And the rain it raineth every day…(part 1)

I studied Twelfth Night for my English Literature O’ Level extermination back in the day. That was the first time I was introduced to the heroic nature of clowns & fools, who are it must be said obligatory characters in Shakespeare’s plays. Now I am not going to bore you, dear reader, with an essay on the finer points of the Bard or indeed other authors, past and present. The simple fact is, whether writing Comedy or Tragedy, Shakespeare took it upon himself to introduce a character or group of characters, who by their words or actions could both lighten the load and bring broader social comment to bear.

The Fool inTwelfth night is introduced to us as Feste, but from that point onwards is simply referred to as ‘Fool’. Towards the end of the play, he has this song to give:

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain, it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain, it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain, it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain.
But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.

And in April, May and June 2012, hasn’t it just rained!  So we can of course be certain that whilst Twelfth Night is set on the Adriatic shores of modern Croatia, in practice our Will is drawing on his intimate knowledge of British weather.  So pity the modern day entertainers, be they actors, athletes, singers, sportsmen or whoever.  In that time of the year when the  calendar is crammed full of outdoor events, isn’t it a crying shame that the weather can’t be relied upon to behave and give us some balmy climate fit for purpose.

As I write, the rain is scudding across the window panes early morning as we return from half-term.  Like the Monarch of our Isles, we won’t be prevented from making a really good fist of school, at work and play for the remaining 5 weeks and weekends of term – didn’t the Queen do so well last weekend? But perhaps like that Fool from Shakespeare, I have been made somewhat melancholic by the interminable drizzle that has punctured our cricket season so effectively! Thanks goodness athletics, DofE, rowing and sailing seem slightly better prepared for a ‘wet’ life!

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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