Since the outdoor theatres were difficult to use during the winter, eventually the major companies established themselves with indoor (the so-called “private”) theatres, which required candles for light. Candles, of course, require trimming, so it is necessary to pause from time to time to do this. That suggests that the play would have had to be stopped, at least briefly. Playwrights (not known for being completely stupid, at least good ones) would, logically, have quickly developed points where a short pause would not too adversely affect the performance – hence, dividing the already present scenes up into “acts.”
As the Roman critic, Horace, for reasons that have never been completely explained, insisted that “No play should be longer or shorter than five acts,” it’s reasonable to assume that that number was rationalized as the proper number. Elizabethan popular playwrights, however, had been ignoring that dictum for a long time. Now, it may, of course, simply be that editors inserted breaks (to “correct Shakespeare’s mistakes”) when the books were published, as has been the common thought. Such divisions are certainly present as early as the First Folio and Neo-Classical scholarship would have demanded them to allow plays to be taken as serious literature. Still, it’s intriguing to think that there could have been a practical reason for their presence. Certainly, one can’t help but be struck at the awkwardness of the placement of some act breaks, especially in many of the early plays. So, it’s possible that the use of candles would, ultimately, dictate the need for “Act” divisions.
Is this provable? Of course it’s not. But, it does make a degree of sense and would help explain why some of Shakespeare’s plays (especially the later ones, after indoor theatres became more widely used) seem much more logical in their act divisions, than is true of some of the earlier ones. I think it’s possible that this is a plausible explanation, at least in some of the late plays.
I’ve recently taken considerable offense at what is becoming a common feature of a fair amount of advertising. That is, the featuring of "Real people. Not actors." Okay, I get the point. These are not paid spokespersons with a script about how great the product is. Of course, if ANY of these people ever appear in a second ad (I think I’m correct here) they will be required to join the union and become that dreaded and (apparently) totally untrustworthy non-person: an “ACTOR.” Still, I wish that advertisers would figure out that actors are, in fact, people. At least I don’t know of some alien hatchery which produces actors, so that they could reasonably be considered “non-people.” Oh, well, I suppose that this too will pass. I just hope that it’s sooner, rather than later.
Now, I know that I promised to get back to “more usual stuff” in my last posting, but this whole political thing has me too upset to have come up with more of the “usual stuff.” There is this election in about FOUR MONTHS, you see, and I’m already VERY over the whole process. Since it, and related stories, are about the only thing on the news, I don’t even have much in the way of robbery, murder, and mayhem to distract me from this political stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I DO care about politics. Political decisions are about the most important ones we citizens make. After all, the results of an election can have very wide ranging effects which will last for many years.
Still, the Republican Convention is, at this point, almost two weeks away and the Democratic one isn’t until after that. And we’ve been at this for about a year and a half already! The whole thing is too long, too expensive, too divisive, and, frankly, I’m fed up with it! Yes, I do intend to vote (although I won’t tell the world who I will vote for), but I wish we could handle this whole process with at least some small measure of dignity, decorum, and intelligence, which doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment. In fact, I’m reminded a bit of Coriolanus, but that’s another story.
In any event, as a consequence of all this ado, I’ve been having trouble focusing on the “more usual stuff.” So, the rest of this is going to be just a bit of a diversion, based on jokes, etc., which I’ve been collecting and seem amusing to me at this point in time. At least I’m finding them a bit of a diversion. I hope you do, as well. Enjoy!
I ate a salad for dinner! Mostly croutons & tomatoes. Really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. And mushrooms. OK FINE, it was a pizza. I ate a pizza.
I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
A boy asks his granny, “Have you seen my pills, they were labeled LSD?” Granny replies, “The hell with the pills, did you see the dragons in the kitchen?"
Then there’s the one about the dyslexic devil worshipper who sold his soul to Santa.
Ban pre-shredded cheese: make America grate again! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't need the class!
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
I don't like political jokes. I've seen too many get elected.
I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.
Money is the root of all wealth.
Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself types.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
A well-worn one-dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty-dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.
The twenty-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. "I've had a pretty good life," the twenty proclaimed, "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean."
"Wow!" said the one-dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!" "So, tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?"
The one-dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church and to the Episcopal Church." The twenty-dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"
I told my son "I want you to marry a girl of my choice!" He said "NO!" I told him she’s Bill Gates daughter!!!! He said "OKAY!"
Got in contact with Bill Gates & told him "I want your daughter to marry my son!" He said "NO!" Told him my son was the CEO of the World Bank! He said "OKAY!"
Went to the Chairman of the World Bank & told him to make my son CEO of the Bank! He said "NO!" Told him my son is Bill Gates' Son in Law! He said "OKAY!"
And that, my friends, is the essence of how politics works…
This isn’t made up. It’s comes from an actual sign we saw on our recent trip:
We saw a sign at the side of the road said, “Purgatory Emporium Antique Mall” which we found amusing. (Bonnie said that the business was probably named by a husband who had had to spend to much time in such places with his wife.)
I discovered later that it is an actual store (see below) and that it was actually named for Purgatory Mountain in Virginia, which it is near.
Have you heard the song about a tortilla. Well, actually it’s more of a wrap.
Ever stop to think… and forget to start again?
A sign seen for a restaurant: “Peace, Love and Barbecue!” Does this mean that the meat was smoked with pot?
If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?
Q: How many seconds are there in one year? A: 12 of them: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd, April 2nd, May 2nd, June 2nd, July 2nd, August 2nd, September 2nd, October 2nd, November 2nd, December 2nd.
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
Do Lipton Tea employees get to take “coffee breaks?”
Does the little mermaid wear an algebra?