Yesterday I memorized part of Romeo’s monologue from act 2, scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet. (Though there’s much about this tragedy I don’t like, I like what’s quoted below.)
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun . . .
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
How did I have time to memorize this? I proctored an exam yesterday and didn’t have much to do while the students took their exams. Actually, due to various proctoring responsibilities, I couldn’t memorize the whole passage at that time. So, after the girls went to bed I memorized the rest at Starbucks. When I came home, I told you to stand at the top of the stairs. Then I performed this monologue for you at the bottom of the stairs.
You thought the gesture was sweet and thanked me for putting so much effort into being romantic. However, you had two complaints. First, you said you couldn’t understand a word of it, though it sounded nice. To remedy this, I explained it to you line by line. Second, you said you wished I’d spent the evening at home with you rather than at Starbucks. Fair enough. In my defense, I typically work on this blog early in the morning so that I don’t sacrifice a time for us.