, she's invisibile. She disguises herself as a man play-acting herself, and gives Orlando - who lacks education and "gentlemanlike qualities" - the what for. As when he was almost late:

Rosalind. "Break an hour's promise in love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him on the shoulder" (i.e. missed the heart).

Rosalind adds, for good measure, "Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I had as lief be wooed of a snail."

They have a practice-wooing. What should Orlando say first?

Orlando. "I would kiss before I spoke."

Ah, dude. Not happening.

Rosalind. "Nay, you were better to speak first, and when you were graveled [stuck, embarrassed] for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss."

Orlando's a slow study (which makes the scene all the more magical). If he can't be with Rosalind, he swears he will die.

Here she comes!

Rosalind. "No faith, die by attorney [by proxy]. This poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet [that is to say], in a love cause."

Rosalind's friend Celia also gets educated. She distrusts openness and natural assertion. Because Rosalind talked so forthrightly, she must not be in love. She "misused our sex."

Rosalind, holding a royal flush in hearts: "No, let [Cupid] be judge how deep I am in love. I'll tell thee, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I'll go find a shadow and sigh till he come."

Class dismissed.

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