As you know from my “Guy’s Rose” story that I’m serializing here on my blog on Mondays and Fridays, I’m a fan of the revisioned view of Sir Guy of Gisborne as the tragic anti-hero who gets to redeem himself and become “a better man”. The four quadrants of the picture [(1) right] represent the different and evolving aspects of Sir Guy of Gisborne, brilliantly and complexly portrayed by the oh so talented British actor Richard Armitage:
a) upper left: one of our very first glimpses of the smirking henchman whose overriding ambition is to seek power, wealth, and position;
b) upper right: the man–whom the sheriff forces near daily humiliations upon–wondering if his sacrifices are worth it;
c) lower left: the tortured man who has just killed the person he loves most, Lady Marian–his world has turned “to ash”;
d) lower right: the finally honorable man now fighting “for” the cause of England, gazing disappointedly at the sister who is on the opposite side, knowing that his fate is to kill her, or to be killed by her;
Well yesterday, I was reminded of an essay that I wrote about Sir Guy on Facebook last July–before I started my blog–when someone “liked” the essay again. Actually, I have mused greatly about Sir Guy over on Facebook, but some of those thoughts have not found their way here into my blog yet. So I thought that today I would share some of these random Sir Guy musings with you.
7/28/11– This “letter” was lost in the mail and found in the “Dead Letter” unit at the Post Office–written on crumbling parchment, with fading ink, still having the faint scent of roses, and with postage due from 1192 [(2) below]:
1/13/12–Sir Guy and Lady Marian were truly star crossed lovers–if only Lady Marian would have realized that Sir Guy’s love was true, and that her own heart longed for him. If only. The tender way Sir Guy shows his compassion in trying to help Lady Marian escape being sold to a Black Knight in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 2, episode 6 [(3) below] reminded me of Shakespeare’s romantic “Romeo and Juliet” ‘hands kiss’ scene.
From “Romeo and Juliet” by Wm. Shakespeare [(4) below]:
“Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
… Juliet: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this. For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Romeo: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers, too?
Juliet: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
Romeo: Well, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Romeo: Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.
Romeo: [They kiss] Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
Juliet: Then have my lips the sin that they have took?
Romeo: Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.
And of course, we did have an all too brief glimpse of Sir Guy and Lady Marian kissing [(5) right]–if only for her to distract him while Robin slipped away. And it was an all too brief glimpse of paradise on Earth for Sir Guy.
I had written an earlier extended essay for my blog here (“Sir Guy of Gisborne: Broken Path, Broken Man”, Post #9 on 9/04/11) about Sir Guy’s tortuous journey with the women in his life–his heart’s unrequited love Lady Marian, and the sweet maiden Meg’s unconditional love [(6) right]–and Sir Guy’s broken path toward redemption that I link again for you here now:
One of the wonderfully illustrative videos embedded within that essay is by my good friend Jeannie–known in the videographer sphere as SirGuysLady. Here is her video again for you to enjoy [(7) below]:
Guy’s Redemption~Mess Of Me (Switchfoot) by sirguyslady
But then Sir Guy finally meets a woman–Meg–who tries to save him from his sister’s death sentence, only to be put under a sentence of death herself. Sir Guy attempts to nobly save Meg, but she dies in protecting him–the opposite of his relationship with Marian. The Sir Guy-Meg relationship was not only better than the Sir Guy-Lady Marian relationship, but that it also allowed Sir Guy to glimpse how he could be a better man by how he tried to protect Meg. Sir Guy told her to suck on the stone around her neck to generate saliva for Meg’s dry mouth. Sir Guy, removed the maggots from the stale bread for her to eat. And Sir Guy pleaded for mercy for Meg to Isabella twice–when Meg was caught trying to help Sir Guy to escape, and then before their almost execution. In the end, Meg gave her life to save Sir Guy–preventing him from being speared. Sir Guy had had no one on his side supporting him, believing in him–not even Marian–until Meg, who selflessly and unconditionally loved him as the misunderstood and ill fated soul that he was. And when Meg died in Sir Guy’s arms, he was able to comfort her during her last moments in such a gentle and tender way–perhaps fulfilling how he wished he could have comforted Marian, if he hadn’t been the one to run her through in the first place. So, Sir Guy grieving for Meg–rocking her lifeless body and weeping for her lost innocence [(8) right]–was also, finally, Sir Guy beginning to grieve for his Lady Marian. Sir Guy’s journey to the beginnings of being redeemed in his own death in the end–by saving others–was a tortuous one.
And who brought to captivating life–and redeemed in an honorable death–Sir Guy of Gisborne in the BBC’s three series production (2006 to 2009) of Robin Hood? One exquisitely talented British actor and master storyteller, Mr. Richard Crispin Armitage [(9) left]. Mr. Armitage’s searing character portrayals over the years in British television and films are varied and prolific. So, I think you might have heard of him. And, Richard Armitage is currently filming the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.
So to close my random musings about the character of Sir Guy of Gisborne–and the real man Richard Armitage as master storyteller in all his searing character portrayal incarnations–I am sharing the wonderful debut video by a brand new videographer mezzym01 [(10) below] that showcases Mr. Armitage’s smoulderingly intense gazes. Thanks to my blogger friend Servetus (of Me+RichardArmitage blog fame, as linked in the blog roll to the right) for initially sharing this video link. Enjoy!:
(1) The four pictures are all courtesy of RANet at www.richardarmitagenet.com
(2) Parchment paper stock photo was found at http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/122285/2/stock-photo-122285-burnt-parchment-paper.jpg
(3) Lady Marian (as portrayed by Lucy Griffiths) and Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 2, episode 6 (pix 156 and 153) in 2007, screen caps from RANet (www.richardarmitagenet.com); I composited the pictures together, brightening the images so their faces can be seen more clearly; http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode6/slides/rh206_156.html
For more on the BBC’s Robin Hood Series, visit http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/career/91.html
(4) Quotes from Wm. Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Julie” was found at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117509/quotes?qt=qt0401018
(5) Marian (as portrayed by Lucy Griffths) kissing Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood Series 2, episode 8 (pix 142 capped by RANet) http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode8/slides/rh208_142.html
(6) The brightened image of Meg (as portrayed by Holliday Granger) who attempts to rescue Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) from the dungeon where his sister Isabella the Sheriff (as portrayed by Lara Pulver) placed him in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 3, episode 9 (pix 88 capped by RANet) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodenine/slides/epnine_088.html
(7) “Guy’s Redemption~Mess Of Me (Switchfoot) by SirGuysLady
(8) “Sir Guy’s Journey Continues” wallpaper is a collage of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) images composited by me, Gratiana Lovelace. All images are courtesy of RANet and were found at www.richardarmitagenet.com
(9) Richard Armitage from the Project Magazine July 2011 photo shoot (image 7 by Matt Holyoak) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/MattHolyoak-07.html
(10)“Richard Armitage: Bedroom Eyes” a video by mezzym01 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbeOIOzNqx4