Twitter user ScottySheldon brought up a new game yesterday – best “intro” in Shakespeare. At first I thought he meant “best opening lines” which has been done to death. But that’s not what he meant.
What he meant was, a character enters, and some other characters says “Oh, hey Ophelia.” Well, technically, someone says something like “Oh look here comes Ophelia” and then Ophelia enters.
That, I don’t think I’ve seen before. All the plays are ripe for the picking — any character, any play, how is that character introduced? Lots to choose from.
Off the top of my head I think I might point to “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” as an introduction for Macbeth’s entrance. I like it so much that I once did a whole post about just that one line. The way it introduces Macbeth, a human being, as “something”? Not someone – some *thing*. Something inhuman.
Should we count Orsino’s “If music be the food of love…” line? It’s not like he’s technically introducing himself, but as far as the language of the stage goes, this is certainly his introduction to the audience. You immediately know what sort of character he is when he starts out like that.