Expectations, or The Comedy of King Hamlet

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Expectations, Luigi Monteferrante, 106 x 96 cm, acrylic on wood, 2014.

Expectations, Luigi Monteferrante, 106 x 96 cm, acrylic on wood, 2014.

Expectations? We have them. We might choose to feign harboring none, the cynic, the disaffected, the moody melancholic, and those too cowardly to raise that castle in the air, erect, build and establish their dreams and expectations.  Large or small, bright or gloomy, morning dawns with expectations. And expectations don’t sleep; they lie in wake.

In this painting, time was short, and there was an abundance of energy, an overflow that sundered the restraints of time, and carried over from Expectations to Oracle, the next painting.

In Expectations,  set in post-Classical darkness, the woman on the left is expecting a child, her future pregnant with aspirations, certainties – an heir – the warmth, love, fears and vicissitudes of motherhood.

The man,  a warrior, knight, nobleman – he is handsome, young, clutches a stiletto at his belt – gazes forward, not far in time or space, but at the present.  Guarded, cool, unsmiling, bared of faith, but his own self-confidence, and strength. Master of his Castle.

To his left, a woman, disproportionately large, attractive; prophecy, distraction, or more earthly: a mistress, a mother?

It reminds me of Hamlet, not the tragedy, but what was a tentative title: The Comedy of Hamlet, King of Denmark. Comedy because it ends happily. He kills nobody, marries Ophelia, currently expecting a child, and Gertrude is at peace, Uncle having died of old age. Or perhaps attacked and killed by a pack of boars. And in any case, Gertie resigned to playing off-center stage, with Hamlet and the Mrs clearly in command.

But all is not well in the Danish realm. Ophelia will bear triplets: envy, jealousy and violence.

And the skies grow dark with bloody expectations.

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