And Robin Shall Restore Amends

You’ve probably seen (or heard) impressionist Jim Meskimen‘s work. Not only was he on America’s Got Talent, but he’s also turned up in everything from Friends to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. If you haven’t seen his Richard III you really should. This is a Shakespeare blog after all. I’ve followed him on Twitter since I first discovered that one.

Recently he put out an offer on Twitter for custom recordings. I assume he was expecting people to ask for voice mail greetings. But just like my habit of typing “Shakespeare” into every new search engine I see, I knew exactly what I wanted him to read, and which voice I wanted him to do.

Robin Williams doing “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”

I can’t even really tell you why. I had no plans for it. It’s not my voice mail greeting. I just wanted to hear his voice again. Not the manic Robin Williams who never stood still. The Dead Poet’s Society Robin who wanted you to hear what he was saying to you because it was important. It made me think of Steve Jobs’ “Here’s to the crazy ones” commercial. Maybe I’ll put this to a video montage at some point.

In the meantime, though, please enjoy.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Thanks Jim, I love it. Flights of angels, Robin.

7 thoughts on “And Robin Shall Restore Amends

  1. Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve

    It’s yea, not ye. Ye is a pronoun, (you) Yea is affirmation, or ‘yes’. I have no idea why he didn’t know that.

  2. The MIT version of the text, based on the ubiquitous Moby public domain version, has “ye”. I no doubt copy pasted it from there when I made my request and wouldn’t have noticed the typo. So the fault is mine, not his.

    Also, welcome back! Where ya been?

    1. But he pronounces it “yee” in the audio, as in:

      Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
      And ye that on the sands with printless foot
      Do chase the ebbing Neptune,

      F1 has “yea” and I’ve never seen it written “ye”. In fact, every edition I have (and I have at least 12 or 14 different publishers) has it Yea, with a comma following.

      Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolue,

      Auant, & quit my sight, let the earth hide thee: ~Macbeth. 3.4

      I check in every now and again. Still alive in The Year of the Plague. Be well.

    1. And you often wondered why I’m such a stickler. 😉 Misinformation can be like covid19–it multiplies exponentially. Teaching should be mostly about informing, not correcting, and yet, in my experience bad habits abound, mostly because of what’s ‘popular’.

      Do you know about Internet Shakespeare Editions? They have Folio and Modern files, so you can compare on the spot. I find them to be a reputable source and I like the format. Eminently usable. They’re usually my go-to for quotes. Been around for a while, too.

  3. I’m still intrigued by why he pronounced it “yee”. It makes no grammatical sense.

    Maybe it’s a southern thang. Ye’all which it inherit, 🙂

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