Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time,
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The Living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth, Your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom,
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.
*(Sonnet 55 – William Shakespeare)
Antony & Cleopatra
The most famous couple world history has ever known, Mark Antony & Cleopatra’s (the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt) love was consummated in the winter (not of discontent) of 41-40 BC, in Alexandria, but of course. Antony, a considerable wine drunkard, reneged on his duties to the Triumvirate, and languished in Alexandria, consumed by the perfumes of Queenly Cleo, foiled by Bacchus’ seductive grape and easternly hocus-pocus by way of Isis, idles away his days and nights in pomp and circumstance, smitten by Cupid’s poisonous barb, courtesy of the beauteous Egyptian Queen, who in her final moment, clung the deadly asp to her sweet breast, and thus ends her life, after a tumultuous and greedy grab for power by ambitious Octavian.
Abelard & Heloise
Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Furthermore, these two lost their heads so that we in posterity might live in a democracy. Indeed, a high price to pay, but in the long run a worthwhile one. What did they do wrong, anyway? Not much really, but it can be said, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time (which is an understatement)! Did Marie ever say: Let Them Eat Cake! Probably not, but she may have uttered some such jab, which the quill-sharp ears of servants (The Third Estate) overheard. Louis helped the Americans to achieve independence in at least two ways. Marie’s visit to the guillotine on October 16, 1793 ends this affair for all time!
Liz & Dick
In our modern times, the romantic Fickle Finger of Fate Laurel Wreath goes to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who met and fell in love on the set of Cleopatra. This exactly bookends with my first entry of Deadly Coupling, and consummates the evenly woven chronicle of my amorous adventures of Cupidly barbs of circumspection. These bouncing passions of love/hate, marry, divorce, followed by re-marry are the two-hour spectacle of our play today. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? May be more biographical than fictitious fantasy of theatrical enthrallment, by way of thunderous argument and mug-charging.