Drama 357: Scene Study II Course Outline (Winter 2019) Instructor: Ian Leung (firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.492.2271; FAB 3-152) Time & Location: MWF 1:00 – 2:50 pm; FAB 3-125 Office Hours: Wednesdays: 11:00 am – noon; Thursdays: noon to – 1:00 pm
One of DRA 102 or DRA 103, and DRA 240 and DRA 257, and a Theatre History course from the Department of Drama course listings; and/or consent of Department. NB: Not to be taken by students with credit in DRA 453.
This is a laboratory and lecture course in acting plays requiring advanced skills. Students will learn and practice techniques for analyzing and interpreting roles written in heightened language using Shakespeare’s plays as the core material. They will also further develop their existing understanding and practice of Stanislavski-based techniques introduced in previous courses.
To provide skills and knowledge that will enable the student to effectively perform dramatic roles written using heightened language
To further develop and refine the student’s understanding and practice of acting using principles derived from Stanislavksi and other teachers
To provide basic skills and knowledge for characterization in a dramatic role
To provide tools and exercises to assist the student in the achievement of these goals
To cultivate in the student an understanding of the actor’s preparation, of how to rehearse and present speeches and scenes, and the importance of continual preparation and rehearsal of a dramatic text before its public presentation
To enhance the student’s understanding of the role of research in the actor’s preparation
To provide the student with performance experience
To develop the student’s ability to critically assess the quality of a theatrical performance
In this course, students will do the following:
Lead a warm-up
Participate in physical, vocal and acting exercises
Analyze and rehearse speeches and scenes individually and in small groups both in class and on their own time
Present individual and small group work in class
Actively watch the presentations of classmates with a view to developing critical skills
Attend performances of plays and/or view performances on video
Discuss class work and keep a journal of exercises and discoveries made over the term
Prepare research projects and present them to the class in oral and written form
The major assigned work in the course will consist of the following:
Preparation, rehearsal, and performance of a speech from a play by Shakespeare
Preparation, rehearsal, and performance of a scene from a (different) play by Shakespeare
A written analysis assignment for the speech
A written analysis assignment for the scene
A group research presentation on a topic related to Shakespeare
A written version of the research presentation
Students will also keep a notebook over the course of the term to record:
exercises, their experience of exercises, and what they learn from them
the instructor’s notes to the class or student(s)
discoveries they make in class and in rehearsal
Other General Course Requirements and Recommendations:
Students will actively participate in all class activities, including warm-ups, games, exercises, rehearsals, watching and critiquing the work of classmates, in-class worktime, and discussions.
Regular and punctual attendance is mandatory for all classes, rehearsals, and play viewing assignments. All absences may affect the final grade, and frequent unexcused absence from class may result in a failing participation grade.
See page 3 of this outline for further criteria for the participation grade in this course.
Continual practice and rehearsal are essential to the learning and building of skills and knowledge taught in class and to performance readiness, which are essential to good grades. Some class time will be allotted for this work, but most of it must be done outside class time.
Students should be prepared for movement exercises in every class and are required to dress appropriately. Clothing must suitable for complete freedom of movement. Jewelry and accessories that can catch or puncture must be removed. Footwear must be clean soft-shoes when bare feet are not required. Clean shoes should be worn for performances. Hair must be off the face.
Students may bring water into the classroom, but no other food or drink (or gum!).
Cell phones and other media devices must be turned off.
All written assignments must be typed (or very neatly hand-written).
The assessment of written work will include grammar, spelling, form and presentation as well as content. Written assignments handed in late will lose 10% of their project mark daily.
For all written work, when other sources (including but not limited to: books, articles and web-pages) are quoted or referenced, this must be made clear in the assignment and the source must be listed at the end of the document using M.L.A. format.
Professional discipline will be applied to all class and private group work.
Students should purchase a notebook by the second class and bring it to every class for note-taking purposes.
Outside of Class Coaching:
After the first part of the term, I will be available for private coaching, both one-on-one and in small groups. These sessions may take place in my office or in any room booked by the student(s) for the purpose.
100% course work with no exam.
Class Participation: 25%
written preparation 10%
rehearsal and presentation 15%
written preparation 15%
rehearsal and presentation 20%
presentation & written 10%
Participation means that a student is punctual, present, dressed appropriately, fully focused and committed, works collaboratively and enthusiastically, is fully supportive of and generous towards their peers, communicates effectively and succinctly, and takes full opportunity to exercise leadership, personal initiative and responsibility.
Regular, punctual attendance, energized and focused engagement in class, and clear application of homework assignments will earn a passing letter grade; beyond this, evaluation of this element of the grade will be based on quality of participation and how your contribution to the class advances the work of the whole group.
If students are faced with unavoidable absence or lateness, they must notify me in advance, preferably by e-mail (email@example.com). Alternatively, they may leave a message at my office (FAB 3-152), or notify the Drama Office (780.492.2271).
Inappropriate or non-supportive behaviour, or actions that have a negative impact on the work of others, will negatively impact the student’s participation grade and may result in their removal from a project and/or class.
At times the instructor may give homework assignments, written or otherwise. Failure to demonstrate completion of these assignments in subsequent class work will negatively affect participation grades.
More About Grading:
Letter grades are used in all evaluations. Students are expected to achieve a high level of content on assignments. In addition to the basic requirements of assignments, grading will take into account skill development, growth over the course of the term, the learning and application of concepts, methods, and exercises offered in the course, and demonstration of artistic choices.
Students will be advised of their progress at midterm. At any time during the term students may discuss their work with me. Students should not hesitate to consult me about any concerns they may have (however small).
Course Costs and Materials:
Admission to one Studio Theatre production: $5 to $12
A notebook for or printout of the student’s notebook: Variable Published (book) editions of Shakespeare plays*: Free or Variable Printing and photocopying speeches and scenes**: Variable
* Students will be required to work from two different published (non-internet) editions of Shakespeare’s plays. These may be purchased ($10-$25 each) or borrowed free of charge from the library. The required publishers are: Arden, Routledge, Oxford, or RSC, because they contain the most helpful footnotes.
** Students will be required to print out their speeches and scenes more than once for various analysis assignments.
Plays students are required to attend or watch:
All for Love: Studio Theatre, February 6 – 16. Tickets: $12 for students, $5 preview (Feb. 7), 2-for-1 Monday (Feb. 11)
Students will also be required to watch at least one more Shakespeare play (to be determined) on video outside of class time.
DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA POLICIES
University of Alberta Webmail Address:
It is the policy of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Drama that all important information will be sent to students through their University of Alberta WebMail address. Therefore it is the responsibility of students the check this address on a weekly basis.
You may book rehearsal space at the Drama office, through Helen Baggaley and with the lottery system that is in place.
Audio or video recording of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as part of an approved accommodation plan. Recorded material is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the instructor.
DRA 357 is a physical class. All students will be expected to take responsibility for their own and other’s safety, and to report any injuries and their progress of recovery to the instructor and the Drama office.
The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.
Under the letter grading system, even though a mathematical distribution of weight between term and final examination is required, the instructor is free to make a subjective assessment of the total worth of a student that, as it were, rises above mathematics, provided that students have been told what is expected of them and what will be taken into account (ie, if the mathematical distribution has not misled them into thinking that they are required simply to accumulate points.) Instructors may therefore take into account class participation, completion of assignments, improving or deteriorating performance, etc., provided that their students are aware in advance of what is involved. Council has resolved that members of the Faculty are to take into consideration the quality of expression assessing the written work of students and to refuse to accept work that is markedly deficient in the mechanics of composition.
Plagiarism & the Code of Student Behaviour
The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (full link provided below) and avoid any behaviour that could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.
“Departments may cancel the registrations of students in courses offered by the departments who do not meet the prerequisite requirements as stated in the course descriptions in this Calendar.”
Sunday, January 13Deadline: finalize speech choice by midnight
Friday, January 18 Last day to add or drop courses (without penalty)
Friday, January 18Due date: Speech translations and word definitions.
Monday, January 21 Deadline: Research groups and topics choice
Thursday, January 31 Last day to pay fees in full (and avoid late charges)
Friday, January 25 Due date: Speech written assignments
Monday, January 28 Deadline: Speeches perfectly memorized
Wednesday, February 6Deadline: finalize scene partners and scene choice
Wednesday, February 6 Last day to withdraw with a partial course fee refund
Wednesday, February 6 All for Love, $5 preview
Thursday, February 7 All for Love opens ($12 students)
Monday, February 11 All for Love, 2-for-1 night ($12 for 2 tickets)
Wednesday, February 13 Midterm Speech Presentations (1st)
Thursday, February 14 All for Love matinée ($12 students)
Friday, February 15 Midterm Speech Presentations (2nd)
Saturday, February 16 All for Love, last show ($12 students)
Monday, February 18 Family Day/Reading Week (no classes)
Tuesday, February 19 Reading Week (no classes)
Wednesday, February 20 Reading Week (no classes)
Thursday, February 21 Reading Week (no classes)
Friday February 22 Reading Week (no classes)
Friday, March 1 Due date: Scene translation and word definitions
Monday, March 11Research Presentations and Papers
Monday, March 18 Due date: Scene written assignments
Friday, April 3 Last day to withdraw from Winter Term courses
Monday, April 8 Final Presentation 1 (Speech & Scene)
Wednesday, April 10 Final Presentation 2 (Speech & Scene)
Assignments and Guidelines
Speech Choice Guidelines
Guidelines for Choosing a Speech (DRA 357)
Find a speech from one of Shakespeare’s plays that you would like to work on for this course and have it approved by me by midnight Sunday, January 13 (you may e-mail me about this: firstname.lastname@example.org). Approval may take several tries so it’s a good idea to come to me with more than one speech to choose from. You will learn, analyze, rehearse, and present this speech for your first and last major term assignments.
The speech must be:
In verse (if is in verse if each line of the speech starts with a capital letter).
In iambic pentameter (most lines will be 10 syllables long, give or take one syllable).
At least 20 lines in length.
One you have never worked on before.
Different from the speeches your classmates are doing. If I’ve already approved your choice of speech for another student, you must choose another speech.
Further advice and guidelines:
With my approval, you may choose a speech made by a character whose gender identity differs from yours.
If you’re unsure or nervous about doing Shakespeare, try finding a speech by a character not too far from yourself in age, and who is in a situation you have been in or can conceive would be very possible for you to be in.
The situation the character is in should not be too close to something you have experienced yourself if it is especially recent or traumatic.
If you’re unsure about what speech to choose, I am happy to advise you if you come to me with at least two plausible suggestions of your own.
You may use internet sources* to find your speech as they make the process very easy, but you must use a version of the speech from a bound edition to work from in class.
Once you have made your choice, obtain a bound, physical edition of the play your speech is from that is published by any one of the following: Arden, Routledge, Oxford, or the RSC. These will provide you with the best footnotes. They can be borrowed from the library or purchased from a store. Copy the speech in a legible font from that edition onto a clean page. Save the file. Make at least 5 copies of it (to start). You will be making many handwritten notations on the speech printout, and will want more clean copies.
Copy it as it appears on the page, line by line, using the same punctuation exactly.
Make sure you include the play’s title, and the act, scene, and lines for the speech.
Include also the edition’s editor, publisher, and the location and year of publication.
Bring at least two copies of the speech to class on Monday, January 14, and hand one to me.
* A very useful on-line resource is at: www.shakespeare-monologues.org
Students will keep a notebook over the duration of the term.
Entries may be written in full sentences and paragraphs OR in point form.
Entries may be hand-written in a clean notebook or binder reserved for the purpose, OR typed on a word processor and printed out on pages neatly and securely held in order.
In any case, the content must be clearly legible and understandable to any reader.
The notebook can record:
Course material, including warm-ups, exercises, games, techniques, and analytic tools.
Personal experiences, reflections, discoveries, and conclusions that spring from or relate to course work, including speech and scene assignments, and research and play viewing assignments.
Difficulties the student has with the course material.
Notes and comments from the instructor to the class regarding the course material.
Notes and comments from the instructor to the student regarding their work in the course.
It may also contain:
Sketches and/or Diagrams
Charts and/or Tables
Pasted images, texts, or collages of either or both that are relevant to course material
Other useful schematic or creative drawings that help you understand the course material
The notebook doesn’t have to contain everything we do (although great if it does)!It is a place for you to process for yourself and communicate to me key things you’re learning and struggling with in this class.Accordingly, it will be evaluated based on:
A balance of:
thoroughness in recording course content; and
the detail and/or quality of the observations and insights you draw from the course content, including the degree to which it is clear that insight is being sought from the journaling process.
Clarity of content (writing, grammar, drawings, diagrams, etc.) and format.
It will be handed in:
At midterm (February 15)
At the end of term (April 10)
RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT | 10% of the final grade
A. General Instructions and Due Date
You will work in teams of up to four people to:
thoroughly research one of the topics below,
present your findings to the class, and
hand in a written version of your presentation.
Come to me with your group and choice of topic by January 21. First come, first choice.
Your presentation should:
be between fifteen and twenty minutes in length.Time your presentation to make sure you’re within these limits before you do it in class!
clearly communicate the basic facts about your topic and the most important items of information relevant to it, but it should also attempt to go further and provide the class with at least some knowledge in depth on the subject(s).
VERY IMPORTANTLY: incorporate creative, theatrical, and/or experiential ways of transmitting this information to the class. Treat the presentation as a drama teaching exercise: aim for as high a content value as possible, but as importantly, find a way to incorporate theatrical and/or participatory ways of communicating content.Use games, skits, exercises or any other means of delivery along with public address, just don’t make this a 20-minute lecture!
link the topic to Shakespeare’s plays: what examples of it are there in his work? how may it have informed his writing, and/or how can it help us as actors of his plays?
Your written document should:
be five to ten pages in length, typed either in clear, logically arranged prose, or in clear, logically arranged point form, in both cases using headings and subheadings to give it a cohesive structure.
include more information than is contained in your presentation.
include appropriate citation (MLA) of your sources.
for the presentation: content and creativity, the structure and clarity of communication, adherence to time limits, and the degree to which it engages us from start to finish.
for the written assignment: content, clarity, presentation, spelling, and grammar will be taken into account in grading.
Sources should be reliable and multiple. NB: books are generally better sources than the internet.
The team may divide the topic of research into equal areas of responsibility for the written report, but they should act as an organic team for the presentation.
After your presentation, be prepared to answer questions from your classmates (and me).
Both the presentation and written document may include photos, drawings, diagrams, videos (or links to videos) and other audio or visual aids.
If you need a projector and screen, let me know by March 4. Make no assumptions about your equipment. Go to the drama office and test your laptop with their projector before your presentation date.
The presentations will take place on Monday, March 11.
If more time is required to complete them all, they will continue Wednesday, March 13.
You will be informed of the order of presentations on Wednesday, January 23.
By mutual agreement between groups, you may switch presentation spots, but please let me know of any changes.
The written document is due on the day you present and should be submitted both in hard copy and e-mailed to me in electronic pdf format for posting on the e-class website.
B. Research Topics
Due to time limitations and class size, not all of the topics below may be coverable.
The Great Chain of Being
Astrology and Astronomy
The Humours and the Elements
White and Black Magic: witchcraft, superstitions and the fairy kingdom
Religion: Protestant, Catholic
Shakespeare’s Globe: the relationship of the actor, stage and audience
The Folios and the Quartos
Class and Customs
Queen Elizabeth I, King James I and Elizabethan Politics
Daily Life in London
If you are confused about the specific nature of your topic or about the assignment requirements, please come to me as soon as possible for clarification.
Speech Written Assignment
Play Viewing Assignment
Speech Viewing Assignment
Warm Up Assignment
Scene Written Assignment
50 Questions for Scene Preparation
Fifty Questions for Scene Preparation
(some of the notes derived from “Creating a Character” by Michael Schulman, in Great Scenes and Monologues for Actors, by Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1998)
Where are you now? Sensory responses? Sounds, smells, colours, textures?
Time of day?
Physical environment? Temperature, weather, air quality, light? Reactions to them?
Are you familiar with this place? Been here before? How do you feel here?
Where have you come from?
What happened in the moment just before you entered?
Where will you go?
How long do you intend to stay?
What do you see around you?
What are some of your character’s governing needs? What do you want in this scene?
What is stopping you from getting what you want?
How do you go about getting what you want…degree of will? What do you DO?
Who are you…character profile?
Who is the other person to you? Level of intimacy? Amount of physical contact? Does the degree of physical contact change as the scene progresses?
What is the history of the relationship?
Where would you like the relationship to go?
Is there a metaphor for the scene?
Are there objects in the scene that have significance to you? How do you relate to them? What do they say?
Is anyone else expected? What do you anticipate?
What do you think is expected of you? What do they want?
Do they know what you want? Do you want them to know?
What are you hiding? What aren’t you saying? Secrets?
What is your current physical and emotional state? Level of self-esteem? How vulnerable are you? Do you anticipate a personal change dependent on this encounter?
What do you learn over the course of the scene …about yourself… your scene partner… others? How does this change you or influence your behavior or change your impressions of the past?
Are you engaged in any physical task/activity? How does it illuminate your interior state? Is it a form of subtext…is it a block…a cover?
Are you aware of your impact on others in the scene? Do you exploit or try to minimize your effect? How do you use it strategically?
What specific events in your past influence this scene?
What are your fears regarding the outcome of the scene?
How well are you able to articulate your thoughts? Degree of facility with language and idea? Easy? or Difficult? Does the effort show? Do you speak without thinking? How do you consider what you are about to say? How fast do you speak? Why? Are you direct? Vague?
How does your character use the body? Is something different about your physicallife in this scene?
Can you chart the ebb and flow of your character’s energy?
What is said about you in the scene? Elsewhere in the play? Are the statements true?
Examine the verbs in the text; create a verb chain to inform your action choices?
Examine your “power” words (key words, phrases, images, expletives, descriptors).
Collect all the images and impressions, associations, allusions, patterns, rituals, games, symbols, sensory responses and resonances that occur to you.
Consider the “magic if – what if?” and the “as if”, “I am singing as if I will be shot at sunrise.”
Do ideas, words, movement patterns repeat?
Go through the scene without words…with invented language.
Change the scale… whisper to shout.
Allow the scene and characters to enter your subconscious. As you become familiar with it, visualize it especially just before you sleep. Keep paper and pen close by to record your thoughts.
Can you imagine “out-scenes” for improvisation?
What do you learn when you put the text into your own words…paraphrase?
Are there any experiences in your own life that inform this scene?
Why are you saying these things now?
What happens if you play the opposite of what you think you should be doing?
Can you mark the discoveries in the scene in a physical way?
What happens if you listen as if your life depended on it?
Can you determine what game or role your character is attempting to play from moment to moment… the hurt…the parent… the leader… the good spouse?
When you ask what the stakes are, what happens if you invest them with even more importance?
Are you acting on the lines…are you allowing too much empty air when you could press the energy of the text forward?
101 Questions for Specific Characterization
101 Questions for Specific Characterization
What is your full name?
What else are you called? Nickname?
What is your sex?
What is your age?
What is your height and weight?
What colour are your hair, eyes, skin, etc.?
What sort of posture do you have?
What is your overall appearance (good-looking, over- or underweight, clean, neat, pleasant, untidy)?
Do you have any distinguishing physical marks, or “deformities”? Any diseases or abnormalities?
What are your ancestry and heredity?
Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Where were you born?
When is your birthday?
What class of society are you (working, ruling, middle, etc.)?
What is your occupation (type of work, hours of work, income, condition of work, work ethic, union or non-union, attitude toward organization, suitability for your work)?
What is your education (amount, kind of schools, marks, favourite subjects, poorest subjects, aptitude)?
What about our home life (parents, living, earning power, orphan, parents separated or divorced, parents’ habits, parents’ mental development, parents’ vices, neglect)?
What is your marital status?
Do you have nay brothers and sisters? How many older and how many younger?
What do you remember about the house you grew up in?
What is your I.Q.?
What religion do you practice, if any?
What is your race or nationality?
What is your place in your community (leader among friends, clubs, sports)
What are your political affiliations?
What do you do for amusement (hobbies, books, newspapers, magazines you read; TV programs you watch, if applicable)?
What about the neighbourhood you grew up in and what were some of the special occasions in your family (holidays, reunions, picnics, vacations, etc.)?
Name some of the special homemade foods you ate as a child.
Name and describe some of the games you played as a child.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
What is your worst childhood memory?
What was/is you relationship with your family? Describe in detail.
What year of school did you complete?
What is your sex life and what are your morals?
What is your personal ambition and premise?
What are your chief frustrations and disappointments?
What subjects in school did you excel in?
What is your basic temperament (choleric, easygoing, pessimistic, optimistic)?
What is your general attitude toward life (resigned, militant, defeatist, etc.)?
Do you have any complexes (obsession, inhibitions, superstitions, manias, phobias)?
During your schooling years, what was your overall grade point average?
What did/do you like best about school?
Are you an extrovert, introvert? Describe.
What special abilities do you possess (languages, talents)?
What are your best and worst qualities (imagination, judgment, taste, poise)?
Are you now a member of any clubs, organizations, or religious congregations?
Did you ever smoke (when, why and how much)?
What is your favourite drink, alcoholic and nonalcoholic?
What section of the newspaper do you read?
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
Do you read the newspaper?
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
What have you read recently (book, magazine)?
How do you feel about your age?
What do you do for exercise?
What is your best feature?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What is your favourite meal?
What are your favourite foods?
List three of your favourite films, if applicable.
Who are your favourite movies stars (of applicable)?
In what other forms of entertainment/recreation do you enjoy and/or take part?
What is your favourite sport? Do you follow it professionally?
What time do you usually retire?
What is your favourite time of day? Why?
What is your favourite season? Why?
Which do you prefer, city or country living? Why?
Do you like intimate parties or large gatherings? Why?
What is your favourite colour, and why?
What is your greatest fear?
What is your favourite sleeping dream?
What is/was your worst nightmare?
Who is your closest friend?
How would you liked to spend your next vacation?
What type of clothing do you most like to wear?
What are your favourite TV programs?
What would you enjoy doing on an evening out?
What would you like to be when you grow up? Or: What do you wish you had become?
What is your favourite animal? Why?
What are your prejudices?
Do you consider yourself and indoor or an outdoor person?
What do you feel about war?
What do you feel about old age?
Do you have any old people in your life? If so, who?
Do you have any children in your life? If so, who?
Do you have medical insurance? If so, how do you feel about the coverage you get? If no, how do you feel about that?
Who was the last person you wrote a letter to and what did the letter say?
Are you happy with your lot?
Have you ever considered suicide?
What do you feel the future holds?
How do you feel about each of the other people you meet in this play/story?
Can you play a musical instrument?
Can you dance? If so, do you dance? If no, why not?
What did you do on your last birthday?
If you celebrate your birthday with others, who was in attendance?
In school, who was your favourite teacher? Why?
As a child, how were you punished (beaten, sent to room time-out chair, mouth washed out with soap)?
As a child, how were you praised or rewarded (with money, food, gifts)?
Where have you been moments before you make each entrance in the play?
When you exit the play for the final time if you could have your way, how would things turn out?
Why don’t you just throw up your hands and walk out of the play’s situation?
When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
That will be ere the set of sun. 5
Where the place?
Upon the heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
I come, Graymalkin!
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air. [Exeunt
* Edited by Kenneth Muir, first published by Methuen & Company Ltd., London, 1951.
Henry V, Act 4, Chorus
Now entertain conjecture of a time
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp through the foul womb of night
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other’s watch:
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other’s umber’d face;
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night’s dull ear, and from the tents
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently and inly ruminate
The morning’s danger, and their gesture sad
Investing lank-lean; cheeks and war-worn coats
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruin’d band
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry ‘Praise and glory on his head!’
For forth he goes and visits all his host.
Bids them good morrow with a modest smile
And calls them brothers, friends and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night,
But freshly looks and over-bears attaint
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks:
A largess universal like the sun
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all,
Behold, as may unworthiness define,
A little touch of Harry in the night.
And so our scene must to the battle fly;
Where–O for pity!–we shall much disgrace
With four or five most vile and ragged foils,
Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous,
The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see,
Minding true things by what their mockeries be.
Sonnet 29: When in disgrace...
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,