At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispersed those vapours that offended us,
And by the benefit of his wished light
The seas waxed calm , and we discoverèd
Two ships from far, making amain to us,
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.
But ere they came — O, let me say no more!
Gather the sequel by that went before.
And the sea turned calm in the sunlight we had wished for
Guess what comes next, based on what happened before.
Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so,
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
What is it about Egeon’s speech and the language that he uses that makes the Duke want to hear more of the story?
O, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily termed them merciless to us;
For ere the ships could meet, by twice five leagues,
We were encountered by a mighty rock,
Which being violently borne up 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.
If the gods had pitied us then, I wouldn’t be calling them merciless now.
About thirty nautical miles
As we were split apart from each other, my wife and I were also left with split fortunes - things to be happy about and things to be sad about.
These are long speeches to start a play, especially a comedy. How can the actor playing Egeon keep the audience interested? How does Shakespeare help them?