[MUSIC] It is perhaps fitting that we end this module with Rinde Eckart's thoughts about Feste, since Shakespeare gives Feste the last word in the play. Orsino draws the action of the play to a close, by planning his wedding to Viola. He imagines the day when she will become Orsino's mistress and as fancies queen. After these lines, all actors exit the stage, except for Feste. The clown provides a postscript to the play, a kind of epilogue, in the form of a song. Prologues, and epilogues are important moments in a dramatic performance. In these framing speeches, characters from the play world break the fourth wall and address the audience directly. In the case of epilogues, the actor as a representative of the playing company, speaks to the play that the audience has just witnessed. In so doing, the actor either implicitly or explicitly acknowledges the relationship between the theater as an institution, and the community of spectators gathered to witness the play. For those who know these examples, we can think of the spirit Pucks teasing requests for applause at the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Or you may remember Prospero's similar speech, at the conclusion of The Tempest, in which he asked the audience to put their hands together. Feste's song does a similar thing, though in an odd way. The song is both humorous and weirdly melancholy. I want to take just a little bit of time to think about the song's lyrics. And to speculate about how these lyrics relate to the play that's just ended. Here is the song's first stanza. And I'll do you the favor of not singing it. When that I was a little tiny boy, with hey, ho, the wind and the rain. A foolish thing was but a toy, for the rain it raineth every day. These opening lines set up a story about the speaker's youth and the subsequent stanzas follow the growth of the boy into manhood. But when I came to man's estate, with hey, ho, the wind and the rain, gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate. For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came, alas, to wive, with hey, ho, the wind and the rain, by swaggering could I never thrive. For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came into my beds with hey, ho, the wind in the rain, with tosspots still had drunken heads. For the rain it raineth every day. As Rinde Eckert insightfully notes near the end of the full version of his interview, the song tells a story of a life that really doesn't go anywhere. I'd like to take a moment to build on Rinde's sharp observation, the speaker's existences, lived out against a backdrop of ongoing wind and rain. The life Feste narrates as one without any clear sense of achievement or any kind of moral clarity. Nothing really happens to redeem the more or less endless procession of unpleasant days. Such a puzzling view differs from the genre of comedy by not painting a happy portrait of marriage. If the speaker marries at all the experience has not been chanted marital bliss, but one lived out among tosspots, which is to say, drunkards. However cheery may be the tune or however humorous may be each stanza on its own. The song paints a picture of a relatively unappealing reality. In which daily life filled with wind and rain, does not really have much point or meaning. This is perhaps another instance of Feste's wisdom, a sense of the transitoriness of life. And the importance of cultivating moments of community through song, which is one of the things he's done throughout the play we've just witnessed. Cultivating moments of community through performance is also a way of thinking about the theater. Such an affirmative possibility for theater seems to be a view hinted at in the songs final stanza, which attempts a kind of summary and then turns its attention to the audience. A great while ago the world begun with hey, ho, the wind and the rain. But that's all one, our play is done, and we'll strive to please you every day. Then final stanza performs a wild shift in perspectives. It's opening line gestures towards a creation story, the moment when the world began, promising a kind of big picture view of the world. The opening line teases some kind of message about the point of it all. But, as with the previous stanzas, the song does not deliver on such promise. The wind and the rain have been around since the beginning of time. Life has always been stormy, people have always been mistrustful and have always locked their gates. Daily existence has always been dreary, filled with failure and pointless activity. In its final couplet, though, the song changes course, the phrase, but that's all one means something roughly along the lines of, well, whatever or nevermind. To say that the wind and the rain that have been blowing since the world's beginning are all one, represents a kind of refusal to think about the implications of such perpetual dreariness. The gesture could amount to something like a shrug, as if to say, what are you going to do? There may be nothing you can do about the weather and daily life may not be that appealing, but there is hope. As Feste points out, there is value and pleasure to be found in the work of a theater. Whether or not one agrees with the song's vision of daily life, it is clear that Feste is working hard to invite theater goers back to the stage. The actors in the stories they tell offer a way for people temporarily to shut out the wind and the rain. By gathering daily at the place of the stage. Embedded in Feste's concluding performance is an advertisement for future performances. And a view of the theater as an institution capable of providing an alternative to the world as it exists. As a spokesman for the theater, Feste performs a song designed to unite the audience in applause. The song's conclusion also subtly celebrates the power of theater to create a different, pleasurable reality even if only for a moment. Twelfth Night concludes though as Feste's song promises performance of Shakespeare's works have not concluded. This course's next unit invites us to consider a relatively recent kind of applied theatrical performance. We now turn to a case study of a version of Twelfth Night created for the Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, Shakespeare in the schools project. Their reimagination of the play shows how Twelfth Night, can speak to our contemporary world in pointed and urgent ways.