So, apparently there is an event happening this week that has the entire world buzzing - other than my birthday. :) I speak of course about the Royal Wedding, which has had my wife glued to the television every time they mention the latest detail about whether the oddsmakers have William actually crying during references to his mother, or just getting a bit misty.
Anyway, it seems like we could find a Shakespeare spin on the subject. Correct me if I'm wrong in this, but Shakespeare never actually put a wedding on stage, right? That's what my research told me when I was working on my book. It being a sacrament and all, it would have been pretty blasphemous for him to portray the actual ceremony on stage and look as if he was making light of a solemn event.
He did, however, talk *about* weddings. Many times. Much Ado About Nothing has that great "Ok, now let's all go get married once the play is over" scene. Taming of the Shrew has its "Did you hear how Petruchio wrecked the wedding?!" third-person account. There's Romeo and Juliet's quickie. And of course, A Midsummer Night's Dream has the greatest wedding reception ever.
I have a couple of things I'd like to accomplish in this post. First, can we come up with the definitive list of when Shakespeare did the "talk around the wedding" thing, as described above? I'm looking specifically for opportunities where it's implied that a wedding takes place, either offstage or immediately after the play. It's the ones that happen during the play that are the most interesting, as they really call attention to the whole question of why Shakespeare never showed weddings. How should we count The Tempest?
Second, how would you add some Shakespeare to William and Kate's wedding? I've been keeping an eye out, and so far I've seen no Shakespeare references at all in any of the public material (i.e. the invitations, speeches and so on). There may yet be some, who knows. But if you were one of the wedding planners, how might you sneak some Shakespeare into the mix?
( Seriously, I'm hoping that somebody associated with this media event manages to make a Shakespeare reference, because the minute that happens a few million people are going to start googling for Shakespeare wedding quotes and yours truly is sitting on the front page for several variations of that search :). Fingers crossed! )