layout: post title: The Queen Mab speech tags:

  • Romeo And Juliet
  • Shakespeare —Over the years, William Shakespeare it has been pointed as the most influentual name on the modern theatre. His works with MacBeth and Romeo and Juliet were pointed as the foundation stone for the drama genre.Besides that, and ignoring the fact that everyone konws how his plays ends, in Romeo and Juliet we have the Queen Mab Speech, performed by Mercutio, as the one of the moust famous pieces of speech in Shakespeare works.But, why?It’s not simple do point the reason behind such speech. Mercutio is the most intense character in the play, but also, very romantic and always ready to fight for love and Romeo (we have to remeber that we are talking about teenagers here, Romeo itself is a thirteen years old boy) as the guardian of all the goodness in the plays. In fact, with his death, the R&J world falls apart very quickly, ending with the most iconic scene ever writen.But, also, Mercutio has the speech of all speechs inside Shakespeare ‘sR&J. And, truth been told, the speech evoques a very narrow narrative about love. Mercutio itself doesn’t make it very clear along the speech, but, taking that every piece of work in that time has a very heavy load of religion, we can assume that Mercutio is showing the effects of love in a non-religious way. With a inconsistent speech, very frenetic and with a few connections between the words and ideas, we can see throught the character — and even Shakespeare itself — how the society of this times (~1700) see love and the tragedy of a forbiden love.Queen Mab speech will be always the real reason behind R&J and the essence of love and why Mercutio fights for love.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8q8S0ScJ1w[/embed]

    MERCUTIO  O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.

 She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes

 In shape no bigger than an agate-stone

 On the fore-finger of an alderman,

 Drawn with a team of little atomies

 Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;

 Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners’ legs,

 The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,

 The traces of the smallest spider’s web,

 The collars of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams,

 Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash of film;

 Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat,

 Not half so big as a round little worm

 Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid:

 Her chariot is an empty hazelnut

 Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,

 Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.

 And in this state she gallops night by night

 Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;

 O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,

 O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,

 O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,

 Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,

 Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:

 Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,

 And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;

 And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail

 Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,

 Then dreams, he of another benefice:

 Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,

 And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,

 Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,

 Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon

 Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,

 And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two

 And sleeps again. This is that very Mab

 That plaits the manes of horses in the night,

 And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,

 Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:

 This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,

 That presses them and learns them first to bear,

 Making them women of good carriage

 This is she —

ROMEO  Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!

 Thou talk’st of nothing.

MERCUTIO  True, I talk of dreams,

 Which are the children of an idle brain,

 Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,

 Which is as thin of substance as the air

 And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes

 Even now the frozen bosom of the north,

 And, being anger’d, puffs away from thence,

 Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.

BENVOLIO  This wind you talk of blows us from ourselves;

 Supper is done, and we shall come too late

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare