Tuesday, December 6, 2011

it must be requited

Last weekend I went to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Shakespeare Company. And I was struck by one line, or word rather. Requite. It is used twice, once by Benedict and again by Beatrice. It's a word that is so often used in the passive tense with a negative prefix. As such, it is something I am all too familiar with. Unrequited, as it is applied to love is a concept that I have spent far two many hours dwelling on. But as sad as the word unrequited is, to requite is possibly the most glorious verb in the english language. Sure, Christ told us that to love those who love us is no great feat and we are to strive to love all. Well, I'm working on the loving all bit, but I'm ready for some requition.

If you haven't seen this movie, consider it homework but I'll set this up a bit. Benedict and Beatrice can't stand each other. But their friends decide that with a little manipulation, they might actually stop their bickering and fall deeply in love. So, they set a trap. They set it up Benedict to overhear his friends describe Beatrice's undying love for him. And this is his reply.

Oh that my love could inspire such enthusiasm. Isn't Kenneth Branagh absolutely dreamy here? I can't get enough of that beard. I was going to make some sort of joke about "l[ying] in the woolen" here but they all came out overly dirty and totally obscure (harnessing my inner Shakespeare nerd). 

Back to my point, Beatrice's response is precious. 
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, 
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.
It is such a great love story, and one of Shakespeare's best. And it's currently getting a modern revision by Joss Wedon of all people (think Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog). I can't wait to see Nathan Fillion (Captains Reynolds and Hammer) as Dogberry - sure to be brilliant!


  1. This is one of my favorite movies and I, too, am so excited to see the Whedon version! I don't know who's dreamier, Captain Tightpants or Branagh as Benedick.

    I know requition (word? it is now) will come your way. I hope it's soon.

  2. Thanks Vesuvius, yeah I think I made it up but I'm quite fond of the concept - and hopeful.