This hasn’t felt very choreful, but today it does. Could it be the French verse plays? Why shouldn’t I be excited when “The classic plays of French literature are produced to-day precisely as when they were given for the resplendent kings they were written to please.” OMG, it is impossible for me to get tired of the promotional writing. It’s nonstop fancified optimism is balm to my soul. “The resplendent kings [great band name -- ed.] they were written to please.” Why, the syntax alone is reminiscent of the upper classes!
Also: the plays are produced in precisely the same way as when they were etc. etc.? I say that’s a bug, not a feature.
Okay, it’s “Polyeucte” (what?) by Corneille (who?) Written in the 1600s. I have no idea what’s what. This’ll be exciting!
And it’s in rhymed verse. I’m actually charmed.
-- Hey, guess what, they’re talking about women. Until they start talking about baptism. (“For this I yearn,
For that exhaustless fount I thirst, I burn.”)
Okay, I’m completely lost. I will use something they didn’t have in great-grandfather’s day and Wikipedia it.
[Pause for Wikipediaing...]
Oh, now I see: Polyecute’s going to become a Christian on the down-low, this being Roman times. I guess this will make up for some of the rampant skepticism they’ve been working on this month. Now back to the text.
-- now I get it. Polyeucte must keep his Christianity from his wife or she’ll be executed too. Hence the secrecy.
“He is Armenian, thou of Roman line.You know, I never know of an Armenian-Roman marriage that worked out, at that.
We, of Armenia, mock thy dreams to scorn,
For they are born of night, as truth of morn;
While Romans hold that dreams are heaven-sent,
And spring from Jove for man’s admonishment."
-- She also hates Christians:
Their sect is impious, mad, absurd and vain,
Their rites repulsive, as their cult profane.
Deride their altar, their weak frenzy ban,
Yet do they war with gods and not with man!
Relentless wills our law that they must die:
Their joy—endurance; death—their ecstasy;
Judged—by decree, the foes of human race,
Meekly their heads they bow—to court disgrace!