One of the things that the pupils did whilst at Kings School, that
was not shown to the public in the series That'll Teach 'em, was
to perform a play written by Shakespeare.
For those of you who have not read or seen the play it is about many
different kinds of love and marriage. There is the mature love of
Theseus and Hippolyta; the more frantic, passionate and unstable love of
the young people; and the power struggle between Oberon and Titania.
The emphasis is both on the value of love and its strange, irrational
aberrations, particularly those associated with the excesses and sudden
u-turns of romantic love.
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.”
“Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow’d house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.”
The Pyramus and Thisbe play-within-the-play shows (albeit softened by
farce), that love can also have tragic outcomes. Pyramus and Thisbe both
die, like Romeo and Juliet, because of a misunderstanding.
Perhaps as they watch Pyramus and Thisbe, the quartet of lovers might
feel particularly grateful that the misunderstandings they went through
in the wood were sorted out for good rather than ill.
Colum Hughes has written a review of the time spent at Kings in
putting on this play and gives us his own personal opinions on the
process. To read the review click here
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.”