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22 June 2016 @ 10:28 am
recording of Ellen Terry performing Juliet's "Come, vial" soliloquy  

We spent quite a bit of time on Juliet's "vial" soliloquy in class this year - which is not particularly relevant to anything, except that we spent a lot of time talking about how the verse picks up the pace as it goes along, as Juliet's shorter, more measured sentences become this long tangle of a sentence that keeps breaking off and starting over, as she gets more and more frantic. It's interesting to listen to an acclaimed Victorian actress recite the speech, presumably in a way that audiences approved of,* as it's so different: stately, and magisterial, and I'm sure thrilling, but not frantic in the way I'd expect it to be based on the language. But acting styles change, of course.

*My favorite Ellen Terry story - not that I have tons of them or anything - is still that guy who proposed to his sweetheart by saying basically, "Since Ellen won't, will you?" I should find that anecdote again.