We’ve reached the end of our epic saga, our fine adventure, our sprawling journey. There have been rough times and there have been great times. Remember when we found that Disco Worm and he attacked me? Ahhhh….that was great. Well anywhos….it’s finally time for the last blog post. The last post for classwork assignments that is. I’ll probably start ranting in my own ways about the next book I’m reading on another post. This last poem is from the Renaissance period, and I’ll say, it’s quite delectable.
“St. Crispin’s Day Speech” by William Shakespeare from Henry V
What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Yes, yes. I know that was a bit of a read. And for those of you who are not used to reading Shakespeare (if there are any of that kind reading this blog), I know that was a doozy. Don’t worry. I’ll explain. The connection between this and Slaughterhouse-Five had to do with two themes. There was the theme of social class and how it affected the soldier’s day-to-day lives in the novel. The other theme had to do with the same theme seen in the contemporary poem selection, “The Rule”. This can be found in my earlier posts. Have fun.
Form: Any basic Shakespeare nerd knows that everything he did was in iambic pentameter, that is unless it was in prose. If that was the case, it wasn’t in iambic pentameter. Yes. Mmmm. A few lines do, however, break the natural flow of things. “The fewer men, the greater share of honour.” This is to emphasize this part of the poem/speech. It is a moment that should be paid closely attention to, because it begins to illustrate the theme of the poem/speech.
“Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’ “
This imagery in this quote supports the idea that to die or be maimed in battle is a thing to be proud of because it allows you to be part of a bigger cause and to not have died or be wounded in vain. Everyone is equal and everyone is together. To display a scar from battle would be to show that the said soldier is proud of his collaboration with soldiers and his cause.
Music/Sound: The rhythm of the poem/speech is that of “da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum”. Any extra syllables within the rhythm signify a great moment that could mean a change in tone or perhaps emphasize a certain aspect or theme within the poem. It is supposed to have such a rhythm to keep things flowing throughout the poem/speech as a whole.
Theme, Target, Title: The theme of being marked for death by being a soldier is prevalent throughout. This also correlates with the theme of social class within the war itself. Once a soldier is marked for death or is injured, ranks do not matter, everyone is equal to the other. This is similar by comparing it to the point in Slaughterhouse-Five where Billy and several other soldiers who do not care much for him are severely injured. As a result, they all have a unique bond that keeps them alive until they are separated into their work areas in Dresden.
Emotion: The emotion expressed within this poem is one of courage. It unites all social classes together in dark times and it brings everyone to the point where it is almost a comforting thing to die in war. This is most likely due to the fact that people will die in company and not be alone; this will allow them to not have many fears in the war, and therefore unite everyone not only by being marked for death, but just by having the company of each other.
I’d like to point out that this last post has taken me the longest to do. While I have been trying to complete this post, I have watched four Youtube videos, read an entire article about Bladerunner, posted on Facebook three times, helped my sister find a tee-shirt, eaten pizza, and talked to my mother about various things that vex me and destroy my self-esteem. It would appear as if my subconcious does not wish for this post to be completed. Well take that, brain! Ha! What are you going to do now?
Well, this is the end. My only friend, the end. Ha I quoted a Doors song. That’s a first for an online blog post. But now I have done it. There must be so many things in store for my brain and quoting blogs in the future. So long. You will never hear from “School Assignment Me” again.