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Thread: Shakespeare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    One of my favourite writers. I was looking for a quote from a play of his when I stumbled upon this site . As you all know, not all you read on the web is true (really!!), so I am curious to hear what you think (and no, not all you read on the web is true!! ).

    Did he really invent the words: barefaced, critical, leapfrog, monumental, castigate, majestic, obscene, frugal, radiance, dwindle, countless, submerged, excellent, fretful, gust, hint, hurry, lonely, summit, pedant ?

    Did he really invent those phrases: "neither rhyme nor reason", "to thine ownself be true", "eaten... out of house and home", "play fast and loose", "apple of [one's] eye", "budge an inch", "All that glitters is not gold", "wear [one's] heart upon [one's] sleeve", "brave new world", "[to be] in a pickle", "good riddance", "caught red-handed", "the green-eyed monster", "method in his madness ", "sweets for the sweet ", among others?

  2. #2
    Don't know about the rest, but according to Webster, "critical" was coined in 1547, before Shakespeare was born.

    Several others I checked, though, fall in the right timeframe: barefaced and monumental, for example.

    What's your favorite? Mine's probably Othello, with Hamlet in close second.

  3. #3
    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Not the regular cabana boy
    Hey, cool, chiro! Othello's my favorite, too, followed by Macbeth and King Lear. As you can tell, I like the tragedies best. And I like the histories better than the comedies. I've read 13 of his plays, to give you my frame of reference.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

  4. #4
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    On a Rocky Mountain High
    The website was correct that he coined those phrases (he could certainly turn a phrase :wink) but they were stretching things a bit with saying that he invented those words. It's possible that he put them into common usage, but I know of at least two that were around before him.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie
    Hey, cool, chiro! Othello's my favorite, too, followed by Macbeth and King Lear. As you can tell, I like the tragedies best. And I like the histories better than the comedies. I've read 13 of his plays, to give you my frame of reference.
    Oh! How could I forget Macbeth!

  6. #6
    Not sure if he *invented* all of them. We'd have no way of finding out unless we have a comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary at our disposal. And even then...it might be hard to put together timelines for some of the phrases you mentioned. I am familiar with the following phrases being used by the Bard, though.

    From As You Like It/Much Ado about Nothing/All's Well That Ends Well (I forgot It's one of the comedies):"neither rhyme nor reason"

    From Hamlet (definitely sure of these! ): "to thine ownself be true", "method in his madness", "sweets for the sweet"

    From Othello (this one's obvious : "green-eyed monster"

    Pretty sure of: "good riddance" (not sure which play[s] it would be from, though)

    Highly possible: "to wear one's heart upon one's sleeve" (From Romeo and Juliet/Othello/Twelfth Night?)

    From "The Tempest" (this one's pretty famous, actually. Especially if you're a fan of Huxley): "O brave new world"

    Sidebar: "Hamlet" always been my favourite play. It's not to every's taste - many have found the Danish prince to be either too enigmatic or too vacillating to be a fully sympathetic character. "Macbeth" is, perhaps, the more immediately powerful play, but it lacks the complexity and vision of "Hamlet". In addition, Macbeth's soliloquies[sic] can't hold a candle to Hamlet's.

    Othello's pretty cool. Iago is da man! Ann-Marie Macdonald's satire of Othello, "Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet", is hilarious.

  7. #7
    I'm taking a class this semester regarding American music and recently learned an interesting Othello tidbit.

    Apparently, Paul Robeson, an African American actor who is most associated with singing 'Old Man River' in Showboat, played Othello for several years on the Broadway stage. What is intereting is that he was the first African American to play Othello with an all white cast in American history.

    Prior to Robeson's performance, Othello was either a white man wearing black face or the entire cast was black. The controversy, of course, being that it would be unseemly for a black man to kiss a white Desdemona, especially on stage!

    Just goes to show that Shakespeare is still helping to change/influence the thinking of the people and break down barriers so many centuries after these plays were written. In light of this, his semantic inventions seem almost trivial - although still interesting.

  8. #8
    I don't know about any of those really, but I know that the phrase 'it was greek to me' was used (originally, I believe) in the play Julius Caesar.

  9. #9
    Lil Miss
    I heard a rhumor lately that Shakespear was not just one man. Apprently it would be impossible for one man to think of such things. I also heard a rhumor that he must have been somewhat "not all there in the head" because in order to write about the things he did in such detail, he must have experienced some. Has anyone else heard of this or is my English professor just crazy?

    My favorite so far has been The Twelth Night just because it is like a soap opera. The whole time you know what is going on but the characters don't until the very end. I loved it!

  10. #10
    one of my fav quotes is from Shakesphere "heavy is the head that wears the crown." I love taming of the shrew. Romeo and Juliet mmm I like a lot of his stuff. Much ado is good too.

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