Your favorite hip hop artist's bumpin' slang may be off the chain, but no one has left a mark on the English language quite like Shakespeare did. The man deserves his own dictionary. Ya feel us, homeskillets?
|Author||Ives - David Ives|
It wasn't because he authored plays where characters drop like flies.
Nope. The reason why every English department in the country has a shrine dedicated to Shakespeare…
…is because the Bard of Avon had a gift for words.
Words, words, words. Shakespeare knew them backwards and forwards, and he used them in
a variety of ways.
For instance, he was famous for giving his characters dramatic speeches.
There’s the Saint Crispin's Day Speech in Henry V, where the title character rouses
his tired troops to kick French butt and take French names at the Battle of Agincourt.<<adj-in-court>>
Shakespeare’s sonnets, too, contain beautiful, poetic language that has appealed to romantics
His Sonnet 116, where he writes that “love is not love which alters when its alteration
…was a central piece of dialogue in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility,
starring… Severus Snape and Professor Trelawney. Most incredibly, Shakespeare's gift for words
allowed him to create thousands of words and phrases that we still use today.
Now, we know what you're thinking: anyone can come up with a new word or phrase.
Didn't American soldiers during World War Two add FUBAR, SNAFU, and TARFU to the lexicon?
Didn't a BBC political satire invent the word “omnishambles?”
While it's true that new words and phrases regularly make their way into the English
language, the sheer number of Shakespeare's contributions is incredible.
Have you ever been “critical” or even a little “obscene”?
Have you ever thought that your “manager” wasn't very “fashionable?”
All Shakespeare words. That guy really knew how to string letters together.
Phrases, too, were a Shakespearean specialty, and you've probably used many of his creations
in everyday conversation.
Have you ever played “fast and loose” with the truth, like the time you told your
math teacher that the dog ate your homework?
Do you eat Thanksgiving dinner with your “flesh and blood”? Hopefully you don't eat them
for Thanksgiving. There are laws about that sort of thing.
“Fast and loose”, “flesh and blood”, “green-eyed jealousy”, “devil incarnate”,
“foul play”, and “one fell swoop”… all coined by Shakespeare.
So next time you think your Shakespeare-loving English teacher is living in a “fool's paradise”...
...think again. It's pretty much a “foregone conclusion” that you're quoting Shakespeare,
and that's… “the long and short of it”.