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Shakespeare’s 450th birthday was celebrated quite recently and if I felt I owe at least a mention of  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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