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Shakespeare's writing - just a bunch of cliches isn't it?
Rented that vid awhile back. Very disappointing. The dialogue was too true to Shakespeare's original and the battle scenes were quite bland, prompting me to fall asleep on the couch well before the ending.Shakespearean dialect and a dirth of special effects just won't hold the attention of the modern American male.
Some writers write in cliches. Bill wrote the cliches. ;)It amazes me that this speech (and Mr. Branagh's rendition thereof) can still put a lump in my throat every single time I hear it.
"Too true to Shakespeare's original"? That is what makes it great. It was edited from the original, if that is any consolation, but there are few more inspiring speeches.
Good scene.And he didn't just write the cliches he also wrote a bunch of the words.AoS ONT has a bit on Original Pronunciation.http://ace.mu.nu/archives/307345.phphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWe1b9mjjkM&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRj01LShXN8&feature=relatedBetter link, because it includes the lines to the French herald immediately following the famous speech, which are less inspiration, and much more "Bring it on". Kind of like what Leonidas would have said if he was Athenian instead of Spartan. 10/25 is a day of battles though. Balaklava (into the valley of death rode the 600) and Leyte Gulf.
into the valley of death rode the 600That and the Highwayman were two poems that my number 3 daughter, of five, would not allow me to read to her after the first time. She said they were too scary!
"...now let's go kick some Frenchy butt!" "Rahhhhhh!"
As an American of Hungarian Descent, all my European ancestors did their fighting far from France. But every time I hear this speech, I wish one of them was at Good King Harry's side at Agincourt. Oh, well, I guess I have to be satisfied with them taking on Russians, Mongols and Turks. But I did have the Honor and Privilege of fighting the Cold War against the Soviet Empire under Reagan, so maybe a couple of hundred years from now, a Good Writer might talk about those days in an honest manner....
I think Branagh's Hank the Veeth is the best film adaptation of Shakespeare yet. Although, given the material, it's hard to imagine anyone reciting the St. Crispin's Day speech and not stirring the blood.Well, anyone aside from, oh, Barney Frank.
Straight to the heart, that speech.BTW, a modern historical fiction writer [Bernard Cornwell] has a book called 'Azincourt'. Another 'story of an archer' is in trilogy called 'The Grail Quest' - 'The Archer's Tale'. Some folks like Cornwell; some don't. Read 'em and see what you think. I grew up with a 30lb lemonwood longbow, that I rec'd for my 3rd grade Christmas gift. It took a whole summer before i learned how to haul the string to my cheekbone. That helps me to appreciate the art and craft of loosing the shaft -- way back in history or now. Fully realized,it has damn near a mystical power of appeal.
It's interesting to compare this version to Olivier's one, filmed back during WWII. Much more cerebral, much more low key.
Second The Jack's comment. Pretty neat -- the recreated pronunciation sounds northern to my untutored ear. Really brings out the rhyme and meter, though.
Borepatch,Brannagh delivers it like it's meant to be: A pre-game pep talk. I know I'm ready to get off the bench and go win one for the Plantagenet by the time he finishes.
The Sonnets are pretty good too.And even if your ancestors were Hungarian, remember Europe was a pretty small place. Check the list.
And actually, I don't like it as a "speech". Never seen it done, but if I were directing it, it might be good intimate, like Branagh starts off. They have done their best to run away, and are now are trapped like rats by a hugely superior force. In an age when kings and earls did die in battle. Westmoreland is voicing his disgust and doubt quietly, to trusted friends. Imagine the whole thing quiet, said with an assumption not of triumph, but a sense of resignation- "We'll never get to heaven if we don't die".Just a thought. The words are brilliant, and to my mind might work better muttered to a pal than shouted to a crowd.
"Brannagh delivers it like it's meant to be: A pre-game pep talk. I know I'm ready to get off the bench and go win one for the Plantagenet by the time he finishes"Exactly!It's my favorite version. Branagh manages to update the play for his contemporary audience without ever dumbing it down or making any unsavory compromises.Terry
Oh two more things:1) the musical score was excellent and really enhances the various speeches throughout the movie.2) did anyone notice a very young Christian Bale? At 1:44, 2:30 and at 5:04.Terry
The most wrenching part of it, for me, is the leadership from the front, and not the rear. The idea that a king would step, himself, onto the field of battle, and raise a weapon in his own hands. I'm not a big fan of Kings. I constantly long for leaders with those qualities, though. The speech itself, it's good. The meaning of it comes from the King's presence there. Old Bill made him sound heroic. His actions speak morer loudly, to me, than can Bill's speechifying make him.
The late, deeply lamented, movie house The Biograph in G'town, DC played Olivier and Branagh back to back. Despite the different deliveries both versions of The Speech received a hearty round of cheers. All ready to march on the French.Capt. Aubrey of HMS Surprise gives a low key speech but gets the same results; enthusiasm and willingness to fight the French again. http://www.spike.com/video/master-commander-far/2479689
Inspiring speech to be sure, but what he said at the time was probably closer to: "Oh, chit... here they come" or "I sure hope this works".
Tanksoldier, I disagree; Henry had been bred a leader, and knew from early childhood that he would be a professional soldier, leading men into battle for crest and country. That changes your outlook, I suspect.
Brannagh did do a great job I thought, after all Shakespeare was about personalities, action was incidental.On a side note your right Tam, guess Agincourt trumps the Grenada live fire exercise for "this day in history" I'm pretty sure only those of us that got to participate even remember it happened....
Tam said...Some writers write in cliches. Bill wrote the clichesTam, kinda knew that. Too suubtle for you?
"Small time, but in that small most brightly shone this star of England, fortune made his sword". Actually, except for about 900 or 1,000 English knights and men-at-arms, Henry's force was entirely Welsh, as was Henry Tudor. A study of his family's history as kings of central and western Wales the preceeding eight centuries before the battle might explain the seeming love of attempted suicide. Manic sods, all of them. A pep talk might well have been in order, as the entire army, more accurately the entire chevauchie, had desperate diarrhea, was dehydrated terribly, and hadn't slept in two days. But one of the most stirring few minutes of speech any respectable human could ever experience, and, along with so many other sweet gifts, we are ever in the debt of the great bard. Brock Townsend brought up a good point, concerning the changes in public taste concerning heroic poetry. The Charge Of The Light Brigade, The Highwayman (when the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed apon cloudy seas), "Breaths there a man with soul so dead, that never to himself hath said...". It all seems to be part of a world that's fading rapidly, something a "modern" teacher would think barbaric, even manic. I remember being a fifth grader in a Navy school in Mayport Florida back in the late 50's. Mrs. Newman had us each memorise a verse of Horatius At The Bridge, and we each did a bit of something monumental, that moved around the room and left us stunned. "Then up spoke brave Horatius, the keeper of the gate to every man upon this earthdeath comes soon or late. What better way to meet it, than by facing fearful odds For the ashes of our fathersand the temples of our Gods". Mrs. Newman had lost a brother at Guadalcanal, and we understood her a bit better afterward. Perhaps Yeats said it best: What needs you, having "come to sense", but fumble in some greasy tillAnd add the halfpence to the pence, and prayer to shivering prayer until You've dried the marrow from the bone.
"Tam, kinda knew that. Too suubtle for you?"No, I figured that's what you were driving at."On a side note your right Tam, guess Agincourt trumps the Grenada live fire exercise for "this day in history" I'm pretty sure only those of us that got to participate even remember it happened...."I read a book by a Soviet defector who claims that Operation Urgent Fury was hugely significant to he and his dissident friends, it being the first time that a country, no matter how tiny, was liberated from a communist government. He maintained that it marked the official turning of the tide.
"I read a book by a Soviet defector who claims that Operation Urgent Fury was hugely significant to he and his dissident friends, it being the first time that a country, no matter how tiny, was liberated from a communist government. He maintained that it marked the official turning of the tide."Interesting.Makes sense too.Terry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Collins_(British_Army_officer)#Eve-of-battle_speechone of the best modern battle speeches
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