This world is not for aye, nor ‘tis not strange That even our loves should with our fortunes change.

As the wheel of fortune spins round, it is rare that we go round it together.
Fortune doesn’t seem to have one wheel but rather a wheel for everyone and two wheels rarely spin at the same speed or land in the same places at the same time, no matter how connected lovers might be, they will likely end up at opposite ends of their wheels at the same time.
Sometimes it seems the best you can do is wave at one another as you get rolled past.
But it might actually be most challenging when you’re not at the same point when both are low or both are high and can neither comfort nor celebrate appropriately.
Two wheels of fortune might be like the works of a clock, gears sliding past each other in constant motion but impossible to sync completely.

Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.

Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
Try saying that 10 times fast. I could barely even write it! Grief joys, joy grieves? Ye gad. I have to concentrate super hard to keep from adding plural suffixes where there are none and vice versa.

Maybe this whole speech is just an on-stage warm-up for the First Player! He’s built his tongue twister into his speech so that he’s all ready to go before his big death scene. He’s just exercising his instrument with this thing. That’s it. I have figured it out. (Surely not.)

Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament.

Yes, and water is wet and ice is cold.
The Pope is Catholic. Bears do shit in the woods.

The King in the Murder of Gonzago is also Captain Obvious.
Oh really? The most lamentable griefs were once extreme joys?
I don’t get what this long list of the same idea is DOING. It feels like stalling. It feels like vamping. It feels like something went wrong in the play and the King has been instructed to riff a little bit while the missing prop is retrieved or something.
There would have to be SOME bit of business for this here to make any damn sense.
Do we want non-essential plot time to watch the court watching the play?
Is this bit trying to be as boring and repetitive as possible to keep our attention on the watchers rather than the play within?
It’s a little bit ridiculous.

The violence of either grief or joy Their own enactures with themselves destroy.

This thesis would explain why so many marriages fail. When people marry in extreme joy, extreme romance, high passion, they’re making promises in a moment when no promise will hold, according to this theory. The violent joy leads to setting a marriage in motion, in enacting an enacture, and this very consequence, destroys with joy the joy.

But of course that’s not what the king is suggesting. He is not suggesting that his own marriage will be destroyed by violent emotion – just that grief might cloud a person’s promise-making ability, that it might make most declarations a little suspect.

What to ourselves in passion we propose, The passion ending, doth purpose lose.

Good grief! How many times does the King express this same sentiment? It’s, like, one aphorism after another. The king is a cliché machine, generating non-stop “You’ll change your mind” sayings. This one being not much different than the one previous, nor much different than the one that will follow.

This speech is imminently cut-able. And I’m not sure what Shakespeare is doing here aside from maybe making fun of another writer’s style? It makes me wonder if one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries or predecessor’s wrote in this non-stop aphoristic rhyming couplet style and this speech of the Player King’s is a little dig or a shout out or something. It’s not funny enough to be Pyramus and Thisbe style meta-theatre and not serious enough to be Spanish Tragedy style – life crossing over the 4th wall. It’s an arch little list. And it does rather go on.

Most necessary ‘tis that we forget To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt.

When I was little, I told my family I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up. I think this was because the waitress at Friendly’s was nice to me and it seemed like it would be good to bring people things that made them happy. I don’t know how long this idea lasted. I forgot it – it got relegated to a funny childhood story.
Sure, in some ways, my life would have been easier if I’d remembered that particular debt to my childhood desire. If I’d just stuck with the idea of waitressing as a career, I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak and a LOT of student loans.
But – it was necessary to forget that promise to myself.

Likewise, the one in which I declared I would never move to New York City, that I’d make my living for always and forever in the trenches of regional theatre. It’s good I forgot that promise.
I can’t remember any other promises that I made to myself that I forgot – probably because I forgot them. And that is necessary for growth and progress.

Purpose is but the slave to memory, Of violent birth, but poor validity, Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the trees But fall unshaken when they mellow be.

Little hard yellow fruit on the branch waits to ripen.
It doesn’t know what it is yet.
Could be sweet. Could be sour.
It could have a rind or not.
Whatever we decide it is now, that is a guess.
It makes me think about the entelechy – the acorn that is always essentially acorn but has that within that is destined to be a tree. And when the conditions are right, it can be as easy as fruit falling off a tree.
Time will shake us all from our trees eventually.

I guess I can see why this passage is usually cut out. It sure feels like a whole lot of stalling.

I do believe you think what now you speak, But what we do determine oft we break.

I could become the world’s most annoying New Year’s Eve party guest. As everyone goes around the room telling one another their New Year’s Resolutions, I’d just pipe up with this line.
I’m going to exercise everyday.
I do believe you think what now you speak
But what we do determine oft we break.
I will quit smoking starting now.
I do believe you think what now you speak
But what we do determine oft we break.
I will get my novel published.
I do believe you think what now you speak
But what we do determine oft we break.
I do believe you think what now you speak
But what we do determine oft we break.

I know how to be popular. Oh yeah.
1) Doubting people’s determination at a heady optimistic moment and
2) Quoting Shakespeare in social situations.

That’s how you do it.
Geeks take note.

And thou shalt live in this fair world behind Honored, beloved;

On a good day it can feel like a fair world, though it’s rarely fair in the sense of just. Beautiful, it can be. Sublime.
Ridiculous. Invigorating. Surprising. Interesting. Shocking. Banal. Frustrating. And always complicated.
The days that are beautiful are ones to cherish. I don’t know many who honestly find each day beautiful. There are those that attempt to –
But sometimes that beauty is dimmed by the attempt.
I imagine the world is never so beautiful as when you are leaving it.