Play Sonnet 37
As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by Fortune’s dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth;
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts, do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee:
This wish I have; then ten times happy me!
Sonnet 37 sees the speaker down on his luck again,but he takes vicarious delight and pride in the achievements of his lover, which reflect well on him.
William is crippled by bad fortune but, as an aged father takes delight in the youthful actions of his son, he takes comfort in his beloved’s worth and faithfulness. Beauty, noble birth, wealth, intelligence, or all of these, or all of these and more– he attaches my love to it, and in doing so is no longer poor, crippled, and despised. The mere shadow of this person, present in Will in the form of love, provides such solid reality that he is complete with it. He wishes the best for his love and if this wish is granted, then he will bask in this reflected glory, his decrepitude forgotten.
All the listed worth of the beloved (beauty, wealth and wit) might be taken as the traditional inheritance of the aristocrat, whether real or imagined. In Shakespeare’s day, as in almost any age before the 20th century, there was a widespread belief that upper class people were naturally better in every respect and that genetic excellence was theirs by inheritance.
Washington Square Park, Manhattan
Known throughout the 20th Century as a bohemian sanctuary, Washington Square Park is one of the best-known of New York City’s public parks. At 9.75 acres, it is a landmark in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity. The Park is an open space, dominated by Washington Arch (1892), with a tradition of celebrating nonconformity. The Park’s fountain area has long been one of the city’s popular spots for residents and tourists.
In the early 17th century, a Native American village known as Sapokanikan or “Tobacco Field” was nearby. They also owned the land known now as Washington Square Park before the Dutch attacked and drove them out. By the mid-17th century, the land was used as farm land by the Dutch. The Dutch gave the land to slaves, thus freeing them, with the intention of using them as a human ‘buffer zone’ between the attacks of the Native Americans and the white colonial settlements. The tract was in the possession of African Americans from 1643 to 1664. The area was then called “The Land of the Blacks.”
It remained farmland until April 1797, when the Common Council of New York purchased the fields to the east of the Minetta Creek for a new potter’s field, or public burial ground. It was used mainly for burying unknown or indigent people when they died. But when New York (which did not include this area yet) went through yellow fever epidemics in the early 19th century, most of those who died from yellow fever were also buried here, safely away from town, as a hygienic measure.The cemetery was closed in 1825. To this day, the remains of more than 20,000 bodies rest under Washington Square.
A legend in many tourist guides says that the large elm at the northwest corner of the park, Hangman’s Elm, was the old hanging tree, but the tree was on the wrong side of the former Minetta Creek, where it stood in the back garden of a private house.
In 1826 the City bought the land west of the Minetta, the square was laid out and leveled, and it was turned into the Washington Military Parade Ground. The streets surrounding the square became one of the city’s most desirable residential areas in the 1830s. The protected row of Greek Revival style houses on the north side of the park remain from that time.
In 1849 and 1850, the parade ground was reworked into the first park on the site. More paths were added and a new fence was built around it. In 1871, it came under the control of the newly formed New York City Department of Parks, and it was re-designed again, with curving rather than straight secondary paths.
In 1889, to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States, a large plaster and wood Memorial Arch was erected over Fifth Avenue just north of the park. The temporary plaster and wood arch was so popular that in 1892 a permanent Tuckahoe marble arch, designed by the New York architect Stanford White, was erected, standing 77 ft. White modeled the arch after the 1806 Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In 1918 two statues of George Washington were added to the north side.
ACTOR – John Moss
John Moss, this summer, played Kellerman in Life Without Parole for the New York International Fringe Festival, and last year, played Neil in the New York premiere of Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life for Project Rushmore. Off Bway: The Tragedy of MacBeth at the McGinn/Cazale, Mamet’s Edmond (Preacher), Hereafter (Jason), DiMaggio (Casey Stengel, Walter Winchell, Henry Kissinger) Richard III (Edward IV), Our Town (Mr. Webb), King Lear (Albany) Regional: Bellomy in The Fantasticks for Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Arthur Freed in What a Glorious Feeling at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace at NC’s Turnage Theatre. Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Fred Rose), Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Sagot) Showboat (Capt. Andy) Camelot (Pellinore) at The Depot Theatre. Film: It Could Happen to You, Revolutionary Road, No Looking Back. TV: Law and Order, The Dana Carvey Show. Graduate Temple University (Alumni Award).
DIRECTOR – Matthew Schuman
Matt Schuman is a New York City based writer and director. His short comedy, “Me Time,” played in over a dozen film festivals internationally and took home the award for Outstanding First Time Director at the 2010 DC Shorts Fest. His music videos have appeared on MTV, VH1, and FUSE and include “The Only One Lonely” by Val Emmich, winner of the 2008 Independent Music Award for Best Music Video. His most recent projects include the web series “Conversations Between Two People Who Have Known Each Other For A Long Time,” which can be seen on FunnyOrDie.com, and two feature films currently in development.
COLLABORATING PRODUCER – Adam Macbeth
Producing credits include Tongal Video winner, “Say Hello!” for Hello Products and the short film, “Topography Of A Hotel.”
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY – David Park