Two things last week on the poignancy of happy expectations being crushed.
1. The last scene of Henry IV Part II. I saw the Royal Shakespeare’s Company version beamed live at the cinema, with Antony Sher playing Falstaff. It’s a melancholy play anyway, about sickness and mortality, but Falstaff takes on a new lease of life on hearing that his glamorous young friend, the Prince of Wales, has finally become king. Then comes the procession. and Falstaff greets the new Henry V-
My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
Falstaff and Prince Hal in happier times
Antony Sher took a long while to turn round to show his face, so the audience had time to dread the disappointment in it.
The second was this cartoon of the Set Text welcoming its readers:-
English academics on Twitter found their hearts breaking when they saw this.