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Graham Norton viewers reduced to tears after powerful Judi Dench speech

Graham Norton viewers reduced to tears after powerful Judi Dench speech

Judi Dench held Graham Norton, his guests, and the audience spellbound with her rendition of a Shakespeare sonnet on last night's show

Judi Dench gave a powerful speech last night on The Graham Norton Show which left some viewers in tears and others simply in complete awe of the acting legend.

It’s not exactly a revolutionary take that Judi Dench is very good at acting, but few would have realised that she is able to pull entire sonnets out of her head on a whim and recite them beautifully on national TV.

Of course, she may have simply known what was happening beforehand and boned up on the correct Shakespeare, but where would the fun in that be?

Dench was on Graham Norton’s show to publicise her book, which is all about her acting and career working with the plays and poems of the Bard, so if anyone was going to pull a random sonnet out of their noggin, it’s her.

When prompted by the host – who even threatened to ‘poke [her] with a stick’ – she agreed to read the short poem in front of the in-studio audience and her fellow guests.

Judi Dench recited one of William Shakespeare's sonnets.

For the entire duration, she had everyone transfixed.

Even a big Hollywood star like Arnold Schwarzenegger – though he’s not a classical actor himself- must have been taking notes.

Maybe he will have been inspired to take on some of Billy Shakespeare’s work himself in the future?

For real Shakespeare fans, Dench read from Sonnet 29, and it goes like this: “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

“I all alone beweep my outcast state. And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

“And look upon myself and curse my fate. Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

“Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

“Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

“With what I most enjoy contented least;

“Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

“Haply I think on thee, and then my state

“(Like to the lark at break of day arising

“From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

“For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

“ That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

Beautiful stuff, no?

The entire studio was gripped.

Well, fans who have seen the clip online seemed to think so, anyway.

“That brought tears to my eyes,” one said.

“It was exactly what I needed to hear again right now.”

Another wrote: “Brought me to tears, we had to memorise a sonnet in high school and I picked 29.

"It’s been my doodle, my handwriting practice, my mantra when I’m lost and need to babble. Hearing her recite it sent me.”

A third simply wrote: “The Goddess works her magic.”

Anyway, if you want to know what it’s all for, as well as hearing more about Dench’s love of Shakespeare, you can buy her new book, called ‘Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent’.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: BBC, Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show, Celebrity, TV and Film