Friday, August 15, 2008

Mad Howls

I just now had cause to try and explain why all my blogging refers to 'mad howls', and so I thought I'd share the reference with my dear readers, all four or five of them. It's part of a speech from Shakespeare's "The Life of King Henry V", Act III Scene iii. I have my bff to thank for this, since she made me watch the Kenneth Branagh film of the play 100 times or so.

Here's the passage whence comes the term:

If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.

One of my few subtle literary references, folks - it's what allows me to pass for an intellectual from time to time ;-)

And yes, Henry sounds not quite so nice when you see the words in print, rather than having them delivered by a young and charming British actor.

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