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9 Famous + funny Shakespr sayings October 8, 2014

Posted by anagasto in history, poetry.
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tn_bedside-reading1… o slow-winged turtle!

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2

Moon calf, speak once in thy life, if thou beest a good moon calf
tempest 3.2.22

Some sailors got ship-wrecked and stranded on an island.  They speak to an evil little monster called Caliban.

“If thou beest” is old English for “if you are”.

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3

how does thy honour? let me lick thy shoe.
tempest 3.2.24

It is the little monster Caliban speaking.

Caliban is trying to obtain the sailors’ help him  kill the powerful human that controls them.

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4

If but one of his pockets could speak, would it not say he lies?
tempest 2.1

The two sailors who survived the shipwreck got drunk and picked a fight.

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Gary Olsen_kid-with-cell-phone22

5

A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; find out moonshine.
midsummer 3.1.5

There wasn’t yet any electricity in Shakespeare’s time, and the performance was at night. So it was important for the actors to know whether there would be full moon to help them.

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6

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated
midsummer 3.1.124

This is now used to make fun of authors , but Bottom was just a poor clown changed partly into a donkey. “Translated”  used to mean “changed”.

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7

My conscience hanging about the neck of my heart says very wisely to me:
merchant 2.1

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small-gary-olsen-kid-444

8

The mobled queen ?
Hamlet 2.2.506

In Shakespeare’s time, the actors were clowns who often improvised, even in verse, by inventing or mispronouncing words to fit the rhyme.

Prince Hamlet is present at a rehearsal and objects.

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9

For, O! For, O! the hobby horse is forgot!
Hamlet 3.2.137

Hamlet has killed the king’s adviser and hidden the body.

When they ask him where he hid it, he tells them something about an epitaph for the hobby horse. It is part of his acting mad to hide what he tries to find out: whether his father was killed by the man who married his mother.

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parenting

The cartoons are by Gary Olsen for the Cartoon College

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ethics-exam

added August 2, 2008:
from The Tempest 1.2

You taught me language, and my profit on’t
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!

It is  Caliban  addressing the humans that invaded his island. It had until then belonged to him and to his mother the witch.

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Comments»

1. Mrs Greensleeves - May 7, 2008

Here is one from “Love’s Labour Lost” that you could include in this highly amusing selection:

Sir, he has not fed of the dainties that are bred of a book; he hath not eat paper, as it
were; he hath not drunk ink; his intellect is not replenished.

2. ernesto6 - August 25, 2008

Sigo sin entender “mobled” y no lo encuentro en los diccionarios que tengo. ¿Me lo puedes traducir? Por lo demás, tampoco les encuentro la gracia a estos dichos; y no los veo como palabras de un gran poeta.

3. cantueso - August 26, 2008

To ernesto:
No significa nada. El actor se inventó el vocablo to fit el ritmo y a la fonética del verso . It was often done that way. Actors were able to speak in verse and even invent their parts sobre la marcha.

4. Carl D'Agostino - July 10, 2012

By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me.
I say, away!—Go on. I’ll follow thee. Hamlet


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