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Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

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  • Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

    Although no one really "knows" on what day the world's greatest playwright was born, April 26, 1564 is often celebrated as his birthday because that's the date that is reported as the day he was baptized, and since infant mortality was so high back then, many babies were baptized on the day they were born to make sure that they were baptized at all. Some people like to say he was born on April 23 because he died on April 23, 1616 and they like the symmetry that would bring.


    There's an apocryphal story about an anti-intellectual who sniffed, "I don't understand why there is so much fuss about Shakespeare: all he did was take a bunch of famous quotes and string them together."


    So many of his plays have been performed so well by so many of the world's best actors; the stories have been recast into many different settings and have produced hit after hit after hit through the centuries that followed.

    Some people are surprised at how many great movies and shows have derived from his plays.

    and then on top of all those great dramas and great comedies, we have all those sonnets as well?

    Happy Birthday!
    Last edited by FreshFish; 04-23-2015, 08:12 AM.
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

  • #2
    Re: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

    The radio station this morning was playing Shakespeare-themed music, soundtracks to movies made from Shakespeare plays, that kind of stuff. Apparently they are observing the anniversary of his birth today.


    Kiss Me Kate is a fun adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew using the classic "play within a play" motif.

    I saw a wonderful production of The Taming of the Shrew years ago by the Boston Shakespeare Company. They played the classic closing scene through looks, winks, and body language to indicate that Kate and Petrucchio colluded ahead of time so that Petrucchio could make his bets about whose wife would be most obedient.
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

      and now for some Shakespeare humor in a sonnet....

      My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
      Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
      If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
      If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
      I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
      But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
      And in some perfumes is there more delight
      Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
      I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
      That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
      I grant I never saw a goddess go;
      My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
      And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
      As any she belied with false compare.
      "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

      "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

      "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

      "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

        Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (uncle of Ryan - a Gopher recruit for next season)

        The Tragikal History of King Richard III

        ACT VI – Epilogue

        RICHARD III, deceased, seated by a grave, holding a skull.

        ENTER HAMLET Prince of Denmark, deceased, wearing Wayfarers.

        HAMLET [singing]:

        Brush up thy Marlowe
        Start quoting him now
        Brush up…

        But soft!

        RICHARD:

        Ay me!

        HAMLET:

        Whom do I see beside this gaping grave?
        Why good ol’ Dicken, Blighty’s erstwhile king
        unkindly hacked to bits at Bosworth Field!
        Let’s draw near to find his sighings out.

        RICHARD:

        Ay me.

        HAMLET [sneaking]:

        He speaks! O speak again chopp’d monarch!

        RICHARD:

        Now is the summer of our afterlife,
        made somewhat gloomy by our funeral rites;
        and all the clouds that rained upon our lot,
        in the deep bosom of fair Leicester gather’d.

        HAMLET:

        What ho, good Richard, of that name the third
        to wear fair England’s crown, too short a time.
        Down seem’st thou to me, and desponding.
        Thy so black mood resembleth close that garb
        of inky sable I did sport as in
        the halls of gloomy Elsinor I moped.
        Art thou so dull and drear that thou woulds’t steal
        to earthy pit, my shtick to plagiarize?
        Thou must be truly vex’d to so converse
        with bony chops, by grave and dirt and muck.
        Tell me quickly: park you here a lot?

        RICHARD:

        Everyone’s a comic now, I see.
        Dost thou permit thyself at my expense
        a joke to craft of where my bones did lie?
        Give, I pray, the rest of that silence
        thou did’st prate on before thine own demise.
        If not, begone, shove off, and hie the hence.

        HAMLET:

        Peace, good King. I do but jest.
        In earthly life I was a pill, and now
        in heav’n’s joys jocund choose I to be –
        and not to be as earnest as before.
        In life I would have liked to be a card,
        perhaps a jack o’ hearts or e’en napes,
        e’en as that Yorick was, whose skull you swip’d.
        Come, explain. Tell me everything.
        Why is royal Dicken in the dumps?

        RICHARD:

        Less didst thou annoy when in thy ebon
        garb thou wert sunk in melancholy deep.
        Inky Hamlet I could bear. But deign
        I not to suffer Dane transform’d, in shirt
        Hawaiian, cracking wise and gamboling.
        But nay, stay a bit and tell me true.
        Art thou not mooning still over that blond?
        That swimming challeng’d girl? What was her name?
        Oprah? Something on those lines?

        HAMLET:

        Okay okay. Enough. Thy point I take.
        Cheap shot. Thou art not well dispos’d.
        But tell me. What’s the deal? Get a grip.
        Spill it all and list shall I sincere.

        RICHARD:

        Apology accepted, Prince of Danes.
        If thou wilt not take thy face hence at once
        I’ll unburden’d be. You asked for it.
        Yes, my tomb and long lost place of rest,
        beneath that car park less than august was
        for monarch royal, e’en one cast down
        in wars of rosy houses, white and red.
        Now they’ve found my bones and dug me up.
        Alchemy scientific they employ’ed
        and rituals forensic they performed
        upon my matter osseous, my framework
        skeletal, my lineage to spy.

        HAMLET [sitting down]:

        O wizardry most modern! Tell me more!

        RICHARD [holding the skull]:

        Studied they my skull, my wounds and hacks,
        my curvéd back did they interrogate
        until, at last, my bones, renovate,
        encloséd were in wooden casket fair.

        HAMLET:

        Much trumpeted was this in media massy.

        RICHARD:

        They bore me thence, a royal tomb to fill
        in Martin’s Church at Leicester.

        HAMLET:

        And so?

        RICHARD:

        See’st thou not? Shall I thee explain?
        When thou didst breathe in that vale lachrymose
        wert thou not a pious Catholic prince?
        Surely thou dost sense the sting that thy
        bones in clay encloséd are till doom,
        in Denmark, once a land of faithful flock.
        The Danish realm, as did the Britians’ isle,
        slith’ring slid down into mischief sin
        of error and schismatical protest.
        Their backs they turned on Holy Peter’s smile,
        in separation now circumnutate.

        HAMLET [aside]:

        What a ranting polysyllabic.
        Something bad is eating him for sure.

        RICHARD:

        Woe! More woe! And woe is me!
        Thou, Hamlet, royal Dane, must also feel
        this piercing sting, e’en in heaven’s bliss!

        HAMLET:

        Hang on there! Just a second wait!
        Dicken, we’re in heaven, see….

        RICHARD:

        … yes I know.
        Paradoxical I choose to be.
        In heaven’s bliss are we and in God’s sight
        replenish’ed by vision Beatific.
        But this is yearly “Talk Like Shakespeare Day”.
        The cleric scribe who put us side by side
        must needs a post for blog readers to write.
        We are therefore stuck here, players fretting.

        HAMLET:

        O horrible, O horrible, most horrible.

        RICHARD:

        Shall I say more? List, list, O list!
        In course they put my corse in church bereft
        of sacrament, of apostolic line,
        of teachings clear which no one can suspect.
        In angle of a temple Anglican
        my bones now lie, far from the Presence Real
        as dear to me in life as nothing else.
        Entombed am I, unhousel’d evermore.

        HAMLET:

        Ay, there’s the rub! For in that church
        there is no Mass, no priest, no bishop true.

        [aside]

        Now for effect dramatic shall I droop.
        Though steep’d in bliss, I’ll put on visage sad.
        A pair lugubriously blissful now are we.

        RICHARD:

        But shall I now reveal my heart’s true wound?
        Near so-called cathedra of Leicester were
        my bones with some formality interr’d.
        But elsewhere Catholic Mass was lifted up
        before my exsequies in that lost church.

        HAMLET [glancing at his watch and rising]:

        Soooo, there you have it, Dick, my buried friend!
        All’s well that ends well!

        RICHARD:

        But wait, there’s more!

        HAMLET [aside]:

        Who knew…

        RICHARD:

        Long in the past we shuffled off the coil.
        Some centuries of years did pass before
        a pope of name Iohanine, large of build,
        did bishops call into a solemn meet,
        second in the place where Peter’s bones
        do faithful Christians come to venerate
        upon the hill called Vatican at Rome.
        There the Council Father’s would mandate
        some several changes to the rites of Mass.
        But woe again, and woe! For those few points
        were seized upon by certain buggy clerks
        who then hijackéd all commands reforming.
        Though “nihil innovatur” bishops said,
        the buggy clerks changed all the black and red.
        An innovated ordo did they scribe
        and foisted it on Catholics far and wide.
        Confusion and decorum’s loss did reign
        and no one did the liturgists restrain
        from ravages, in power goggle-eyed.
        Art did they in, and the noble shrines
        builded in love from forebear’s gold and sweat.
        They tore them ‘till they bled. Everything
        upon which they could work their heinous spells
        they did amend, annihilating despots.
        But, heark ye, friend. I do digress. I see
        that you do stare and wonder at my rant.
        Behind thine eyes can I descry the same
        indignation and loss of which I speak.
        But soft. I shall be circumspect.
        To make the story short, which could be long
        in telling as the tale of Trojan grief,
        as wending as the paths of him who yearn’d
        to see belovéd Ithaca again,
        the wily polytrop and trickster sly,
        as lengthy as the yarn which Virgil…

        [HAMLET consults his watch and looks toward the nearby pub]

        To make the story short, an Ordo new,
        wholly Novus did they cobble up.
        This is the rite by which they prayed when near
        the river Soar they offered holy Mass
        my once lost bones to reinter with care,
        remembrances and prayers. This is the rite.
        They did not use the book for Mass which you,
        which I, knew, when we with our mortal step
        trod under sun and stars and breathed in air.
        They could have used our own belovéd prayer.
        For behold, there came another Pope, of frame
        more delicate by far, in name twice blessed,
        in lore of God and ritual reknown’d.
        This pope freed up again the ancient use.
        This pope did liberate our hallowed rites.
        Rites Roman he unchained, and op’ed the way
        for enrichments organic, mutual.
        Reason enough, I say, for Summorum.
        But no. The sense that’s common to us all
        did stare directly in their faces wan.
        I, who lived in century fifteenth,
        got Ordo Novus, not tradition’s Mass!
        So sit now I upon this ground to tell
        the too sad tales of requia of kings.

        [ENTER LEAR]

        LEAR:

        What ho! Hail, fellows, and well met.
        This Day is called the Feast of Shakespeare,
        or something on that line. We should find a pub.
        What’s this I see? Of somber mien? Depressed?
        What’s up? What problem could there be in heav’n?
        O Richard, of thy name the third, this white head,
        which heavy wore a crown, shall hear thee out.

        HAMLET [aside]

        He had to say it….

        RICHARD:

        Thanks, Lear. But come, let us go. Our Danish pal
        impatient grows the brews at yon fair pub
        completely to explore. Let us go hence,
        and there this “Talk Like Shakespeare Day”
        observe with beverage apt. It’s happy hour.
        And as we go I’ll tell you, celtic lord, what gives.
        You see, and stop me if I’ve told you this before,
        they’ve found my bones and dug me up!

        HAMLET: [aside]

        I should have stuck to Marlow.

        RICHARD:

        Alchemy scientific they employ’ed
        and rituals forensic they performed
        upon my matter osseous, my framework
        skeletal, my lineage to spy….

        LEAR:

        Tech spiffy! Tell, pray, everything.

        HAMLET:

        Richard? Hey! Initial rounds on thee.

        [EXEUNT OMNES]
        CCT '77 & '78
        4 kids
        5 grandsons (BCA 7/09, CJA 5/14, JDL 8/14, JFL 6/16, PJL 7/18)
        1 granddaughter (EML 4/18)

        ”Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
        - Benjamin Franklin

        Banned from the St. Lawrence University Facebook page - March 2016 (But I got better).

        I want to live forever. So far, so good.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

          Originally posted by joecct View Post
          Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (uncle of Ryan - a Gopher recruit for next season)

          The Tragikal History of King Richard III

          ACT VI – Epilogue
          For some reason I am reminded of an alternate version of Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

          Estragon and Vladimir are sitting on a bench. Estragon struggles to remove his boots, and complains about his sore feet.

          ESTRAGON: He should be here.
          VLADIMIR: He didn't say for sure he'd come.
          ESTRAGON: And if he doesn't come?
          VLADIMIR: We'll come back tomorrow.
          ESTRAGON: And then the day after tomorrow.
          VLADIMIR: Possibly.
          ESTRAGON: And so on.


          [enter Godot]

          GODOT: Hi, guys, sorry I'm late.

          ESTRAGON and VLADIMIR (together): Hi, Godot, no problem, glad to see you!

          GODOT: Ready, then? Well, let's be off!

          [Exeunt Omnes]
          [Curtain]
          Last edited by FreshFish; 04-23-2015, 03:03 PM.
          "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

          "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

          "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

          "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

            538 linked to another site here that gives 30 quotes, "Shakespeare or Batman," and you pick which source for each of 30 quotes. I got 80%. However I messed up a little because I didn't know ahead of time that there are 15 from each source.

            538 story about the results here.

            538 did another story that lists out which Shakespeare plays were most commonly assigned to various majors.

            For example, # 1 for various disciplines
            -- Law, The Merchant of Venice
            -- Economics, Timon of Athens
            -- Politics, Julius Caesar
            -- Sociology, Henry V
            Last edited by FreshFish; 04-23-2016, 09:41 AM.
            "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

            "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

            "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

            "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

            Comment

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