Shakespeare and All That


The list, the list, that listAgain!

What sort of dingbat puts up on her blog a list of things she planned to do in the next decade when she knows that procrastination is her middle name? I am that dingbat: I put up such a list. Now, I do things that are urgent or important pronto-pronto but when it comes to anything else I can procrastinate for the planet.

Ergo there is no need to ask if I have  opened a copy of Hamlet – reading it was on the list – let alone read it because the answer on both counts is negative. And I’d  lief not say exactly how many items on the list I’ve crossed off.

I did check recently to see if I had a copy of Hamlet on my bookshelves. I knew I had two volumes of a Shakespeare that my Mum gave me a few years back when she was doing a clear out but obviously there are many more volumes in the set because Hamlet is nowhere to be found in the two I have. Although one of them has notes on the play. The books themselves are beautiful filled as they are with copious lovely illustrations. Natch I had to while away a few hours looking at these.

And then procrastination pounced again when I popped down the internet rabbit hole in search of Shakespearean  phrases. Just in case you don’t know, and I am sure you do, Shakespeare coined many phrases that are still  in everyday use. Such as:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” – Hamlet

“Brave new world” –  The Tempest

“Break the ice” – The Taming of the Shrew

“Brevity is the soul of wit” –  Hamlet

“Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI Part II

“Devil incarnate” – Titus Andronicus / Henry V

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

“Forever and a day” –  As You Like It

“Foregone conclusion” – Othello

“Jealousy is the green-eyed monster” – Othello

“Heart of gold” – Henry V

“Kill with kindness” – The Taming of the Shrew

“Knock knock! Who’s there?” – Macbeth

“Laughing stock” – The Merry Wives of Windsor

“Mum’s the word” – Henry VI, Part II

“A wild goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet

“Own flesh and blood” – Hamlet

“There’s method in my madness” – Hamlet

“Wear your heart on your sleeve” – Othello

There are lots more see here and I am sure google could find many others.

I bought a copy of Hamlet today. Now, to read or not to read it is not the question. Forsooth it’s more a case of when wilt I.


Filed under Culture, Musings

16 responses to “Shakespeare and All That

  1. Good luck with your reading. I left Shakespeare behind in high school.

  2. Best of luck with your Shakespearean reads. I like Shakespeare but somethimes get caught up in the language that gets kind of jumbled and I really don’t know exatly what the characters are saying sometimes. That said I do enjoy and am a fan of Hamlet.

  3. That is an interesting thought – to listen to Hamlet – I might do that just out of interest.. good luck! c

  4. What a wonderful list to return to now and again B! I’m impressed with your quest to read Hamlet. I remember reading it in high school and feeling like it was a challenge until I got comfortable with the prose. Happy reading! 🙂

  5. I wish you all the best with your reading! I think you are going to need it! I wish I had the same courage! 😉

  6. Ahhhh, You are not alone on the procrastination. I have at least ten books on my library shelf that need to be read, skeins of yarn that needs to be knitted and who knows what else. But what fun would life be without it’s plans?

    • Thanks for your comment Terri. I have a pile of books by my bedside waiting for me to get around to reading them! It’s not as if I don’t have the time to motor through them it’s more a case of me being over-skilled in the ‘art’ of procrastination. Good luck with your reading and knitting.

  7. Here’s something to delay you further. It relates to the idea that Shakespeare can be appreciated in many forms. I would watch or listen to Shakespeare but I don’t think I want to read any more of it. Not the plays anyway. Happy procrastinating and Hamlet-reading. 😀

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