365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

67. I’ve been thinking…

with 2 comments

…about how cold it is in my house right now. And that got me thinking about Shakespeare, naturally.

There is so much winter in Shakespeare. It gets a lot of attention. “Now is the winter of our discontent”, The Winter’s Tale, “The human mortals want their winter here” (Do they? Really? None of the mortals I know are too enthusiastic about the winter, but okay, Titania, whatever you say).

The seasons in general are used a lot in Shakespeare’s plays to express any number of things. Sure, sometimes he is simply talking about the weather, such as in the aforementioned Really Long, Difficult to Memorize Weather Monologue that Titania delivers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But a lot of the time, it is used to express different ideas (the “winter” of discontent being the end of a long road of troubles, for example). And it shows up in the sonnets a few times, usually as a means of expressing either the passing of time or just how much the speaker missed the person the sonnet is addressed to.

I guess it’s not exactly unique to Shakespeare to use season imagery in writing, and I’m not entirely sure why I never paid it much mind before today, but it just struck me as interesting. I went on RhymeZone and typed in the name of each season and was amazed at how many references there are (especially to spring and summer). I think I may have found my new favorite “toy”…expect a few posts that are fueled by RhymeZone in the near future.


Written by Caroline Mincks

December 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM

2 Responses

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  1. For me, the Titania “let’s get some winter up in here” speech comes from the natural tendency for winter to bring people closer (literally and figuratively). Summer and fall being the time of birth and harvest is dependent on, if you’ll excuse the suggestion, planting the seeds in the fertile winter soil. That was the only way to make the speech make sense to me. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a comfortable temperature? There’s a reason old people retire to Boca.

    Stacie Rearden Hall

    December 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    • I agree. The way I played it was to tap into the outrage at the idea of nature being messed with…since we set it in India and our fairy world had a lot to do with Hindu gods and goddesses (my Titania was fashioned loosely after Radha), we talked a lot about respect for nature and how that would offend me deeply on a personal level if someone (ahem, Oberon) were hurting it.


      December 17, 2009 at 7:59 PM

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