Hello and welcome back. I hope it is a beautiful day wherever you are. We have had extreme heat and sadly, extreme fires. This is this first day in weeks that I am able to sit here and view the mountains through an open window. I love days like this. I can breath and think again.
One of the things I love more than a warm and breezy summer day is spreading the gospel of Shakespeare. It warms my heart to see someone’s eyes light up when they read or hear a quote and say, “Wow, Shakespeare said that?”
This happened a couple of weeks ago when a group of my co-workers and I were treated to tickets to see Lake Tahoe Shakespeare’s premier of Macbeth, the famous play that encapsulates the phrase, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. I am seeing the production again next Sunday, so I will hold off talking about Lake Tahoe Shakespeare’s production and the play in general until then. I don’t think it is fair to review a play before the cast and crew have had the opportunity to figure out what and what doesn’t work. Spoiler alert for those who have access to this particular production; most everything works!
As we walked past the vendors one of my co-workers, a groundling herself, stopped in amazement. I paused to see what had her so transfixed. To be sure, there were many items to look at; everything from blankets to lotions, all adorned with famous quotes taken from Shakespeare’s plays. She turned to me and asked, “Are these all from Shakespeare?” I assured her that yes every line was from him. “Oh man, I really have to read his work” came her breathless response.
Sometimes this is all it takes. A few impactful lines can do more to draw a person to Shakespeare than any lecture or blog post. It seems once someone realizes just how relatable his words are, the fear of Shakespeare’s language melts away. So, without saying more, I give you a few of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare.
The Merchant of Venice
“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”
“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.”
“Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
“What’s done cannot be undone.”
“The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, which still we thank as love.”
And lastly, my favorite quote from Macbeth which sets the plot in motion:
“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”
See? Shakespeare is for the most part, easy to understand. His words stand the test of time as does his ideas and themes. We will now move on from our discussions about his words to more specific topics of the plays, and themes. We will explore just what it is about Shakespeare’s plays that set him apart from other writers, and why the critic Harold Bloom believed that Shakespeare invented the human personality as we know it.
Until next time