Reading Shakespeare’s best sonnets can be challenging especially when it is not included in the repertoire that you’re supposed to practice. It’s understandable anyway how some sonnets only get analyzed whenever you feel like browsing some of them to read on your free time and realize the aspects that made them extra interesting.
Well, writers will be writers and they would always find inspiration when they need it, modesty be damned. In case you’re a prude, consider yourself warned. I never pretended to be a decent man as I have urges that make me read some lines with colorful images hovering above my head. Just like the advice Mercutio gave his forlorn friend, Romeo, in the play “Romeo and Juliet”:
If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were! Oh, that she were
An open arse, and thou a poperin pear
In what way can love not hit the mark? While Romeo had to intimately talk to Juliet in order to realize how much she loved him too, a little advice went naughty once you try re-reading the lines. Too bad, Romeo is too innocent to realize it. Just in case you missed the line that says “open arse”, you then would realize that Romeo needed to pop her in pear. Well, that escalated quickly. Then again, you know teenagers always have had issues with raging hormones.
And speaking of hormones, The Bard must have thought of Adonis as someone too hot and alluring for the Roman goddess Venus to resist. Too bad he’s a prick. But what is it really that the latter found attractive in this arrogant prick? Let’s face it. Some good-looking men deliberately act the part of the prick because it makes them extra attractive. It must have been that air of mystery that engulfs them in such a facade. Such is his sex appeal that Shakespeare found it fitting for Venus to say:
‘Fondling,’ she saith, ‘since I have hemm’d thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I’ll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale:
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Parks are meant for walking. Deers are meant for hunting. Tread on those hills and find some nice fountains gone gushing. And you realize it’s the Roman goddess of love gone rhyming. When erotica is sweetened with the help of double entrende, it makes you guess what Adonis is thinking. Which pair of lips should he be grazing?
And just when you thought it’s only women that are good with messing with their lovers’ heads, think again. One memorable exchange occurred in the play “Hamlet” between Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia is trying to strike up a decent conversation with Hamlet even if she can sense how his sanity is starting to get the best of him. The dialogue went as this.
Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
No, my lord.
I mean, my head upon your lap.
Ay, my lord.
Do you think I meant country matters?
I think nothing, my lord.
That’s a fair thought to lie between maid’s legs.
What is, my lord?
It’s all in the head and it’s a discussion about the head. In a sense, just when you thought that the welcome malice is all in Ophelia’s head when it comes to discussing where Hamlet may enter his head, Hamlet would twist the conversation about a place to lay his head. Sometimes Ophelia interprets the conversation as Hamlet giving her head only for Hamlet to adjust his choice of words in a way to refer to her lap as a resting place for his head. Then he mentioned resting “between maid’s legs” and Ophelia is confused all over again. See? Even our own heads got messed along with theirs.
If reading between the lines recited in several soliloquy stanzas delivered in plays like “Hamlet” hasn’t messed you up just yet, go and watch us in full crazy glory as I mess up with your heads as well. It would be a blast for me to play the titular role of Hamlet at DITO Bahay ng Sining. Updates, play dates and ticket prices would be displayed at my official Facebook page, Kuya Manzano Fan Club, and at my Twitter account @kuyamanzano. I would appreciate it very much if you would follow both accounts on social media for real-time updates. See you there.