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Topic: Dead End( 02/06/14)
Elizabeth Has Left the Building
By Beth LaBuff
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Yes, he must!
I was the only student in my high school class who almost failed English Literature because I refused to read Shakespeare. My reasoning: Why should I read Shakespeare when my heart beat in rhythm with Jane Austen? Perhaps, if we’d been assigned Shakespeare first, I would never have fallen in love with Mr. Darcy. Henceforth— I. Became. Elizabeth. Bennet! I altered the syntax of my sentences; my speech became Austen-esque; and I day-dreamed of a phaeton and ponies carriage ride.
The ensuing years were spent pursuing Mr. Darcy. Would Elizabeth Bennet have welcomed an attachment with my Mr. Darcy? He didn’t live on the beautiful estate of Pemberley, but, on an eighty-acre farm that produced chickens and goats. Oh, he did have a happily situated pond in the middle of a pasture, and his rightful name was Jasper, not Fitzwilliam Darcy—Jasper Ogilvie from Keller County.
In my imagination, after a few months of misunderstandings fraught with pride and prejudice, he would become an ardent suitor. We would wed and find our livelihood on his most-agreeable eighty-acre farm. I would gather the eggs and shepherd the goats. I was Elizabeth Bennet and he was Mr. Darcy.
I tried to facilitate this felicitous match by showing Mr. Jasper Ogilvie what it would be like with my assistance with his chickens and goats. How was I to know that he did not want the desolate billy goat in the pen with the nannies until late fall? Mr. Ogilvie bellowed some most distressing words in my direction. I was all astonishment!
Jasper Ogilvie from Keller County is obviously ignorant of that excellent universally acknowledged truth. He refuses to give consequence to me, neither has he attempted any mode of declaration. I have been mortally wounded by Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy, AND Jasper Ogilvie. I am to the point of relocating Jane et al to the shelf. My affection once lost, is lost forever.
And now, I have firmly resolved to correct the negligence from my high school days. I will soon read Shakespeare’s most-romantic play (sigh)— Romeo and Juliet! I will become Juliet in search of my “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou?“ I am confident Shakespeare would never scorn a lady. My Romeo and I will live blissfully ever after, just like I imagine they did in the play.
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