Act IV Scene I particularly stood out in my mind. Hero (her name is so ironic) is being accused of infidelity while she has but moments left. When I was reading this scene, especially during Claudio's speech, "But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd, / And mine that I was proud on - mine so much / that I myself was to myself not mine...," (4.1, 131-133) all I could think about was how he was going to regret it when he finds out that she did nothing wrong. The time with her is more precious than he realizes. As I was thinking this, I began reading the Friar's speech in which he says, "...That what we have we prize not to the worth / whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost, / why, then we rack the value, then we find / the virtue that possession would not show us / whiles it was ours." I think this is a beautiful and poetic way of putting the famous saying, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." Many times we discuss the fact that Shakespeare wrote in the 16th century and question why it is that his works have remained part of the canon of great literature up until this day. I think it is because his works contain such hidden gems of truth and reality that are timeless. The notion of not realizing something's worth until it has passed is an idea that we all think about and sometimes experience. And, as suggested, it is worse when things are left unsaid.
"When he shall hear she died upon his words,
th'idea of her life shall sweetly creep
into his imagination,
and every lovely organ of her life
shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
more moving, delicate, and full of life,
into the eye and prospect of his soul
than when she liv'd indeed." (4.1, 218-225)
Though Hero actually lives, I still feel that this is one of Shakespeare's quiet gems that are hidden in a lot of his plays.