Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Poul Anderson: A Midsummer Tempest

Valeria whirled. Her finger stabbed at Rupert. “You talked about Hamlet and Macbeth—as if they were both real,” she cried. “Contemporaries, even. You said you’d met Oberon and … Titania … yourself. Well, did Romeo and Juliet ever live? King Lear? Falstaff? Othello? You mentioned cannon in Hamlet’s time. How about, by God, how about a University … Continue reading Poul Anderson: A Midsummer Tempest

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Uniquely Shakespearean

[T]here are 357 cases where the Oxford English Dictionary has Shakespeare as the only recorded user of a word, in a particular sense, on one or more occasions. David Crystal & Ben Crystal The Shakespeare Miscellany (2005) Shakespeare is well known for being a wordsmith. Elsewhere in their excellent Shakespeare Miscellany, the Crystals note that … Continue reading Uniquely Shakespearean

Merry, Jolly, Happy

God rest you merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay Traditional English Christmas carol The three words I’m going to write about in this post are pretty much inextricably linked with Christmas, but all of them started off meaning something different from their current usage. ˈmɛrɪ merry: cheerful and lively; characterized by festivity and enjoyment This … Continue reading Merry, Jolly, Happy

James Shapiro: Contested Will

There is nothing in the writings of Shakespeare that does not argue the long and early training of the schoolman, the traveller, and the associate of the great and learned. Yet there is nothing in the known life of Shakespeare that shows he had any one of these qualities. “James Corton Cowell (1805)” James Shapiro … Continue reading James Shapiro: Contested Will

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ˈhwɛəfə(r) Wherefore: Why There are several ways of misquoting Shakespeare. One is to misquote Shakespeare without knowing it’s Shakespeare at all. Most people who use the phrase “to gild the lily” probably fall into that category, unaware of the original version. King John Act 4, Scene 2: SALISBURY: […] To gild refinèd gold, to paint … Continue reading Wherefore

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