I am currently traveling on business and ensconced at the Revere Hotel in Boston. It’s a very nice hotel, and full of boutiquey weirdness, just like I like it. Plus, the price was right on Hotwire. But I need to discuss its art with you. Specifically, two items that are illustrated Shakespeare quotes.
The first is a quote from Othello, over the desk:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
The second is from the Scottish play:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Am I just weird and not appreciating the theater theme of this room since we’re in Boston’s theater district? (The Do Not Disturb signs are super cute), or am I completely reasonable in being creeped out by a room featuring artistic centerpieces involving both a quote from a play about a guy who smothers his wife with a pillow and a quote about how life has no meaning from a different play that happens to be considered cursed?
I get how the two pieces almost work for their positioning — the Othello piece arguably speaks to the act of business just as the other one arguably speaks to the exhaustion of business travelers like me, but I feel like the hotel is almost counting on no one having actually read these plays. Surely they could have chosen something from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and been just as edgy without being appalling, right?
I love both these plays; Othello is one of my absolute favorites, and I played the Lady when I was in Sydney, so I was almost tickled by the art until I started thinking about it.
So help me out, Internet — what on earth was the hotel decorator thinking and would all this be more or less creepy if I weren’t here on my own?