Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ask the Experts

I Love You, Man

Yesterday, the all-powerful Magic Shake-Ball answered my query about Roger Federer with a line from The Tempest: "He receives comfort like cold porridge." I took this to mean that nothing was going to be comforting about Fed's run at Wimbledon until he actually has the trophy in hand.

Speaking of The Tempest, I'm seeing some good stuff on male friendships. The relationship between the drunk sycophant Caliban and the drunk "friends" Trinculo and Stefano who take advantage of him speaks to the strange beast that is guy bonding.

In many obvious ways Trinculo and Stephano are jerks. Stupid, pathetic jerks. But then there's also something poignant in Trinculo's reaction to Caliban's (drunk) declaration that he is a "wonderous man." Trinculo responds: "A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard!" (2.2.157-8).

Their good time is meant to be seen as "dangerous": they are plotting the death of their "King," a terrible crime. But they do have an actual relationship in the play, despite the booze and the bullcrap power talk. Who doesn't relish the chance to be seen as "wonderous"? Is this the stuff that male friendships are made on?