Friday, January 29, 2010

Sense and Sensibility - Sonnet 116

Elinor walks with her sister, Marianne to reassure her.

Dear Colonel Brandon comforts Marianne, she is recovering from an illness brought upon her by a broken heart after she has been slighted by the libertine, Willoughby. Here Colonel Brandon reads to her as she convalesces ... the poem he has chosen is Edmund Spenser's the Faerie Queene, the verses he has chosen are as follows:

What though the sea with waves continuall
Doe eate the earth, it is no more at all ...
Nor is the earthe the lesse, or loseth ought.
For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto another brought ...
'For there is nothing lost, but may be found, if sought ...'

In the film, Sonnet 116 was the favourite of Marianne and John Willoughby , she recites it when she searches for Willoughby in the pouring rain and with a broken heart and spirit when she finds that Willoughby due to his financial troubles has chosen another, someone of a much higher class and wealth ... that he did not love her enough ... that there was just not enough love to induce him to choose her ... ♥

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare


chickory said...

i love this movie so much. but hugh grant is so weird in it. hes too modern somehow. oh but the girls are so wonderful. at the end when eleanor finds out that hugh grants character isnt married to lucy and cant contain her makes me cry too. i love this movie!!! ang lee rocks. and what is with how colonel brandon speaks? its funny to see the guy who plays house now in retrospect..the husband to the fat flakey lady. so many great characters...but eleanor "has my heart"

dianne said...

chickory dear I love this film too, one of my favourite adaptations of the Jane Austen novel. Ang Lee and Emma Thompson produced and directed a wonderful film.
I have a thing for Colonel Brandon's character, such a good, kind and gentle man; I'm glad that Marianne was lucky enough to see him for the lovely person he was after Willoughby had broken her heart and she had almost died.
I love the softness of Alan Rickman's voice, I think he is a great actor. Yes, Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars seemed a little 'wooden' in this role at times,but I did enjoy him as this character... remember society and social behaviour was very different then.
And of course dear, sweet Elinor, she stole my heart too, when she finds out that Edward (hugh grant) has not married the nasty Lucy Steele and he declares his love for her, I completely lost it and sobbed right along with her, she deserved her happiness...just loved that scene.
So many very interesting and fine actors in this film. Greg Wise who played Willoughby is now married to Emma Thompson after her split from Kenneth Branagh. Also Hugh Laurie from House plays these types of roles very well, his acting in Peters Friends and the 'Blackadder' series were outstanding. xo ♡

foam said...

wonderful movie.
it can sometimes be hard to initially notice the quiet and considerate colonel brandons in life, especially when one is overcome by the gregarious charm, apparent warmth and humor of another person. the book and movie are timeless in that respect.
it's no wonder jane austen endures ..

ps: and just this past weekend i watched this movie again.

dianne said...

Yes Foamy dear, it is a delightful film, I might watch it again this weekend, I have lost count of how many times I have seen it now.
Sometimes we do notice the quiet, kind and considerate colonel brandons in life but too often it is too late or they disappear... Marianne was so fortunate to have such a loving, thoughtful admirer.
Sometimes, but not always these fellows with their gregarious charms and apparent warmth have little sensitivity and no sincerity.
I'm sure some of the characters in Jane Austen's books were based on herself and people that she knew, she writes with such conviction I am sure she herself has had her heart broken and has suffered disappointment.
I never tire of reading her novels and feel we are so priviledged to have had such a talented young woman of her time who could write such beautiful and captivating stories and let us feel we are a part of that era. xo ♡

The Phosgene Kid said...

Shakeyspeer or Francis Bacon??

dianne said...

Hi Phossy dear,
I know there has been some contention over the authenticity of Shakespeares works, it has been speculated that they could have been written by Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley or Edward de Vere to mention just some of the fifty names which have been put forward.

However these are just theories and the authorship of Shakespeare has been supported by fellow actors and fellow playwright Ben Johnson, but despite this the debate continues, I think it always will.
I would like to believe that he was an extraordinary, imaginative writer for his time and enjoy his works for what they are despite those who would detract from his talent. ♡

chickory said...

its more like col brandon burnt his tongue or something when he spoke...dont get me wrong he is a great character. ive always loved a cinematic look at the english country about when the girls were left penniless and had to downside to the cottage..but it was so charming and the view was heaven.

dianne said...

Chickory dear I dont know what it was, maybe for the part of colonel brandon, as Alan Rickman has a wonderful speaking voice, I have watched a video at one time where he was reciting Shakespeare and I believe he is an accomplished thesbian as well.
I just fell in love with his wonderful character, I don't like flashy, I love the deep, sincere, silent ones who are steady and will always be there for you, they are usually the most caring and romantic. ♡
The english countryside is so beautiful, the locations for this film were just amazing ... I have the book on the making of the film and it mentions some of the locations.
The cottage was so charming, I would move there in an instant, the simplicity was a blank canvas for me and as for the view, as you have said it was heaven. xo ♡

dianne said...

chickory dear friend, further to my previous comment I have done some research for you.
The delightful 'cottage' which was named Barton Cottage in the film is actually Efford House which is located on the vast Flete Estate at Holbeton, south Devon. The cottage which appears modest from the front, is actually a magnificent Edwardian residence when viewed from the side, a fact the filmakers took pains to conceal. The area is a place of great beauty and renowned for its wild life, particularly rare birds, a fact of life appreciated more by naturalists than sound recordists.
I said before that I don't like 'flashy' well not in the sense that some men like that have no substance, some are all show, but lol I do like a man with a pulse :)... and though I love all flowers the wild meadow bouquet of flowers that Willoughby picked for the injured Marianne would be my choice from a prospective suitor.
I had to laugh because in the book Elinor is supposedly 19 and Emma Thompson was hesitant to take the part so they changed the age to 27.
Terrible to think that one would be considered on the shelf and looking at spinsterhood if you were twenty and one years of age.
Gosh what hope have I got of meeting a real Colonel Brandon.
I remember Marianne making fun of how old the Colonel might have been, I would say no more than 30 and she thought he was over the hill... I do so love this film.
Here is another link to some of the other locations which were used in the film, they are interesting places, I'm sure you will enjoy them, especially 'Norland', which was actually Saltram house, Plympton, Devon. xo ♡

chickory said...

guys like willoughby are easy to spot, they always come on really strong full of ardor and intensity...before they even know you. you have to have a guy that has seen you at your worst -in every sense of the word - and rolls with it.

i agree brandon was the finer man, even from the get go. and i do believe marianne had to have the great bitch slap of humility to be brought to a level of understanding to appreciate and DESERVE a man like col. brandon. wouldnt you agree?

amazing how much the woman mairanne and eleanors brother married...looked just like the wicked witch of the west. didnt you want to just crawl through the screen and choke that greedy hag?

i will follow your links -how sweet of you! - and take a look at the cottage, er, mansion and look lovingly at this land i might not ever see.

dianne said...

yes chickory dear, I have met quite a few guys like Willoughby in my time, you can see through them so I never got involved and as you say the one's that see you at your worst and stick around are the best kind ... had one like that but I did not love him and he was so sweet and so thoughtful to me...never took him for granted, we remained friends and I'm happy to report that he is happily married.

Yes, even though it was sad Marianne certainly needed that wake up call and needed more humility and maturity to DESERVE such a wonderful man as Colonel Brandon.

I wanted to jump through the screen and choke that Lucy Steele, what a nasty little snippet,the one who ended up marrying Edward's brother Robert for the inheritance after Edward was disinherited ... how much poor Elinor suffered and endured.
Also that miserable brother of the sisters and his greedy hag of a wife, Fanny, if she had her way the girls and their Mother would not have got a penny ... and fancy being so weak as to throw them out of their own home.

I hope you enjoy the links, I would love to visit the UK, such a green and pleasant land, maybe one day I will get there. xo ♡

foam said...

i think the actresses who played fanny and lucy steele did a great job of making the audience dislike them .. :)

dianne said...

Yes Foamy dear they certainly did that, they played their parts as Jane Austen wanted and had written in her novel ... I'm sure they are perfectly nice people in the real world.
I have seen Harriet Walter (Fanny Ferrars Dashwood) in other parts, she is a good actress but seems to play unpleasant characters.
I have also seen Imogen Stubbs (Lucy Steele) in some other film but cannot remember which one it was.
I like all of Jane Austen's novels, my other favourite is Pride and Prejudice.
Have you seen the BBC mini series which starred Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, great performances from both; I also enjoyed the movie version starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, another movie not to miss.

Did you have a look at the links, some of those locations and country houses are so beautiful?
xo ♡

foam said...

some actors get typecast in the type of roles they play. but, hey .. if it pays well and they enjoy it. i just checked out the link. beautiful estate!
i have seen both the bbc version and the newest movie version of pride and prejudice. i enjoyed them both. i perhaps liked colin firth better as darcy and keira knightly is just too skinny for that role although she acted well.

dianne said...

Yes Foamy dear, they do get typecast and some faces are definitely more suited to some characters than others, but I'm sure they do enjoy the work and I would guess in these big productions with a prominent role it would pay well.
Yes I liked Colin Firth as Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet ...
Jane Austen would have no idea then of the amount of popularity her novels would generate in this and the previous century, films then in her era would have been an unknown concept ... I wonder how she would feel if she knew?
I'm pleased that you enjoyed the links, yes, beautiful countryside and estates. xo ♡

Fantastic Forrest said...

LOVE Rickman's performance here. I don't know if you know it, Dianne, but Hugh Laurie recited part of that sonnet in Maybe Baby. You can view it here:

Also, are you familiar with When Love Speaks, a collection of great actors reciting sonnets? Rickman's on it. You can hear his Sonnet 130 at

Happy Belated Valentine's Day.

dianne said...

Yes dear Holly
I just loved Alan Rickman's performance of Colonel Brandon, what a steadfast and gentle character, I was so happy that he found the love he sought with Marianne.

Thank you for the links.

I haven't seen Hugh Laurie reciting sonnet 116 as yet as I am having problems streaming videos for the present time but I shall go back and try again when my computer is working to capacity.

However I have seen Alan Rickman reciting poetry and Shakespeare, what a captivating voice and what a presence he has ... how I wish 'our' Colonel Brandon would return, I miss him so much.

Thank you for the belated Valentine's wishes, same to you Holly dear. xo ♡

Brenda said...

I also adore this movie! I watch it over and over again. :) I was never introduced to Jane Austen's brilliance...rather I found her on my own while watching A&E version of Pride and Prejudice when it made it's debut. I have been hooked ever since. I found your blog while trying to find the Edmund Spenser poem. Thank You!!!!

dianne said...

Thanks Brenda , it is such a lovely story, I must confess I watch it myself when I get the chance and I always burst into tears of emotion at the end when Elinor cries when she realises that Edward has not married Lucy Steele, but in fact loves her.
I also love the stanza from Spenser's epic poem 'The Faerie Queen, so many lovely poems and songs to enjoy in this production.
I have enjoyed most of Jane Austen's works, some of the lesser known books have been made into mini-series some productions are better than others. I loved the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice,Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle were great together, also the film starring Mathew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley and Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Thank you for visiting my blog I hope it was helpful. ♡

Leovi said...

Una joya poética, que pena que por mi pobre dominio del inglés deba traducirlo a español. Saludos

dianne said...

Gracias querida Leovi , su comentario en Español es poético y hermoso.
Saludos a mi amigo!

xoxoxo ♡

laura said...

Hello, I haven't seen S&S for maybe 10 years being, thoroughly captivated by A&E's Pride and Prejudice. I began having a longing to see it again this last week of 2011. I remembered how sweet Brandon was and was intent to watch that relationship more closely. With a bad knee I holed up & watched it for New Years Eve. I really was caught by how appropriate this poem was for the New Years. I found your lovely blog researching it. Thanks so much for the post...beautiful. Happy New Years!

dianne said...

Hello, Laura , thank you for your kind comment, yes Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are two of my favourite Jane Austen novels. The film of S&S was wonderful and after much unhappiness, a happy ending. I was so happy that Marianne was able to see the constancy and goodness in Colonel Brandon and that Elinor was finally united with Edward Ferrars.
Thank you for becoming a follower of my blog, I hope I don't disappoint as I have not been inspired to write any poetry recently.
Happy New Year to you too!
xoxoxo ♡

laura said...

Diane, you won't disappoint. Thanks you so much for this beautiful blog. I watched S&S on New Years Eve. I had forgotten about this beautiful poem. I thought it was so appropriate for New Years. Your creativity will surprise in this New Year, I'm sure of it!

Wilsonawap said...

i think the actresses who played fanny and lucy steele did a great job of making the audience dislike them .. :)

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