If it live in your memory, begin at this line – let me see, let me see.

Sometimes I think I see Shakespeare the Theatre Maker shining through the words. I see the man who put on plays, who rehearsed & acted in them and spent his days at the theatre. “Begin at this line” is what calls to mind the experience of rehearsing a play. I’ve been in rehearsal myself these last few days and the numbers of times we’ve all spoken a variation on this line is surely well beyond anything else we say. There’s the “Where should we start?” version or the “Go from this line.” There’s the “From where?” and the “Let’s start at that line.” Hamlet doesn’t just want the Player to recite the speech, he wants him to go from a particular section and he knows he needs to instruct him where. Rehearsal is sometimes just a process of knowing where to begin something and where to end it (though the ending is almost never nearly as significant for rehearsals.)

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