Readings, Video Recording

A Thanksgiving Reading

Torquatto Tasso by Goethe. Act II, Scene 1

On this day of giving thanks and counting our blessings, I’m reminded of a scene from a Goethe play. You can watch me read it above. The speech is about how hard it can be to appreciate what you’ve got.

The speaker in the scene is a princess, and from what I recall, she is telling it straight to a sweettalking courtier who tries to woo her.

Basically, she says: “you flatter me now, but what about when I’m old and gray? What about when you’re pursuing your next big thing? Can’t you see that happiness is in your grasp … if you could just take it for what it is?”

The scene I read above is from the play Torquato Tasso by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 18th century German poet/philosopher/scientist who wrote Faust. He completed it in 1790.

So this is not a new theme. And it hasn’t died out.

A good recent example is the song “From Now On” from the musical The Greatest Showman. In the song, P.T. Barnum realizes that his blockbuster career is nothing without his family.

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