2.7
April 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare.

So does the youth…so does the fairest maid.

…And it’s his death day, too—he died on the same day he was born.

Here’s his most popular video on youtube, one of my childhood’s most cherished songs…about, appropriately, how life and love is short and precious. Sing it.

And if you haven’t seen Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet, do: it’s exquisite: every face beautiful, even the old and ugly and frail and fat ones….Zeffirelli chose faces the way a painter chooses fruit for a still-life. ~ ed.

Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was unique in its day for casting kids in the play’s pivotal roles of, well, kids. Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey play the titular pair, the Bard’s star-crossed lovers who defy a running feud between their families in order to be together in love. Typically played on stage and in previous film productions by adult actors, the innocent look and rawness of Whiting and Hussey resonated at the time with a burgeoning youth movement from San Francisco to Prague. The tragic romance at the center of the story also clicked with anti-authority sentiments, but even without that, Zeffirelli scores points by validating the ideals and passions of strong-willed adolescents. Less successful are scenes requiring the actors to have a fuller grasp of the text, though the best thing going remains the unambiguous duel between Romeo and Tybalt (Michael York). Lavishly photographed by Pasquale de Santis on location in Italy, this Romeo and Juliet brought a different tone and dimension to a story that had become tiresome in reverential presentations.

…..Lyrics…..

What is a youth? Impetuous fire.

What is a maid? Ice and desire.

The world wags on.

A rose will bloom.

It then will fade.

So does a youth.

So do-o-o-oes the fairest maid.

Comes a time when one sweet smile.

Has its season for a while…Then love’s in love with me.

Some they think only to marry, Others will tease and tarry,

Mine is the very best parry. Cupid he rules us all.

Caper the cape, but sing me the song,

Death will come soon to hush us along.

Sweeter than honey and bitter as gall.

Love is a task and it never will pall.

Sweeter than honey-and bitter as gall.

Cupid he rules us all.

A rose will bloom.

It then will fade.

So does a youth.

So do-o-o-oes the fairest maid.

~…..Dialogue Segment…..~

A rose will bloom

It then will fade

So does a youth.

So do-o-o-oes the fairest maid…..End

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