Sunday, September 21, 2008

A wee note about Will

A pet peeve of mine— minor but annoying— is people who say things like "Shakespeare said, 'Neither a borrower nor a lender be...'" Blah-blah-blah. Shakespeare did not say that: He had Polonius say it, among other things, in order to make Polonius out to be a sententious bore. He had a lot of other characters say a lot of other things, too. Some he may have agreed with, and some clearly not. Will was a popular dramatist. He wrote plays that people would pay to watch, he didn't write philosophy or even high-minded literature. That the product of his day-job has become that, after the fact, is beside the point. He wrote quickly and he wrote for money. Today he'd probably be writing for HBO or Dreamworks. So remember, Shakespeare didn't say it: he had Tony Soprano say it.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled mumbling about shootin' arns, dogs, gardens, big snakes, and miscellaneous high plains stuff.


Anonymous said...

Aye, there's the rub!

Brigid said...

I really started to appreciate Shakespeare in junior college when a teacher shared "Much Ado About Nothing" with us. Admittedly, the title "Much Ado About Nothing" pretty much sums up the plot, but this playful tale of a woman falsely accused of unfaithfulness is packed with wordplay, dirty jokes, hilarious insults and witty dialogue. It is a therapeutic reminder that the pitfalls of social interaction (jealousy, self-doubt, lust, love and longing) have remained unchanged for centuries.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Thanks for telling the truth, again.