Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shipwrecks in Shakespeare

I don't think they got it quite right tonight on Jeopardy, although I might not have gotten the text of the question completely straight - I thought it was something like "One of the two plays of Shakespeare where the action began with a shipwreck".  My first thought was "The Tempest", and that's the answer all three contestants got.  The second choice offered was Twelfth Night, which was not the first thing I thought of when looking for a second choice.

How about The Comedy of Errors?

From Act I, Scene I (bolding mine):
O, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd them merciless to us!
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,
We were encounterd by a mighty rock;
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened
With lesser weight but not with lesser woe,
Was carried with more speed before the wind;
And in our sight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length, another ship had seized on us;
And, knowing whom it was their hap to save,
Gave healthful welcome to their shipwreck'd guests;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail;
And therefore homeward did they bend their course.
Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss;
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.

Since nobody guessed that, I guess I'll never know why that was not considered a valid answer

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