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Shakespeare’s 450th birthday was celebrated quite recently and if I felt I owe at least a mention him it is because of his incandescent genius. Every nation creates a benchmark that rarely can be surpassed nor one dare dispute its place. Legend of King Arthur is rightfully conceded as belonging in such a category. Legends are precisely set so high if any one even so much as try to meet it half in achievement would be creditable. Shakespeare lives in such rarefied atmosphere and shall continue to do so.
William Shakespeare

Shakespear’s influence on the English language has stood the test of time thus far, with little sign of relenting.Echelons of British culture aside, even those who “don’t do Shakespeare” speak his words in their daily lives. Most of us will have quoted the playwright thousands of times without knowing it.Ever been “in a pickle” or had “too much of a good thing”? Perhaps friends have “eaten (you) out of house and home” or had you “in stitches” over a joke.
There are many more phrases and words we owe the Bard who belongs to mankind except the language in which he clothed his genius. Genius cannot have a country anymore than a sword may be found in a scabbard.
“For goodness sake” –
Henry VIII

- “Neither here not there” – Othello

- “Mum’s the word” – Henry VI, Part II

- “Eaten out of house and home” – Henry IV, Part II

- “Rant” – Hamlet

- “Knock knock! Who’s there?” – Macbeth

- “All’s well that ends well” – All’s Well That Ends Well

- “With bated breath” – The Merchant of Venice

- “A wild goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet

- “Assassination” – Macbeth

- “Too much of a good thing” – As You Like It

- “A heart of gold” – Henry V

- “Such stuff as dreams are made on” – The Tempest

- “Fashionable” – Troilus and Cressida

- “What the dickens” – The Merry Wives of Windsor

- “Puking” – As You Like It

- “Lie low” – Much Ado About Nothing

- “Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI, Part II

“Not slept one wink” -

Cymbeline

- “Foregone conclusion” – Othello

- “The world’s mine oyster” – The Merry Wives of Windsor

- “Obscene” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

- “Bedazzled” – The Taming of the Shrew

- “In stitches” – Twelfth Night

- “Addiction” – Othello

- “Naked truth” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

- “Faint-hearted” – Henry VI, Part I

- “Send him packing” – Henry IV

- “Vanish into thin air” – Othello

- “Swagger” – Henry V

- “Own flesh and blood” – Hamlet

- “Truth will out” – The Merchant of Venice

- “Zany” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

- “Give the devil his due” – Henry IV, Part I

- “There’s method in my madness” – Hamlet

- “Salad days” – Antony and Cleopatra

- “Wear your heart on your sleeve” – Othello

- “Spotless reputation” – Richard II

- “Full circle” – King Lear

- “There’s the rub” – Hamlet

- “All of a sudden” – The Taming of the Shrew

  • “Come what, come may” – Macbeth

  • (ack: independent.uk/Jess Denham on 23rd April,2014)

To be continued

benny

 

 

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William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) British
Dramatist and poet

The colossous who bestrode English literary scene with his immortal plays so diverse in subject, unrivalled in brilliance and depth, ironically remains still an enigma. Even its authorship has been doubted by scholars and critics who have analysed his plays – confronted with works of such grandeur can not attribute their authorship to who had such a humble beginnings.
It is true that all known facts of his life would fill only a page or two; He was born at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire in the year 1564, probably on April 23, the son of John Shakespeare, a yeoman who later became an alderman at Startford.
William courted Anne Hathaway (1582), daughter of a substantial yeoman, who was eight years older to him. At the age of eighteen he married her. Later we hear him making a name in London as a playwright and actor. In those days and times a playwright was a mere play – provider – a man of the theatre, a master of the company, whose sole duty was to provide text. It was unheard of printing a mere playwright’s story, especially one who was not even of courtly status.
So little is known of his career in London. He appears to have been a handy man and a play provider rather than an actor at the Globe and other theatres. It was not until seven years after his death that two of his old friends and fellow actors saw to the production of the First Folio of his play. Similarly it was not until nearly a hundred years after Shakespeare’s death that his first biography appeared. We may have to rest content for want of better proof in the adage, “the life of an artist survives not in his biography but in the products of his art.”
But if his plays tell us little about himself, they reveal a mind rich in the knowledge of his fellow creatures with their greatness and their faults. He was a warm, pleasant and unassuming companion, the local boy who made good by his sharp business sense, was a boon companion as vouched by many of his contemporaries.

Anecdote:
One day Burbage who played Richard III in the Bard’s Company made a tryst for the night with a lady and the password for her chamber was Richard III. Overhearing this the Bard knocked at the lady’s door and gained admission using the password. While they were making merry the actor knocked at the door. In response the Bard sent word to Burbage that William the Conqueror was before Richard the Third.

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