Saturday, April 23, 2016

NPM Celebrations - Talk Like Shakespeare Day

April 23rd is Talk Like Shakespeare Day. On this day we celebrate the bard’s birthday (we think) and his works. Though there are no records of his birth, he was baptized on April 26. He also dies on April 23, so this day was chosen to honor him.

Before I begin, I want to highlight a brand new book that everyone interested in language, words, idioms, history, and Shakespeare must read.

Will's Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk (2016), written by Jane Sutcliffe and illustrated by John Shelley, is a book about Shakespeare, his plays, and the words he gave us that have found their way into our everyday language. Each double-page spread includes information about the theater and the bard's world on the left side, with information on "Will''s words," what they mean, and where they come from. Backmatter includes an author’s note, a bibliography, and a timeline. This is a fabulous introduction to the time period, theater, Shakespeare, the evolution of the English language, and much more.

What did spoken Shakespeare really sound like? Check out this piece at The Telegraph to learn more.

This is for those of you who think Shakespeare isn't meant for kids.
Speaking like Shakespeare can be as easy as slipping some of his phrases into your conversation. Here are few for which the credit goes to the bard. Kudos to you if you know the plays these come from!
  • As good luck would have it
  • Be-all and the end-all
  • Break the ice
  • Dead as a doornail 
  • Eaten me out of house and home
  • Forever and a day
  • For goodness’ sake
  • Give the devil his due 
  • Heart of gold 
  • Love is blind
  • One fell swoop 
  • What the dickens
  • Wild-goose chase
You can read more phrases attributed to Shakespeare at 45 Everyday Phrases Coined by Shakespeare.

Can we attribute Knock-Knock jokes to Shakespeare? I think so!
“Knock knock! Who’s there?” — Macbeth
Here are a few Shakespearean knock-knock jokes for you.

Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Noah who?
Noah’s the winter of our discontent.

Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Oberon who?
Oberon the other bank you might try to catch some fish.

Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Orlando who?
Or Lando or Leia or Luke or Chewbacca will pilot the Millennium Falcon.

Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Shelly who?
Shelly compare thee to a summer’s day?

You can find more knock-knock jokes at Shakespeare Geek.

Here are a few poems and excerpts from plays that are particularly kid-friendly.

If you see a fairy ring
Near a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tiptoe as you pass;
Last night fairies frolicked there,
And they're sleeping somewhere near.
If you see a tiny fae
Lying fast asleep,
Shut your eyes and run away,
Do not stay or peep;
And be sure you never tell,
Or you'll break a fairy spell.

At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.
 - Love's Labour's Lost 

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
 - Macbeth

O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!
 - Two Gentlemen of Verona

I'll close with this hilarious version of Clarence's speech from Richard III.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me tomorrow for our next celebration.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my word, PATRICK. STEWART.
    Catching up with the Shakespeare birthday posts is so awesome.