Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Give the Bard His Due!

Recently on one of my loops, someone attributed the quote: "Revenge is a dish best served cold" to the Klingons!

As I sat giggling at my keyboard typing up a funny reply, it suddenly occurred to me that this poster was serious. She had honestly never heard this famous quote from Othello except via Star Trek! Would poor old Will be spinning in his grave or laughing?

Being the huge Shakespeare buff that I am, and knowing his bawdy sense of humor, I rather suspect the latter. He'd probably leave it to the mere mortals like me to be outraged on his behalf that so many people don't recognize his famous words as actually being his.

For example, the very biblical sounding: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" is actually from Hamlet. Yes, there's a lot more in that play besides "To be, or not to be" and "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." In fact, most of the famous quotes from Shakespeare are from Hamlet, whether most people realize it or not.

I fully expected "To be, or not to be" would be his most famous quote, but I looked up the 100 most famous quotes from Shakespeare just now, and number one was from a play I personally like far more than Hamlet. "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Of course that's from Romeo and Juliet. But do people really know that? Given my recent experience, I'm beginning to wonder.

Number 2 is from MacBeth (another favorite play of mine) and was not "Out damn'd spot!" as I expected, but "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,"

My personal favorite quote didn't even make the Top 100: "...some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." This is from my favorite of the comedies, Twelfth Night, and it never fails to get a laugh during a performance. I wonder if the writers of Star Trek ever used it?

What about you? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare quote? I'd love to know what it is, and I'll tell you if it made the Top 100.


Jane said...

Some of my favorites include "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players" and "Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow."

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Ah GOOD ones, Jane!

"All the World's a stage..." is from As You Like It. And of course, "Parting is such sweet sorrow..." is the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.

"All the World's a stage" is actually #5 on the Top 100 and "Parting is such sweet sorrow" is #11. So you are not alone in liking these two!

BTW, did you notice how I liberally "borrowed" from Romeo and Juliet in TToV?


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for the reminded to be careful with attribution of quotes!

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You're welcome Bill,
And thanx for "boldly going where no man has gone before..." I do believe you are my first male commenter. ;-)


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Congrats of the publications! You write well, you should have more followers. Keep up the good work!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thank you for being #18 Dr. Bill! I really appreciate your support. :-)


Helen said...

Aren't they wonderful quotes my favourite is one of Janes's "All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women mearly the players.

I must confess to not being a big Shakespear fan but the quotes are aleays good.

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I think too many people are forced to read Shakespeare in school and that turns them off. Shakespeare is meant to be SEEN not read. ;-) I'll bet if you went to see a stage production of one of the comedies (like As You Like It where the quote comes from) you'd love it!