Literature

‘Titus Andronicus’ with Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming (video links)

Here are links to videos of Julie Taymor’s magnificently stylized rendition of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus with Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming, et al. Titus is of course Shakespeare’s first play and he goes over the top presumably to make sure it’s not lacking in drama (or anything else for that matter).

Amazing film…one of my all time favorites!

By the way, video embedding was disabled at Youtube so below are only the video links. Furthermore, Video #8 was rumored to have been removed from Youtube at the request of Stanford Univ (for whatever reason). The text of missing Video #8 is presented below the video links.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4

Video #5

Video #6

Video #7

Video #8 is missing from the series and it is a very important part of the action from Act III Scene I almost all the way to the beginning of Scene II. Please read the text below before continuing to next video.

Video #9

Video #10

Video #11

Video #12

Video #13

Video #14

Video #15

Video #16

Video #17 The End

The text of the missing Video #8 is below.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

O happy man! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
But me and mine: how happy art thou, then,
From these devourers to be banished!
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?

Enter MARCUS and LAVINIA

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

Titus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep;
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break:
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Will it consume me? let me see it, then.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

This was thy daughter.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Why, Marcus, so she is.

LUCIUS

Ay me, this object kills me!

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.
Speak, Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father’s sight?
What fool hath added water to the sea,
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
My grief was at the height before thou camest,
And now like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Give me a sword, I’ll chop off my hands too;
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain;
And they have nursed this woe, in feeding life;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have served me to effectless use:
Now all the service I require of them
Is that the one will help to cut the other.
‘Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands;
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.

LUCIUS

Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr’d thee?

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

O, that delightful engine of her thoughts
That blabb’d them with such pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear!

LUCIUS

O, say thou for her, who hath done this deed?

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

O, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer
That hath received some unrecuring wound.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

It was my deer; and he that wounded her
Hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead:
For now I stand as one upon a rock
Environed with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
This way to death my wretched sons are gone;
Here stands my other son, a banished man,
And here my brother, weeping at my woes.
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
It would have madded me: what shall I do
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears:
Nor tongue, to tell me who hath martyr’d thee:
Thy husband he is dead: and for his death
Thy brothers are condemn’d, and dead by this.
Look, Marcus! ah, son Lucius, look on her!
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather’d lily almost wither’d.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

Perchance she weeps because they kill’d her husband;
Perchance because she knows them innocent.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful
Because the law hath ta’en revenge on them.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips.
Or make some sign how I may do thee ease:
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain,
Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks
How they are stain’d, as meadows, yet not dry,
With miry slime left on them by a flood?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?
Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine?
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows
Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
Plot some deuce of further misery,
To make us wonder’d at in time to come.

LUCIUS

Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief,
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

Patience, dear niece. Good Titus, dry thine eyes.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown’d it with thine own.

LUCIUS

Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs:
Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
That to her brother which I said to thee:
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
O, what a sympathy of woe is this,
As far from help as Limbo is from bliss!

Enter AARON

AARON

Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Sends thee this word,–that, if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the king: he for the same
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive;
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun’s uprise?
With all my heart, I’ll send the emperor My hand:
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?

LUCIUS

Stay, father! for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be sent: my hand will serve the turn:
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
And therefore mine shall save my brothers’ lives.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear’d aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Writing destruction on the enemy’s castle?
O, none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.

AARON

Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
For fear they die before their pardon come.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

My hand shall go.

LUCIUS

By heaven, it shall not go!

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Sirs, strive no more: such wither’d herbs as these
Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.

LUCIUS

Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

And, for our father’s sake and mother’s care,
Now let me show a brother’s love to thee.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Agree between you; I will spare my hand.

LUCIUS

Then I’ll go fetch an axe.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

But I will use the axe.

Exeunt LUCIUS and MARCUS

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Come hither, Aaron; I’ll deceive them both:
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.

AARON

[Aside] If that be call’d deceit, I will be honest,
And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:
But I’ll deceive you in another sort,
And that you’ll say, ere half an hour pass.

Cuts off TITUS’s hand

Re-enter LUCIUS and MARCUS

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Now stay your strife: what shall be is dispatch’d.
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand:
Tell him it was a hand that warded him
From thousand dangers; bid him bury it
More hath it merited; that let it have.
As for my sons, say I account of them
As jewels purchased at an easy price;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.

AARON

I go, Andronicus: and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.

Aside
Their heads, I mean. O, how this villany
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace.
Aaron will have his soul black like his face.

Exit

TITUS ANDRONICUS

O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth:
If any power pities wretched tears,
To that I call!

To LAVINIA
What, wilt thou kneel with me?
Do, then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers;
Or with our sighs we’ll breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

O brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.

MARCUS ANDRONICUS

But yet let reason govern thy lament.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes:
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o’erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threatening the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow!
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs;
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow’d and drown’d;
For why my bowels cannot hide her woes,
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.

Enter a Messenger, with two heads and a hand…

Source

The play continues at Video #9 above.

NASA’s New Assignment: Help the Muslim world ‘feel good’ about its scientific achievements?

This confirms it! Our nation has slipped into a parallel universe!

Here’s the exact statement by NASA administrator Charles Bolden in his interview with Al Jazeera in Cairo (and here’s the entire youtube video–the “foremost” comment occurs at the 1 min 20 sec mark):

“One, he [Obama] wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering — science, math and engineering.”

By the way, Bolden was quick to point out that this is NOT a diplomatic outreach but instead an effort to attract more scientific contributors to our space “partnership.” Bolden didn’t explain why Obama wants NASA to invite the participation of those who at present feel rather poorly about their scientific and engineering achievements…but surely he (or the administration) will issue another statement of clarification shortly.

We at this blog are uncharacteristically speechless by this turn of events. Luckily, for us, there are those who can still find their voice.

Here’s what some sensible commentators have to say…

Michael Griffin, NASA administrator under the Bush:

It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.”

Byron York (regarding Michael Griffin’s comment):

For all his unhappiness with the new policy, Griffin says blame for the situation does not belong with NASA administrator Charles Bolden, whom Griffin calls “one of the best human beings you will find.” “When I see reports in the media excoriating Charlie for this position, that blame is misplaced,” Griffin says. “It belongs with the administration. That is where policy for NASA is set. The NASA administrator does not set policy for NASA, the administrator carries it out.”

“This is not about personalities,” Griffin concludes. “It is about the intellectual content of the policy, which I find to be bankrupt.”

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air…

Hey, maybe that’s why Obama hasn’t taken the Iranian effort to build a nuclear bomb all that seriously until now. He just wanted Iran to make the Muslim world feel good about their achievements in science! And it’s hard to do to that unless you talk a lot about outstretched open hands — and ignore a freedom movement that wants to depose the brutal tyrants who are trying to give the Muslim world a new “historic contribution.”

Actually, Muslim nations should be insulted by the idea that the US pays NASA to provide them with paternalistic and patronizing validation and self-esteem boosts. And they probably will be.

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO…

[I]s it really the business of a government scientific agency to produce historical and scientific narratives for political purposes? And do we really wish to return to the embarrassment of last June’s Cairo mythmaking? In that address, the president misled his audience on nearly every “fact” he presented, from the absurdity of Muslims in Cordoba supposedly serving as beacons of tolerance during the Inquisition (there were essentially no Muslims in Cordoba at the time) to the assertion that Muslims helped to jumpstart the Renaissance and the Enlightenment (when, in fact, flight from or reaction against Islam in the eastern Mediterranean had far more to do with both European intellectual awakenings).

Bolden, like so many Obama appointees, has impressive dossier and yet seems to say some very strange things that put ideology above all else — e.g., Eric Holder (“nation of cowards”), Hilda Solis (“documented or not”), Janet Napolitano (“man-caused disasters”), Ken Salazar (“boot on their neck”), or Steven Chu (“no more agriculture in California”).

Charles Krauthammer  had this to say (remember Charles is a psychiatrist…so look beyond his use of dry clinical terminology)…

This is a new height in fatuousness!

This idea to feel good about past scientific achievements is the worst combination of group therapy psychobabble, imperial condescension, and adolescent diplomacy! If I didn’t know that Obama had told this, I’d demand a firing of Charles Bolden the way I would Michael Steele…this is unbelievable!