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William Shakespeare (1564) Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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William Shakespeare (1564)

Though his true date of birth remains unknown, the birthday of famed playwright and poet William Shakespeare is traditionally observed on April 23, the same day on which he died 52 years later. Since his death, his plays, such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, have been performed and studied all over the world. Some scholars have speculated that Shakespeare did not write all of the works attributed to him. Who do they suggest was responsible for authoring the Shakespearean canon? More...
monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:38:45 AM

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Happy 450th Birthday Mr. William Shakespeare!!!

So here's wishing Mr William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon many happy returns.

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare ``It's Greek to me'', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

Bernard Levin



Read more: Happy Birthday William Shakespeare | Stratford Upon Avon
thar
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:01:57 AM

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I think I have quoted enough Macbeth, so a bit of rousing stuff today....


This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:22:44 AM
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I do not like Shakespeare's plays.

Probably because I am too stupid to appreciate them.

I surely DO like some of the pithy sayings that are contained in his plays.

I hear that English speakers are indebted to him for literally coining many words and phrases that we use today in "modern" English.

Happy Birthday, sir!

rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:34:27 AM

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I like Shakespeare and it is a pity that I don't find time to study this master more.
My favourites are Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, and The Tempest.

On Shakespeare's language
This article contains further links.
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:43:25 AM

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bardweb.net also has a website with synopses of Shakespeare's plays:

Synopses
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:54:59 AM

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Remarkable date, indeed!
curmudgeonine
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:05:24 AM

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I wonder what our culture would be like if it hadn't been for Shakespeare
Bully_rus
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:14:51 AM
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With all due respect, I think that Shakespeare more important than the Queen of Britain - at least for world.
Hagan Thomas
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:47:23 AM

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Most interesting theory as the presumed writings and I am in the Shakespeare camp that he did write are writings more important than great classics they are about life, growth, repression, overcoming, being overcome, etc. And they more than stand-up still today as totally relevant. I know of a film, Anonymous (2011) Columbia Pictures, on this Shakespeare only claimed credit and did not have the education or life experiences necessary to write such works as credited to him. That an aristocratic nobleman of his time did who could not take his own credit. I say Shakespeare could have been smart enough not only to write but plant means that what he did write and took credit for could not actually be pinned on him so controversial and opinionated his many works were and seen at the time to be social comment on kings, queens and other authorities who could do much harm to him. Anonymous is a great dramatic entertainment on the credit hypothesis but though enjoyable and a quite possible writer is unveiled kind of I remain in the Shakespeare wrote himself camp.
Movie trailer after a short ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PaliLAQT8k
I can only agree that perhaps someone else inspired the writings via Shakespeare but no credit is needed there. The true perfection of them witness to that and crediting in being so.
Alice M Toaster
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:07:29 PM

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TheParser wrote:
I do not like Shakespeare's plays.

Probably because I am too stupid to appreciate them.

I surely DO like some of the pithy sayings that are contained in his plays.

I hear that English speakers are indebted to him for literally coining many words and phrases that we use today in "modern" English.

Happy Birthday, sir!



Some years ago, I purchased Shakespeare For Dummies. Prior to that, I could not make heads or tails out of what he was saying. This book really opened up a new world for me, and now I can understand it better when reading, and get more joy from the films. Give it a look!

Don't let the past remind you of what you are not now
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:19:49 PM
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Alice Morgan wrote:
Shakespeare For Dummies.




Thank you, Ms. Morgan.

The title fits me perfectly.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:34:49 PM
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Here in the United States, some people claim that one reason why so many students (especially in our large cities) do not graduate from public (government-funded) schools is that teachers try to force Shakespeare down their throats.

Some people claim that the only literature suitable for some students is the kind of contemporary literature that addresses the problems that big city youth face, and the literature has to be written in their kind of language.

Other people reply that Shakespeare -- if taught in modern English -- does, in fact, contain universal themes that are alive and well in our big cities.

I was lucky enough to attend a private school. My Shakespeare teacher was a wonderful person. He truly loved Shakespeare. But he did not know how to convey his enthusiasm to a bunch of 16-year-olds. He spent the hour each day just reading from one of Shakespeare's plays. It was absolutely dreadful. He bored his students out of Shakespeare.

TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 1:00:57 PM
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If you are a Shakespeare fan, you will want to read something that I have just read in the online edition of the British newspaper "Guardian."

It's an article entitled "The Sun's Shakespearean spread proves a hard act to follow." {As you know, the Sun is that newspaper with that naughty Page 3 feature.)

If you go to the Guardian website, just click on "Media" and find Mr. Roy Greenslade's article. (We dummies do not know how to link.)



Dr. Mohammed Albadri
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:58:31 PM

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A great English poet
thar
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:57:21 PM

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I love the language of Shakespeare. To be honest I am not all that fussed about the universal human truths about the human condition - I just think there are funny comedies, and rollicking tragedies, and a few stirring parts in the histories. (and some sexy poetry, as well!).

I am speaking as someone who is not into literature. People keep telling me I will love this book or that book - great authors, great novels, but most of them leave me struggling for interest - I am the definition of a philistine!
But I cannot understand why people are so distant from Shakespeare. The language is not modern but it is not so different you can't understand what is going on, in my opinion. A very few words are alien, but those you can just roll with, and go with the flow. And the construction of the language is just beautiful, powerful and balanced. The lines tell a story without being tortured into contrived verse, yet have rhythm and pattern that makes the whole thing poetic.

I think you are right about Shakespeare being forced onto unreceptive kids - but I think they are primed by the media, and their parents, and even their teachers, to be unreceptive. Kids love playing with language - it is where all the latest slang constantly arises and spreads - so if they were allowed to see Shakespeare as just another way of playing with language, I think they may be more receptive than people give them credit for. You don't have to put it into modern language - you can immerse yourself into his language instead.

I must admit, I learnt Shakespeare in English at school, and having people sit their reading it aloud is a crime to both sides! Luckily I was a keen reader so was reading everything I could get my hands on, so I read Shakespeare on my own, and loved it. For anyone who is listening and noticing the world around them, there are cultural references, quotations and para-quotations all around that suddenly turn up and you realise that is where they came from (as you said).

Maybe I am coming at it simply from a different culture of expectation.edit - rambling cut!
I think if it is not thought of as 'weird' or 'difficult' people may feel more confident to approach Shakespeare with less preconceptions. You don't have to understand every word to enjoy a rollicking plot twist, or a bangin' use of rhyme, rhythm and double meanings, that the best modern rappers would kill to be able to achieve.

(not intended to offend anyone who does feel it is too distant from their area of interest - just a personal opinion. And it depends on the play. Personally I like comedies, although they are rather mannered and contrived - there is enough hassle in the world without seeking it out for entertainment - I think that is the attitude that puts me off most literature! But a well acted or interestingly staged history or tragedy can have its own power in the moment.

sorry, long post. I should learn to write more succinctly. Hmmm.....Think
tnedutS
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:29:41 PM

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Alice Morgan wrote:
TheParser wrote:
I do not like Shakespeare's plays.

Probably because I am too stupid to appreciate them.

I surely DO like some of the pithy sayings that are contained in his plays.

I hear that English speakers are indebted to him for literally coining many words and phrases that we use today in "modern" English.

Happy Birthday, sir!



Some years ago, I purchased Shakespeare For Dummies. Prior to that, I could not make heads or tails out of what he was saying. This book really opened up a new world for me, and now I can understand it better when reading, and get more joy from the films. Give it a look!


Good hint, thanks, Alice!
excaelis
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:03:38 AM

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I can't imagine my brain without WS, and for me trying to comprehend how anyone could find his writing so opaque is like a swimmer trying to imagine not being able to swim.

I quoted Hamlet in a text to a friend this evening, helped my local pub owner's daughter with her Macbeth homework on Saturday ( the only time in my life that a fifteen-year-old girl is pleased to listen to me ), helped an engineer understand a passage from the same play just by speaking it like a normal human on Sunday, joked with a friend at work on Tuesday about the Irish using Henry V.....I know I'm wired differently, but this writer is like a constant bass line to the guitar riff of my everyday life.

It also helps that I did the academic and performance work too, I must confess. But still....

Sanity is not statistical
pedro
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:10:49 AM

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All those plays. In one day. And so young.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
rogermue
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:31:36 AM

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Applause Applause Applause for thar's article and The Parser's courage to say that school has put him off Shakespeare.
It is astonishing that schools, when trying to get great literature to pupils, manage to produce a contrary effect: They will never in their life
open those books. I would say wrong methods.

And Alice's hint at Shakespeare for Dummies. I would be interested in reading that book.
rogermue
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:31:47 AM

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Deleted, double post.
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:44:12 AM

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TheParser has kindly alerted us to a Guardian article about the Sun's special edition (note the spelling of 'brithday' in the URL and be aware that you'll have to buy your way in if you want to read the complete 'Sun' article) on Bill's birthday and some further links towards 'Telegraph' and 'Independent' coverage.

Thank you, James.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:57:19 AM
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Thank you, IMcRout, for linking to the article.
DenLee
Posted: Thursday, February 01, 2018 9:13:53 AM
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Hi,

Thank you for discussion on such interesting topic.

I' ve also read a lot about Shakespeare life, biography, whether he really lived or he was another person just using such name not to be unknown. But I think the existence of Shakespeare genealogy proved his life and truth of his biography.

Anyway, I consider him as one of the most outstanding men for the time of all human history. I'm fond of his ideas on life expressed in his works.
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