Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Syncretism Day!!!!!!!

Actually, today is Saint Crispin's Day. Notable to me mostly because it is the one day a year I am pretty much guaranteed to hear this:

Please, no Branagh bashing here. Brave Sir Robin likes him.

Also notable because it is my oldest son's middle name. Before you ask, he was named after a high school friend who died, not the Saint, who incidentally probably didn't exist.

In any event, fictional or real, we have him to thank for Shakespeare writing this glorious passage:

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


Anne said...

All I have to say about Branagh is that he was PERFECT as Gilderoy Lockhart in HP movie #2.

And all I have to say about the name Crispin (other than that it makes for a great middle name) is that it's the name of Helena Bonham-Carter's brother, who was excellent as Mr. Bingley in my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Did you see him in Much Ado About nothing?

So good.

somewaterytart said...

I may have my various opinions concerning Branagh, but his St. Crispin's speech is perfect. LOVED it.

Camera Obscura said...

Please, no Branagh bashing here. Brave Sir Robin likes him.

Ooh, was that aimed at me?

Henry V was made before KB went OTT.

Last Monday was Sir Derek's 69th birthday. His is the voice I hear crooning in my head when I read the opening speech, which is a brilliant shot in that movie, as well as being brilliantly read:

"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention...

...Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play."

Brave Sir Robin said...

Ooh, was that aimed at me?

Why not at all!!! I see a lot of people bash him in various comment threads. If he never made another film other than Henry V or Much Ado About Nothing I would call it a great career.

I looked on You Tube for that speech, but alas 'tis not there!

So have you seen Much Ado? I know Harold Bloom hated it. Screw him.

Anne said...

Much Ado is fabulous. Love it! But I'm also a huge Emma Thompson fan, so I'm biased. :)