TL Question #15 ~ Do you like me now?

by Stephen Jeffreys

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gilly
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Unread postby gilly » Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:50 am

I can't say I like him...But I admire his honesty, his I-don't-give -a-stuff mentality..I would have loved to have hung out with him as a mate [ as long as I wasn't Downs]... :cool:
Life is beautiful.

I have faith in you.

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SamIam
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Unread postby SamIam » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:59 pm

Sadness...I really enjoyed participating in the discussion. It was very insightful and enlightening. It made me think each day. I really enjoyed it. It was great for me being a first timer and all. I managed pretty well. Although I hadn't actually read the play but that's ok. I read most of the tidibits. They helped quite a bit.

I like what he stands for but not how he acted. I don't think I would want to meet up with him. Although it would be fantastic to have a conversation with him. I think he was a breath of fresh air in the stuffy society he lived in. He couldn't stand being like everyone else and didn't care what people thought. I am exactly the same way. It's like take it or leave it. I can live without your opinion. I admire him for that.
Ambition without inspiration is like a boat on dry land.

the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:16 pm

SamIAm, we were glad to have you and happy to know you enjoyed the discussion! :bounce: Come back and see us anytime! (And that goes for the rest of you too!)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby In-too-Depp » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:23 pm

Well I have to say I liked him and cannot judge him on the conversion at the end. It's hard to judge from the film and I've only just started reading a biography on him but I'm already starting to glimpse how it was he became who he was.

I would have loved to know him, you would have the choice as to whether you wanted his company or not. If given fair warning it's up to you as to whether you feel he was dangerous to be with. I will know more once I get further into the biography but going by the film alone I have to say "Yes I do like you now".
And Wit, was his vain frivolous pretence
Of pleasing others, at his own expense

Rochester ,"Satyr" on Man

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Gilbert's Girl
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:39 pm

I am not sure if I either liked or disliked him not from the play not from his bio I read many months ago. I think he was an interesting person who went through a horrible illness,and suffered from the horrible treatments which proably more than likely killed him, from what I have read he could at times write some very good poetry. I certainly felt very sad by his death both reading about it in the bio and in the play.

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Unread postby dharma_bum » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:56 pm

QueenofKings wrote:I'd much rather have been hurt by them then to never have known them.

It’s a question of risk isn’t it? And whether the wild and wondrous ride is worth the risk of getting hurt. And if you get hurt, whether it will it forever taint the pleasure you experienced.

Most of the people in the fictional John Wilmot’s orbit seemed to walk away bruised but more interesting and evolved people… Etherege, Barry, Malet, even the supporting players like Alcock and Huysmans. I’d like to think that’s the way genius works… you never board the merry-go-round again once you’ve ridden the roller coaster.

So I dare say, I do like him now.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
—Johnny Depp

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Unread postby suec » Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:51 am

I liked him after reading the play. Do I like him now? It has gone beyond that, somehow. My friend said that she identified with him very strongly, and I do too. Perhaps we are meant to, as I said in another thread, but now that I have read some bios, and especially his letters and poems, I feel that very strongly. He shared so much of himself in his writing: his humanity, his character. And his love for his women, his children, shouts out from the pages. He loved his son very much, but what I most remember is his coment to Barry that their child was the "soft sex" that he loved.
I don't judge him. I think though that it must have been awful to have truly known him and cared for him. Imagine being his mother or wife and seeing what he did to himself. The womanising doesn't bother me. In fact, to me, it is the least interesting thing about him. I guess I think of infidelity as being the norm at that time and place. They were honest about it at least. But I admit, again, I wouldn't have wanted to be married to him, because it must have been awful for her.
I wish he could have found more happiness than he appears to have done. I wish he didn't have to pay quite so high a price for his flaws.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:17 pm

Well said, suec. It would have been so hard to have known him and watched what he did to himself and been unable to help or stop it. He would have been difficult to live with I'm sure, but I certainly would have enjoyed knowing him!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Boo-Radley
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Unread postby Boo-Radley » Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:49 am

I have to admit I really did like the Earl at the end of the play. I think some of the like, was born from pity however, reading the play I could feel Wilmot's pain and with every bad choice he made it was heartbreaking. It was like watching someone implode, and just wanting them to pull themself out. I don't really believe that he meant to hurt anyone, but he was so bent on his own self-destruction that he was heedless of the consequences of his behavior. This doesn't excuse him, but I never felt that he meant to hurt those closest to him. I can't wait to see Johnny play this extraordinary man.



~~EDIT~~

Endora wrote:
The problem for me, the point at which I lose faith in him, is the death bed conversion. I do not like him for that. I like to think that this was a sham brought on by the delusions of a brain whose chemistry was shutting down, but his references to part of the bible make me think he could have really meant it. I wish he hadn't. This final about turn is the reason I cannot like him.


I see what you are saying here Endora. But for me, Wilmot's hardness, was what he did to negotiate life, a way of keeping people back. He was truthful and truth bites sometimes, but his cynicism, for me, was often a front. Barry alludes to this:

BARRY: You see differently. I know you do, for I have had you in the two o'clock dark when you have held me and, while we coupled, spoken thoughts richer than I have heard from any other man, and yet you are afraid to show this openly. When two o'clock is gone and you are the eleven in the morning man, then you disavow that part of you that was so weak and gentle and must only rail and sneer. I would you had the courage to show the world the man I have seen for did he but let himself shine, he would guide us all to a new and finer place.

As I haven't read his bios, I can only go by the play. So I believe as it happens when a person is dying, the pretenses fall away. I don't think that Wilmot abandoned the truths of this world, but I do think that he acknowledged the truth of the world he was entering.


gilly wrote:
...But I admire his honesty, his I-don't-give -a-stuff mentality..I would have loved to have hung out with him as a mate [ as long as I wasn't Downs]...



:biglaugh: I feel the same gilly.



DITHOTbaba and Lizbaba, thank you again for a very vigorous and insightful discussion. I always wish I had time to participate all the time, but as that is not the case, I really cherish the opportunity to share in these discussions whenever I can. :bouquet:

Live in Depp
Boo
"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:51 am

Boo-Radley wrote: As I haven't read his bios, I can only go by the play. So I believe as it happens when a person is dying, the pretenses fall away. I don't think that Wilmot abandoned the truths of this world, but I do think that he acknowledged the truth of the world he was entering.


That would be the best of both worlds, wouldn't it? And I think I will choose to believe this theory.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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gilly
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Unread postby gilly » Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:20 am

''To acknowlege the truth of the world he was entering''..that's beautifully said,Boo..I agree... :cool:
Life is beautiful.



I have faith in you.

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Unread postby Jackslady » Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:21 pm

These are such interesting answers, it gives me a lot to think about!

I think it's worth considering that some of Rochester's behaviour and circumstances - infidelity, drinking, syphilis, was certainly not unique to him; the keeping of mistresses and the frequenting of brothels was considered quite normal among men of his class and syphilis (unsurprisingly) was rife at this time. What makes Rochester unique was his unflinching honesty, both in the living of his life and the brutally frank way in which he wrote about it. I think that is one of the things I admire about him - his honesty, his lack of hypocrisy. He never pretended to be anything other than what he was and it seems he had an uncanny ability to observe and see the truth about other people.

GG, I agree, I think the later years of Rochester's life were coloured by his problems with alcohol and his terrible illness. There is every reason to believe his mind would have been affected by the mercury baths he is believed to have taken as a "cure". This is one reason why I feel it is very difficult to say whether or not he was a "death bed convert", given that his mind was most likely seriously unbalanced by then. I think he had the desire to be reconciled with God. One of the most touching moments recorded is when shortly before his death he called his children in to see him. He is supposed to have turned to a friend while looking at them and said "look, see how good God has been to me and I go to him like an ungrateful wretch" or words to that effect. Apart from anything else, tender incidents like this force me to believe that there was indeed a "secret Rochester", a man who had a kind (albeit hidden) heart and who completely understood right from wrong.
"Easy on the goods darlin!"
"Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy, but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness"-John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

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