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The Things Shakespeare Said...
Transcript of The Things Shakespeare Said...
"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see/ The petty follies that themselves commit." -- Jessica, The Merchant of Venice
"Knock knock! Who's there?"
"Knock, knock, knock! Who's there, i' th' name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enough about you, here you'll sweat for 't." -- Drunken porter, Macbeth
"The world is my oyster"
"Why then the world's mine oyster/Which I with sword will open." -- Pistol, The Merry Wives of Windsor
"Wild goose chase"
"Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done; for thou hast more of the wild goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five." -- Mercutio, Romeo & Juliet
"In a pickle"
"And Trinculo is reeling ripe: where should they find this grand liquor that hath gilded 'em? How camest thou in this pickle?" -- Alonso, The Tempest
"Break the ice"
"And if you break the ice and do this feat/Achieve the elder, set the younger free/For our access, whose hap shall be to have her/Will not so graceless be to be ingrate." -- Tranio, The Taming of the Shrew
"Hair stand on end"
"Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part/ And each particular hair to stand on end/ Like quills upon the fearful porpentine." -- Ghost, Hamlet
"A sorry sight"
LADY MACBETH "A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight." Macbeth
"As dead as a doornail "
"yet, come thou and/thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead/as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more." Cade, Henry VI Part 2
"Eaten out of house and home"
"He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his" Mistress Quickly, Henry VI Part 2
"Fight fire with fire"
"Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;/Threaten the threatener and outface the brow" King John
"It's high time"
"And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence." ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. A Comedy of Errors
"Too much of a good thing"
ROSALIND "Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?" As You Like It
Shakespeare used 17,677 different words in writing his plays. Of these words, Shakespeare invented 1,700 of them - they had never been used before.
"Vanish into thin air"
"Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away. Go; vanish into air; away!" Clown, Othello
He changed some verbs to nouns, some nouns to adjectives, added prefixes and suffixes, joined words together in new ways, and some he just made up.
1. He invented modern English.
2. He was one of history's greatest writers.
3. He still has a profound influence on culture and western storytelling today, 400 years later.
To be, or not to be...
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...
All the world's a stage...
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
'As You Like It', Act II, scene VII
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
'Macbeth', Act V, scene V
What light through yonder window breaks...
'Romeo and Juliet', Act II, scene II
[JULIET appears above at a window.]
ROMEO: But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing; what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war...
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
‘Hamlet’, Act III Scene I
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue—
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
'Julius Caesar', Act III Scene I
HAMLET: To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia!
Unsex me here...
'Macbeth', Act I, Scene V
LADY MACBETH: The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry 'Hold, hold!'
Consider the following famous Shakespearean monologues.
1. Watch the clip to see how the piece can be performed. Remember that there will be many different dramatic interpretations of Shakespeare’s works.
2. Read the text closely, perhaps while listening to it being performed, and as a group identify what you think the purpose of the extract is (What is being discussed? What is the tone? Etc)
3. Many people refer to Shakespeare as a ‘wordsmith’. What particularly impressive uses of language can you identify in your passage?
4. As a group, come up with your own dramatic interpretation and PERFORMANCE of this extract. You will need to perform this before the class.
Why do we study Shakespeare?