INT. DINING ROOM
DER VATER - KEVIN
DIE MUTTER - PAUL
NARRATOR - NIKKI
PHILIPP - JAMES
THE FAMILY SITS AT THE TABLE. IT IS SET FOR THE EVENING MEAL.
THEY BEGIN TO EAT.
Die Familie ist wie ein Norman
PHILIPP, BEING A YOUNG BOY, BEGINS TO FIDGET.
Philipp! Benimm dich!
Aber Vater! Ich bin zu Tode
Hören sein Vater Philipp. Du müsst
PHILIPP REMAINS STILL AND THE MEAL CONTINUES.
BUT, PHILIPP BEGINS TO FIDGET AGAIN.
Philipp! Ich warne dich!
BUT PHILIPP DOES NOT LISTEN. HE LEANS THE CHAIR BACK ON TWO
LEGS AND ROCKS.
Nicht Gutes wird dieses Zappeln
Oh nein! Was wird passieren, Philipp?
PHILIPP CONTINUES TO ROCK BACK AND FORTH AS HE CLUTCHES THE
FADE TO BLACK.
CRASH! MUTTER SCREAMS!
PHILIPP IS ON HIS BACK ON THE FLOOR, THE TABLECLOTH ON HIM
AND THE DISHES SCATTERED.
Ich sagte dich, Junge! Jetzt ist mein
Essen ist auf dem Boden!
Die Lehre dieser Geschichte ist immer
auf deine Eltern hören und nicht am
(Here is the video on YouTube turn up the sound. It was filmed, narrated, and edited by me on my 5 year old Kodak M1023 digital camera.)
Ein kleiner Junge, Jakob, saß in der Badewanne unter den offenen Fenster und rauch Zigarette. Sein Mutter barst in die Tür und er zankte „Wenn du rauch, wirst du es bereuen!“ Sie entriss die Zigarette und blutete. Sie riss Jakob aus dem Badezimmer von seine Arm. Die Mutter verfing er mehrmals. Jedes Mal nahm Sie die Zigarette ein und es blutete.
Eines Tages, als die Mutter weg von dem Haus war, zündete eine Ziagarette an und warf das Steichholz in die Toilette. Er erreichte für der Griff, und ein Hand schoss aus der Toilette! Es fasste ihn riss Jakob zu der Toilette.
Er kämpfte und kämpfte. Die brennen Zigarette fiel auf den Teppich und es began zu brennen! Einen kleinen Flamme wuchs zu einer großen Flamme. Es setzte Jakobs Hose auf Feuer! Jakob heulte. Der eine Hand wurde zwei und fasste Jakob.
Die Hand riss Jakob halb in die Toilette, so nur seiner unteren Leib brannte.
Jakob brannte lichterloh und er ertrank! Seiner Mutter brachte Jakob tot in den Toilette auf. Sie setzte ihr Hüfte und tränenreich sagt, „Ich warnt du meine Sohn!“
(Yes, this is all in German. I have taken 3 semesters as a requirement for my B.A. I thoroughly enjoyed it and this is a morality tale that we had to write for Intermediate German 1.)
In 1946 Howard Hawkes directed Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in The Big Sleep. Other names that appeared in this film are John Ridgely (Eddie Mars), Martha Vickers (Carmen Sternwood), Peggy Knudsen (Mona Mars), Charles D. Brown (Norris the Butler), and Regis Toomey (Chief Inspector Bernie Otis). This film was based on the novel “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler. The screenplay was written by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman.
Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is a private investigator hired by General Sternwood (Charles Waldron). He runs into Carmen Sternwood (Martha Vickers) on the way into the house. We find out later that she is the cause of the trouble. In the course of the conversation with the General we learn that Marlowe used to be an investigator with the district attorney’s office. Marlowe, in the course of his investigation into the blackmailer, meets Ms. Rutledge (Lauren Bacall) and eventually, by the end of the movie they have fallen in love. Marlowe helps cover up the fact that Carmen was at the scene of a murder. Marlowe returns to Geiger’s house numerous times. It’s as if he’s trying to figure something out and can’t. Finally he ends up putting all the pieces together.
The Big Sleep has elements common to most films in the genre. Dark shots, femme fatales, close ups, rain and scenes that occur in the dead of night. And let’s not forget the must have private eye which Bogart seems quite adept at playing. (He also played private eye Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon.) The femme fatales in this one work against each other. One is Vivian Rutledge and while not seen as much, the other is her little sister Carmen. Both are guilty of something, neither worse than the other.
The central characters in this film are typical of the genre. Bogart’s character of Marlowe is the tough, rugged man’s man. He likes the ladies as we can see when he flirts with the Acme Book Store girl as well as the attempt at charming Agnes (Geiger’s book store girl). Martha’s character of Carmen Sternwood is the “innocent” young girl. She uses her sexuality every chance she can get, even when she’s high. Vivian is not so stereotypical. She’s smart and sassy. She hides her secrets very well, even pulling them out in jest. Marlowe doesn’t believe her. Yet, they fall in love.
This film says that everyone has something to hide. No matter how small the flaw is. The only thing I really know about film noir is that the films in the genre are usually dark and gritty. This film certainly lives up to all of that. The subject matter is murder and blackmail. Never are the two mutually exclusive.
The Magician was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It starred Max von Sydow as Albert Emanuel Vogler; Ingrid Thulin as Manda Vogler (alias Mr. Aman); Gunnar Björnstrand as Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health; Naima Wifstrand as Granny Vogler; Bengt Ekerot as Johan Spegel; Bibi Andersson as Sara Lindqvist; Gertrud Fridh as Ottilia Egerman; Lars Ekborg as Simson, the coach driver; Toivo Pawlo as Police Superintendent Starbeck; Erland Josephson as Consul Egerman; Åke Fridell as Tubal; Sif Ruud as Sofia Garp; Oscar Ljung as Antonsson, burly stableman; Ulla Sjöblom as Henrietta Starbeck; and Axel Düberg as Rustan, young manservant. It was released in 1958 under the title Ansiktet.
Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater is the guise under which the “wanted” Vogler and his companions travel. They are a rag tag bunch, adding a drunk actor Johan Spegel who is determined he’s on death’s doorstep from an illness, and Vogler spends half of the movie as a mute. They reach the home of Counsel Egerman and are accused of conning people. Police Superintendent Starbeck and Minister of Health, Dr. Vergerus, don’t believe the claims in the advert posted by the theatre troupe. They are determined to prove that Vogler has no magical powers and in fact a fraud. Granny peddles her “potions”. A private performance is demanded and Vogler is required to perform alone. He is “killed” by Antonsson.
Max von Sydow is a regular in Bergman’s films, having appeared in eleven. He played the tormented knight in The Seventh Seal and the father or a girl that was raped and murdered in The Virgin Spring. Bergman makes effective use of the close-up when Vogler is performing and when he is being questioned. He has great use of lighting when Vogler is performing in the levitation scene and the scenes with Vergerus in the attic. But the overall tone of the film is questionable. There is some uncertainty if it’s supposed to be a comedy, with the fairly comical “sex scene” between Sara and Simson or if it’s supposed to be a thriller, again with the scene between Vergerus and the supposedly dead Vogler.
Some themes in this movie are typical to Bergman’s career. The questioning the existence of God and putting the character of “witch” Granny, the supernatural v. science are typical but love being translated as sex is not. In The Seventh Seal Bergman presents the struggle with death and questioning the existence of God with the knight on a quest to do one good thing before he dies. We are presented in this film with the same argument when Tubal and Sofia are talking in the kitchen. Sofia says the Tubal can be a preacher and Tubal insists not because his “faith is shaky.” Death is represented in the former actor Johan Spegel when he seemingly dies the first time in the coach and when he finally dies after stealing brandy from the kitchen. The crowd at Counsel Egerman’s doesn’t believe in the magic the Vogler’s are selling and Dr. Vergerus represents the science. Sex is equated to love by the implied intimacy between Sara and Simson after they consume a “love potion” brewed by Granny.
This film fits into Bergman’s career because he rebels most of his life against the moral compass of his parents. He constantly questions the existence of God. With this film coming so close behind The Seventh Seal, and three others in between, artistic growth is not noticed. The themes don’t usually change in his work, most often being religious in nature. His body of work tends to reflect the home life he had as a child, the relationship with his mother and father, as well as the relationship between his mother and father. He took adventures from his childhood and used them as inspiration for his work which is not just limited to film, it includes stage plays and television shows.
Total Recall is based on the short story “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. This connection itself makes this movie science fiction. Philip K. Dick is one of the more well know sci-fi short writers.
This film is set post-chemical war and the only two areas that can be inhabited are the United Federation of Britain and The Colony (formerly Australia.) This is easily explained. It could happen at any point in the future with any country. Perhaps it would not on the global scale as in this movie; unless the delivery method was by intercontinental ballistic missile. The mode of travel is completely fictional. There is no way to really travel safely past the Earth’s core. So it is a variation on reality. But science fiction also has the element of fanciful imagination to it that may or may not be possible. Will it truly be possible to travel through the Earth’s core via a vehicle like The Fall? Maybe but not in the near future and certainly not in my lifetime or my child’s lifetime.
Futuristic cars, antigravity, synthetic people (robots or androids whatever they are designated they are still synthetic), and some catastrophe are something that one would expect to find in science fiction. And Total Recall has it. One convention that is expected, especially if there is knowledge of the original Total Recall (1990), is travel to another world and aliens. We don’t see that in this one. We do get a couple of nods to the original. The first being the three breasted prostitute and the second a very familiar woman that looks very similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Doug Quaid’s disguise to get to Mars is seen right before the disguised Colin Farrell’s Doug Quaid.
There are two narrative structures that work very well together for this film, pre-existing and discovery. Pre-existing because the world is there when we come in, the catastrophe has already occurred. Discovery because it is obvious in the opening sequence that Doug Quaid isn’t himself, at least he isn’t certain who he is. He’s having strange dreams that seem more like memories than dreams. He goes through the film discovering who he was and that he doesn’t want to be the person Cohaagen wants him to be. In other words he has discovered there is a way to be better than the man he doesn’t remember. He has discovered his new self in the process of remembering Melina and helping the resistance. The screenwriters did an excellent job weaving these two structures together and adapting portions of Mister Dick’s short.
The evolutionary model in Total Recall is global catastrophe. One could argue that there is a dash of mutated species in there. How many three breasted prostitutes are alive today? Oh, right, none! Could it have been the product of surgery or the effects of chemical warfare that her parents lived through? We don’t really know but she lives in The Colony and nothing good comes from The Colony according to Cohaagen.
The movie Winchester ’73 (1950) is about one of the few “perfect” rifles produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1873. It is touted to be the gun that won the West. This film is directed by Anthony Mann, story by Stuart N. Lake, screenplay by Robert L. Richards and Borden Chase. The film stars James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Stephen McNally, Millard Mitchell, and Will Geer.
Winchester ’73 is a film that follows not just a person but a rifle. It starts with our hero Lin McAdam (James Stewart) and his pal High Spade Frankie Wilson (Millard Mitchell) coming to Dodge City just in time for the 4th of July centennial celebration. After a run in with Wyatt Earp (Will Geer), who is very pleasant after the interference, the pair make way to the saloon. There they encounter the object of their journey, Dutch Henry Brown (Stephan McNally). It’s obvious there’s tension there. Earp makes certain that the trouble will not arise during the celebrations by gently warning the men. The scene in the saloon dissolves into the shooting match the next day. The prize is 1 of 1,000, a perfect Winchester 1873. McAdam eventually wins. But whatever rift is between McAdam and Brown causes Brown to beat the tar out of McAdam and steal the rifle before McAdam’s name is engraved on the plate on the buttstock.
The next time the rifle changes hands it goes from Brown to Joe Lamont (John McIntire) then from Lamont to Young Bull (Rock Hudson). We don’t see the rifle again until Young Bull attacks a wagon train going to re resupply a fort on the frontier. After Young Bull is killed one of the young soldiers finds the rifle and turns it over the SGT Wilkes (Jay C. Flippen). The sergeant doesn’t want it to go into general supply and attempts to hand off to McAdam who is leaving the area on his search for Brown. But instead Steve Miller (Charles Drake) gets it. The rifle then goes on to change hands again, Steve is killed for it by Waco Johnny Dean (Dan Duryea) and Lola Manners (Shelley Winters) gets herself kidnapped. This rifle is an awful lot of trouble. It switches hands again when Waco meets up with Brown to plan a heist in Tascosa. Brown removes the rifle from Waco’s possession with a threat of death.
One really major iconic convention is the big bad Indian. While the Indians were seen briefly they are the most iconic. Part of the lore of the Western is the conflict between the encroaching “newcomers” or Easterners. Another icon that shows up is our main characters wearing cowboy hats. It may seem like a silly thing but when I think of Westerns, cowboy hats and boots, six guns and the calvary always come to mind. We also have a bank robbery, horses and a couple of saloons; all elements that make up a Western. We also have another story element that isn’t necessarily typical, brother against brother.
Winchester ’73 fits into the Classical stage. It has accepted elements: cowboys, Indians, shoot outs, a damsel in distress, horses and an attempted robbery of the Wells Fargo. I can’t really compare other films in the genre because I don’t watch Westerns. However, this film does not fall into the same stage as Dances with Wolves. Besides Shane over 15 years ago, that is the only other Western I’ve watched from beginning to end. Winchester ’73 may have helped along the non-lawman hero that appears in the revisionist stage. There is no indication that Lin McAdam is any kind of law yet, he engages in a manhunt to track down his father’s murderer.
In Winchester ’73 the concept of wilderness vs. civilization is seen by introducing the character of Lola Manners. She represents the easternization of the West. We never see her dressed in Western-styled clothing. She removes layers of her dress but nothing more. Even McAdam is prone to treating her with gentleness when he gives her his saddle to lay her head on telling her it’s more comfortable than the ground. Lola also looks to McAdam as the strong protective type and has a connection to him even though she is with Steve. We also see the concept in the attack of the Indians on the Calvary wagon train out to resupply a frontier fort. We see the Indians with “repeaters” that were stolen from Joe Lamont. The cowboy and Indian scenario is typical to most early Westerns. The theme of wilderness vs. civilization is not unique to the genre but the genre certainly gave it a huge boost. With the advent of science fiction wilderness vs. civilization took on a whole new meaning. Thank you Westerns!
This movie is super cute! Chock full of cameos, it's frolicking fun reminiscent of the Muppets of my youth.
As the evil Kermit doppelganger Constantine escapes a Siberian prison, Kermit blows up at Miss Piggy for planning their wedding when he hasn't even proposed! So we have a foreshadowed moment here. Even Ricky Gervais's Dominic Badguy (it's French) was a foreshadowed character. We all knew that he was up to no good even before he talked to Constantine.
I will try not to go into too much detail about the plot but I think we all know what it is from the trailers.
It was well written and entertaining, which is what it should be for a kids movie. There's a love story (okay the usual love story Kermit and Miss Piggy), there's action to include explosions (which Constantine has a proclivity for) and music! How can you not love a musical number with the likes of Celine Dion? (She played Miss Piggy's piggy fairy godmother.)
If you want to see a family movie during Spring Break go see this movie! You'll love it as much as your kids will!
The Cherry Orchard was written by Anton Chekhov in 1904. It was a play much loved by the Russian government because it was believed to be what the government, at the time, was preaching, the lower class replacing the ailing upper class. By ailing it is meant that the wealthy upper class was slowly losing out to the increasing lower class. This is seen here when Madame returns penniless to Russia to sell off the last thing she has to her name, the cherry orchard.
However there is more to this play than what the government wanted the populace to take away. Chekhov meant for this to be a comedy and surely it could have been but the humor seems to be lost in translation. Upon reading The Cherry Orchard one may get the impression that it is a tragedy. Truly it is if it is looked at from the point of the rich. Madame has a series of tragedies that befall her in her poor choices in men. But where is the comedy as we know it?
Could the comedy be in some of the characters like Trofimov, Epihodov, or Yasha? Perhaps in Charlotta, the governess? Sometimes comedy is obvious like the slapstick of Larry, Moe, and Curly or the Keystone Kops. Sometimes comedy is less obvious like the dark humor of Ophelia's psychological breakdown which is indirectly caused by Hamlet. Can we compare Chekhov's humor to that of Shakespeare? We can compare the humor to any humor we want to.
Flannery O'Connor comes to mind in the category of dark humor. A lot can be said for “lost in translation” and this is not referring to the movie. The Cherry Orchard was originally written in Russian.
GAEV: The train was two hours late. What do you think of that? Is that the way to do
CHARLOTTA: [To PISHTCHIK.] My dog eats nuts, too.
PISHTCHIK: [Wonderingly.] Fancy that! (2094)
The lines uttered by Charlotta to Pishtchik as they arrive home to the estate seem nonsensical but maybe Chekhov meant for them to be comic relief in a tense situation. Without consulting another translation one cannot be certain if the translation by Constance Garnett is off.
However, Ms. Garnett is one of the best translators of Chekhov's work. Perhaps the humor can be translated back into the play by seeing it rather than reading it.
The comedy may also be interpreted by the reader. Each person has their own sense of humor. Finding no humor in this play even after discussion with other individuals and revealing Chekhov's intent with the dialogue, it still lacks the outright humor most audiences are used to. We need to see this comedy or this play remains a tragedy no matter how we examine the lines.
Madame Ranevsky is a tragic character, if a little melodramatic. She comes into the nursery in tears. She gives money to a poor man and carries on after in guilt for her household starving yet she gives away money. But is she funny? Perhaps we can find humor in her over large motions and the unawareness of her situation. But wait, could the comedy be in Lopahin and his purchase of the cherry orchard? He does buy the one place that symbolizes repression and poverty to him. However, there could be a bit of humor here:
LOPAHIN: Then you’re going to Moscow now?
TROFIMOV: Yes. I shall see them as far as the town, and to-morrow I shall go on to
LOPAHIN: Yes, I daresay, the professors aren’t giving any lectures, they’re waiting for your arrival.
TROFIMOV: That’s none of your business. (2122.)
But, it seems more of a snide exchange than humor.
The humor that Chekhov may have intended is that of Madame Ranevsky upon learning of the identity of the purchaser. She sinks “into a chair and is weeping bitterly” (2120.) No, this still isn’t the humor that the masses look for.
Most read this play as a tragedy because of the lack of obvious comedy. Chekhov is, in popular opinion, one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. He was good at dark characters and odd and quarky behaviors. He may have had humor somewhere but in The Cherry Orchard, his brand of humor is lost.
Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. Tenth. New York: Norton, 2010. 2092-2128. Print.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) starring Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin), the late Sir Alec Guinness (Ben Kenobi), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prose (Darth Vader), and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). Written and directed by George Lucas.
Back to the Future (1987) starring Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines), and Crispin Glover (George McFly). Written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
ANH is a story about the Rebel Alliance fighting against the Empire of Lord Palpatine. It really is a coming of age story, not just about the Rebels. Luke Skywalker wants to leave his home and join his friends. But things go awry when his Uncle Owen buys two droids from the Jawas. Luke chases down R2D2 and encounters the Tusken Raiders (a.k.a. Sand People). He is rescued by Ben Kenobi. After the brutal murder of Luke’s aunt and uncle by Stormtroopers, Ben whisks him, and the droids, off to find the Alliance and Princess Leia. A lightsaber duel, a battle or two later and we get to the final bits, the destruction of the Death Star and the medal ceremony.
BTTF is time travel! Yay! How much more sci-fi can you get? Doc Brown uses a Delorean to put his flux capacitor in. He is hunted down and shot by terrorists (he stole their plutonium which is the only thing that can power the flux capacitor and allow the Delorean to time travel). Marty was still in the car and to save himself he traveled back to 1955, the day Doc Brown first thought of the flux capacitor. Marty accidentally meets his parents and puts his own life in peril. His mother falls for him instead of his father. She pursues him as Marty tries to give his father the courage to stand up to the bully Biff and ask Marty’s mother Lorraine to the enchantment under the sea dance where they seal Marty’s future with a kiss.
Common elements in ANH that are found in science fiction: space (the final frontier!), futuristic (even though it is set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away), starships, and the Force. While the Force is not science-y it’s mystic and mystic powers have been creeping into science fiction in the last few years.
Common elements in BTTF that are found in science fiction: time travel and technology. Or rather advanced technology. Just because a flux capacitor is theoretical (and highly improbable for Doc Brown’s purpose) doesn’t mean we can’t consider it advanced technology.
Both films are coming of age stories. The wonderful thing about them is the coming of age happens over the course of three films rather than one. We see the change in Luke from impatient teen to the only Jedi Master in the galaxy. Marty, the change isn’t so drastic. He goes from being a hothead that would stand and fight just because someone calls him “chicken” to using his head and not taking the insult to heart. This is where the similarities end. The differences are huge! BTTF and ANH have completely different settings. BTTF is set here on earth in a more present time, 1987. ANH is in an undetermined time period and an unknown galaxy. One is time travel and one is an epic space opera. Both have vastly different genre elements
“The Canterbury Tales – The Knight’s Tale”
This is not the Heath Ledger movie but we can see where the movie got its premise. The wrong guy wants the right girl, poof, there’s your story. It is very difficult to read in the original Middle English. “The Canterbury Tales” has been “translated” and made “easier to read” often. So often that my Kindle had pages of versions! This book shares that translation honor with “The Song of Solomon”.
“The Knight’s Tale” flows like poetry with sentences that end in rhyme, granted this “translation” may not be quite right but here’s an example from one of the last few passages:
“ ‘This ought to weigh with you, it seems to me,
For mercy ought to dominate mere right.’
Then said he thus to Palamon the knight:
‘I think there needs but little sermoning
To make you give consent, now, to this thing.
Come near, and take your lady by the hand.’
Between them, then, was tied that nuptial band,
Which is called matrimony or marriage,
By all the council and the baronage.
And thus, in all bliss and with melody,
Has Palamon now wedded Emily.”
“The Song of Solomon” (Or the original Hebrew name “The Song of Songs”.)
I question why this bit is even in the Bible. It seems little to do with a Holy Book and more to do with lusting after a lover than God. The version, (and who knew there were so many variations!) I read was from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It was plain in speech and simple to understand. However, it is implied that King Solomon wrote this whole section.
In the HCSB it has broken down whether a female or a male wrote that section. There is some thought that this book of the Bible is allegorical. Was it meant that way? There is also other opinion that it could be a drama of some kind. We won’t ever truly know what this book is supposed to be.
The style of writing is very different from anything in “The Canterbury Tales”. There is no rhyming to speak of. It is argued that this book is poetic in nature, yet it’s a tale of love like “The Knight’s Tale”. This tale is a start to finish relationship. Some of the verses take on a very sexual nature. One that springs to mind is chapter 5:2 –4.
“(2) I sleep, but my heart is awake. A sound! My love is knocking! Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. For my head is drenched with dew, my hair with droplets of the night. (3) I have taken off my clothing. How can I put it back on? I have washed my feet. How can I get them dirty? (4) My love thrust his hand through the opening and my feelings were stirred for him.”
The two stories were quite obviously written several centuries apart. But the overall theme is the same. They speak of love.
In the time “The Song of Solomon” was written feelings between men were expressed differently. They were more affectionate to each other. Perhaps not as affectionate as the above verses may suggest but, if King Solomon did indeed write this passage why would it have been changed? Is it maybe the skewed version that a man can not love another man that Christians have? I find it hard to believe that if we are to buy that “The Song of Songs” was written by King Solomon that he would have written about anyone but himself.
The next passage is chapter 1:1-4:
“Solomon’s Finest Song. (2) Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine. (3) The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating; your name is perfume poured out. No wonder young women adore you. (4) Take me with you – let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers. We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine. It is only right that they adore you.”
The preceding passage does imply that someone other than King Solomon is speaking. Is that what the author intended? I doubt we will ever really know the answer to that question.
“The Canterbury Tales” seem to have been written as poetry. But to whom was it intended for? It seems that in the time it was written, the late 1300’s, it would have
been meant to entertain nobility. Nobility tended to be more educated and therefore literate.
Why did Chaucer write this massive work as poetry? It suggests that it may have been popular at the time. Due to the nature of how “The Canterbury Tales” was passed on, in handwritten manuscript, it is fragmented. There is no sure way to know what order the tales are supposed to go in or if they are all there. It reinforces what we all take for granted …technology. Chaucer didn’t have the printing press to help preserve his work.
“The Song of Solomon” was also hand written. Again, we take the printing press for granted. Neither the Middle Ages nor in the time of the Old Testament did they have that most modern invention.
“The Song of Solomon” could really have been written by anyone. Solomon himself or someone wishing to be noticed by the public. “The Canterbury Tales” we know was written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Yet we don’t really know the reason behind why either work was created. Nor do we know the intended audiences. Something both works have in common.
The societies in which these works were created were very different. “The Song of Solomon” is obviously very open about sexuality and how it was perceived at the time. It’s a love story but when it talks about being unclothed, kissing and how the lover’s touch ignites feelings … all things that lead to sexuality.
“The Canterbury Tales”, however, are very chaste in how love is presented. At the time love is fighting for the woman that you desire; showing that you are capable of providing for her; proving you can protect her. It is demonstrated when Theseus stops the duel between Arcita and Palamon. He allows each man to gather an army to come back and then fight for Emily. It is, after all, the age of chivalry. So, they return after the allotted time. Emily, Palamon, and Arcita all pray to different gods to get what they desire. In the end Palamon ends up on death’s bed but gets Emily anyway. Yet he is seemingly snatched from the fiery jaws of death or perhaps he was never really going to die. All things we don’t know just by reading the story. Man, I would love to chat with Chaucer about that!
“The Song of Songs” has none of the defending her honor stuff. It’s straight forward about the love between two people. No ‘Come back after you have gathered a hundred men willing to fight for you’ stuff. There was a certain sense of honor in this time period but it wasn’t about warfare. It was about really loving the person you were with. If indeed King Solomon wrote this book about how he felt … then it is not a tale but a truth. Again, a factoid we will never really know. Séance anyone?
“I am a wall and my breasts like towers. So in his eyes I have become like one who finds peace.” The Song of Songs 8:10.
In my search for better understanding of both works I used a variety of sources. Sadly, the only free sources I found were Wikipedia. I did not quote anything from them but used them to better understand the texts and the time periods.
Any similarities to “The Canterbury Tales” and “The Song of Solomon” are all contested. I’ve read that “The Song of Solomon” reads as erotica. Again, if it is, why would it be included in a Holy Book? Could be that’s how they did things back in the day. With writings from those time periods we will never know the purpose or the intent behind them.
College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer