My Mandela Moment

A false memory is a psychological phenomenon where a person recalls something that did not happen or differently from the way it happened.

You ever have that thing where you have a very strong memory of something, and other people say, “Yeah, yeah, me too!”  Only it turns out that it never happened?  And your memory – even though other people claim to have the same memory – is entirely false? That’s called the Mandela Effect.

So I may have mentioned, my daughter is studying Taming of the Shrew. And last night she was working on an assignment where she was supposed to discuss how an all female or all male production might change the interpretation and performance. She was supposed to pick a scene and talk about different ways it could be interpreted in this context.

I said, “Well, let’s think about it. Kate puts on this nasty exterior, but maybe down inside, hidden from everybody, she *wants* to like one of these guys. She *wants* to get married. It’s supposed to be a good, happy thing.  So along comes this guy and she turns on the shrew and she gives him everything she’s got, and he stands toe to toe with her and takes it.  And maybe she comes away from that meeting thinking, interesting, maybe this guy’s different…”

Here I even dropped in that god awful “If you can’t handle me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best” quote that floats around social media.  “But then she sees Petruchio talking about money with her father, and she’s dejected again, she realizes that they’re all the same, he’s just in it for the money.”

“Wait, that happens?” my daughter asks, grabbing her text.

No, it apparently doesn’t.  I checked the text and could not find the scene I’m talking about. I asked my resources and people confirm, no such scene.

So now I’m fascinated by where I got that idea.  It’s not like I’ve seen many versions of Shrew. I assumed it must be in the Taylor/Burton movie, because that’s the most well known and the most likely candidate, since I would have seen that one back in high school and formed such a memory. But again, it doesn’t seem to be in there.

It’s a scene easily inserted at the end of Act II, after they’ve met and before Petruchio goes off to arrange the wedding.  Doesn’t even need any words.  Just show Baptista’s people loading up Petruchio’s horse with a big bag of gold or something, and let Kate see it. But I can’t find video evidence of such a scene. (Kind of reminds me of all the kids who think that there’s a wedding scene in Romeo and Juliet. No, there’s not.  There’s a wedding scene in the Romeo+Juliet movie, though.)

 

 

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I Said Introduction, Not Induction! ( A Geeklet Story )

My daughter’s in an honest to goodness 100% full-time Shakespeare class now.  It’s been a long time coming.  They’re starting right out with Taming of the Shrew, and already she’s lost.

“I have to annotate the Induction,” she tells me.

I’d completely forgotten about the Induction.  In all the times I’ve told them the story, I don’t think I’d ever mentioned it.

“Oh yeah,” I reply.  “So there’s this dude, Christopher Sly, who is the drunk at the local bar.  It starts out with him arguing with the hostess about breaking some glasses, then he promptly passes out. A lord comes back from the hunt, sees him sleeping in the street, and says, ‘Hey, you know what would be fun? Let’s take him home and dress him in my clothes and tell him he’s actually the lord of the house.’ Have you ever heard the term gaslighting?  They totally gaslight him.  Anyway, he’s not really buying it, until they tell him he’s married, so his first reaction is to say Great! Wife? Let’s go to bed!”

“Oh, charming.”

“Exactly.  They talk him out of it, though. Meanwhile, there are these roving players who run into the original lord and ask if he wants to see a show, so he sends them over to his house to put a show on for Christopher Sly.  That show is Taming of the Shrew.  And, then, basically, Christopher Sly is never heard from again.  Well, he comes back briefly after the first scene or something, but that’s about it. You’re probably going to get tested on why he wrote it, and that’s a good question. There’s a variety of theories.  He didn’t write like that for any other play.”

“Yeah, well,” she says, flipping through her copy, “I didn’t get any of that from this.” Reading, “I’ll feeze you in faith? A pair of stocks you rogue?” She pronounces it “rouge,” like makeup. “How am I supposed to get from that that he’s arguing with the lady at the bar?”

Slowly but surely she works her way through the induction, which she first thinks goes 20 pages until I insist that she read it again and she realizes that every other page is vocabulary, so it’s only 10 pages of content.

So today at dinner she fills me in on how well she fared on that assignment.

“So it turns out,” she says, “that while I was out of class one day last week, she gave out this packet that was an introduction to the play. We were supposed to annotate THAT!”

 

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Bet I Can Predict The Future

Which character was he supposed to be?

Finally, finally, my oldest gets to participate in a dedicated Shakespeare course this fall. I don’t have the title in front of me but it’s basically Shakespeare and Modern Film.  Given that my bestest online Shakespeare pal is a dude whose actual name is “Bard Film” I can’t wait until she gets homework.  (“Daddy, can I please do my own homework for once?”  “It’s ok sweetie, Bardfilm and I have got this.”)

Anyway, we had to order textbooks and I see they’ll be studying Othello, Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. Folger editions, for the curious.

Hmmm.  Anybody else seeing a pattern there?

I’m calling it right now – I’m going to have my daughter watch O, 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s The Man before school starts because I’ll bet you anything that’s what they’ll be doing in class. I never thought I’d say this but I’m glad Hamlet’s not among her required texts. If they had her watching Lion King I don’t think I could stand it.

 

 

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