Celebration Quotation – February 16, 2016

Today’s quote is from Romeo and Juliet:

"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2

The actor pictured is William Charles Macready (1793-1873) – from a portrait by artist Samuel DeWilde.  It was painted in 1810, when Macready (whose parents were also actors) made his theatrical debut in 1810, playing Romeo at the tender age of 17.

Macready was one of the most popular actors of his generation.  When he retired from the stage in 1851, the poet Alfred Tennyson write the following tribute:

“Farewell, Macready, since to-night we part:
Full-handed thunders often have contest
Thy power well used to move the public breast.
We thank thee with one voice, and from the heart.
Farewell, Macready, since this night we part.
Go take thine honours home; rank with the best;
Garrick, and statelier Kemble, and the rest,
Who made a nation purer through their art.
Thine is it that the drama did not die.
Nor nicker down to brainless pantomime.
And those gilt gauds men-children swarm to see.
Farewell, Macready, moral, grave, sublime,
Our Shakespeare’s bland and universal eye
Dwells pleased, thro’ twice a hundred years on thee.”

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

2 Comments on “Celebration Quotation – February 16, 2016

  1.   It was painted in 1810, when Macready (whose parents were also actors) made his theatrical debut in 1810, playing Romeo at the tender age of 17. Where is this information?