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It might be Shakespeare’s birthday

April 24, 2016

(NB – I first posted this yesterday, when it might have been Shakespeare’s birthday, but my connection to Twitter and Facebook was down so I’m re-posting for those who missed it. Anyway, it’s as likely to be Shakespeare’s birthday today as it was yesterday.)

Happy birthday William Shakespeare! We don’t really know for sure that he was born on this day, 23rd April; we know he was born in the month of April, and because his birth was registered on the 25th (I seem to remember learning in school) and they got babies christened pretty quickly in those days in case they died first, it’s often conjectured that he probably was born on the 23rd, or anyway very close to it. Anyway we do know for sure that he died on this day, and there’s a neatness about the idea that he died on his birthday which appeals; and that it should fall on St George’s Day would be good too.

Some of my favourite Shakespeare lines or phrases:

cream-faced loon 

Would thou wouldst burst!

Now God stand up for bastards!

The bright day is done, and we are for the dark

‘Tis the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on

I’ll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes

If you tickle me, do I not laugh?

I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick. Nobody marks you.

Ill met by moonlight!

The rain it raineth every day.

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

His stomach crammed with distressful bread

Nothing will come of nothing

Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

Let me have men about me that are fat

Double double toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble

this precious stone set in a silver sea

Why didst thou promise such a bounteous day/And make me travel forth without my cloak?

the beast with two backs

Golden lads and girls all must/As chimney sweepers, come to dust

full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

sell when you can; you are not for all markets

your bum is the greatest thing about you

That’s a random selection from those that have just bubbled up in my brain. I must have missed out loads of better ones. Any further nominations welcome!

By the way, did you know that ‘William Shakespeare’ is an anagram for ‘We all make his praise’? I owe that fact to Flann O’Brien.

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