Thursday, April 23, 2009

the world will never ever be the same and you're to blame

so today, in case any of you didn't know, is shakespeare's birthday. if he was alive he'd be turning something like 445. i forgot the exact age but it's around there. if any of you have not read up on shakespeare's life, you should. he was a really interesting guy. while he was alive, his play were considered the SPAM of literature. amazing how much can change once you die. now he's like the epitome of a perfect playwright. his plays are awesome too. some people complain they can't understand the language, but i dont think it's that different.

anyway, aside from writing a whole bunch of plays that are still read, studied, acted, and plagiarized today, he also invented a whole bunch of words - words that we use everyday. that might have something to do with the reason no one liked his plays back then. how seriously do you take someone if he makes up every other word he writes?? how hard would it be to make a play of made up words?? ok still pretty hard, but whatever. here's a list of some of the words shakespeare made up off the top of his head. he invented over 1700:

Accused - Addiction - Advertising - Amazement - Arouse - Assassination - Bandit - Bedroom - Blanket - Bump - Champion - Countless - Epileptic - Fixture - Flawed - Generous - Hint - Lonely - Mimic - Negotiate - Obscene - Premeditated - Rant - Summit - Torture - Varied - Worthless - Zany

some phrases he started are:

All that glitters is not gold (The Merchant of Venice)
All's well that ends well (title)
As good luck would have it (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
Be-all and the end-all (Macbeth)
Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)
Breathed his last (3 Henry VI)
Refuse to budge an inch (Measure for Measure / Taming of the Shrew)
Come what come may ("come what may") (Macbeth)
Devil incarnate (Titus Andronicus / Henry V)
Eaten me out of house and home (2 Henry IV)
Elbow room (King John; first attested 1540 according to Merriam-Webster)
Farewell to all my greatness (Henry VIII)
Faint hearted (I Henry VI)

you can read more here.

his stories are still being adapted to this day. lion king and lion king 2 are basically hamlet and romeo and juliet. lion king 1 1/2 is the story of the two guards from hamlet. i forget their names anddont feel like googling them. rosencratz and something else. she's the man is 12th night. 10 things i hate about you is taming the shrew. and this is not taking into account all the modern remakes of his plays like romeo and juliet with leonardo di caprio, hamlet with ethan hawke, o with julia stiles (remake of othello).

anyway, here's my favorite of his sonnets:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

*Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's


  1. This is an awesome post.
    I can't even imagine inventing 1700 words. The last two lines of that sonnet are some of my most favorite of all.

  2. thanks :)
    my favorites are #3 and 4

  3. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern... I think?

    And I saw Twelfth Night at a park in Columbus. It was awesome! Definitely go watch it if you ever get the chance.

  4. yeah those are them lol
    and i never watched the play live but we studied it 9th grade and watched a movie and play version of it on tv. its awesome.

  5. man, i love his sonnets, and everyone tells me their overrated.

    i've always liked sonnet 46, the first two lines:
    mine eyes and heart are at a mortal war,
    how to divide the conquest of thy sight

    sarah, do you remember that poem about ice and fire with the guy comparing the girl to ice and him to fire? my love is like to fire and i to ice or something. that's what your post reminds me of ap english lol good times.

  6. yeah i do remember that one, it's by edmund spenser (i had to google his name lol). and i really miss ap english and all the isa days *sigh*