Monday, June 22, 2009

Now is the winter of our discontent

...made glorius summer by this son of Centerville.

Part of what made Chancellor McKinney's address to the faculty so memorable was how it was so eloquent and literate. He laced it with signs of his classical education. He gave a lesson from the Bible:
Scripture says in Matthew 18:15 if you have a problem with a brother or sister you must go to them and attempt to fix it, just the two of you.
Here's the King James version
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And he quoted the immortal Bard:
Shakespeare said, “The past is prologue.” I believe the past can be the past if we agree to work together for the sake of the future.
The passage is a paraphrase of Antonio's speech from Act 2, Scene 1 of the Tempest:
...We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again
(And by that destiny) to perform an act
Whereof what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge.
He spoke the speech trippingly, on the tongue. Vision 1920 had to look up what this poetic language is about, though. Fortunately we found an explanation online:
"What's past is prologue," then, translates roughly as "What's already happened merely sets the scene for the really important stuff, which is the stuff our greatness will be made on."

The "act" Antonio proposes is that Sebastian murder his sleeping father, Alonso, King of Naples, and grab the crown. All of them are now "cast" on what they believe is a desert island, so Antonio presumes the crime could easily be covered up.
Later, Ariel saves the King:
While you here do snoring lie,
Open-eyed conspiracy
His time doth take.
If of life you keep a care,
Shake off slumber, and beware:
Awake, awake!

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