Shakespeare’s Benedick had an Australian accent.
Re-reading Shakespeare, you can’t help but have voices in your head for selected passages. Memories of past productions flood the reading experience so that there’s an auditory quality to particular speeches drawn from powerful performances.
But re-reading Much Ado About Nothing didn’t remind me of any actor or performance. It reminded me of being an undergraduate student again and listening, in particular, to this speech.
This can be no trick: the
conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of
this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it
seems her affections have their full bent. Love me!
why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured:
they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive
the love come from her; they say too that she will
rather die than give any sign of affection. I did
never think to marry: I must not seem proud:…
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