Dear Fellow Trainers of Elephants: Happy Mother's Day! (Originally published in May, 2012)

The Taming of the Shrew, Act 5

When Peter was a junior in high school, his Potter's School English lit teacher would sometimes assign the students to write an imitation of a specific passage of a work. Students had to examine an author's phrasing, word choices, and sentence lengths in order to write a sample in the same style but on a different subject. Peter chose to write about mothers as he created an imitation based on this speech from The Taming of the Shrew:

Shakespeare's version:

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience, -- 
Too little payment for so great a debt! 
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?

 - Katharina to Petruchio, Act 5, Scene 2 

Peter's version:

Thy mother is thy mistress, thy guide, thy teacher
Thy keeper, thy shepherd; one that cares for thee
And for thy health; sacrifices her sleep
To aid you in the night of malady, in the day of fever
Whilst thou benefit from all her meals, strong and sound;
And desires no other payment from thy hands
But love, obedience, and unity with brothers, –
Too little payment for so great a debt!
Such duty as an elephant owes to his trainer,
Even such a child oweth to his mother;
And when he is naughty, lazy, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to her loving will,
What is he but a rebellious fool,
And a corrupt renegade to his loving mother?

Peter's teacher's comment?
So sweet! Give this to your mama! :) 

Happy Mother's Day!


Popular Posts