Blogging A – Z Challenge
“O for a muse of fire…”
O is for Talk Like Shakespeare Day
April 23rd is Talk Like Shakespeare Day as well as English Language Day. I have always been a big fan of both. I began reading Shakespeare in Junior High. I didn’t try to figure out what each word meant so much as to try to get what the story was about. I didn’t learn about iambic pentameter until 10th grade English but when I did, my OCD nature turned poetry in general and Shakespeare in particular into a new world entirely.
A few years ago when Sid Meier’s Civilization II came out (we are on Civ 5 now) one of the Wonders of the World you could build was Shakespeare’s Theatre and when you did you saw this clip of an abbreviated version of the Prologue to The Life Of King Henry the Fifth.
Which I really love. I would go out of my way to build that Wonder, just so I could hear it and if another civilization built it before I did I would destroy them utterly and lay them waste. Here is my own version-ish.
O but could my muse be a muse of fire?
Could my tribute unto the Bard aspire
To do justice unto his genius
Whilst being of my own inspiration?
For me there is a line that’s like a prayer
Unto Heaven, “O For a muse of fire
That would ascend the brightest heaven of
Invention” in the form that I do love,
Suff’ring the slings and arrows of critics
Who without talent are hypocritic’
For they would not try what I have just done
And compose a sonnet whilst on the run
Do their criticisms weigh or matter?
Can they write iambic pentameter?
Another favorite bit I found a while back is a clip from Horrible Histories which shows the great contributions this man made to the English Language. I think the singer captures the somewhat egotistical personality the Bard as well.
Another bit that is not, as Shakespeare Scholars would say, canon, is “Who Doth Inhabit The Primary Position?” But you should be familiar with another classic bit of literature, “Who’s on First?”
Also, a look into the language and an insight into the original pronunciation and the fact that, as Don Marquis said, “Coarse jocosity catches the crowd/Shakespeare and I are often low-browed,” is this 10 minute clip. Shakespeare had to appeal to the masses as well as the intelligentsia of the day in order to be successful.
So, spice up your conversation with a few these and thous and a couple of wherefores today.
I know that this is days behind but with my screwball schedule I really hard to squeeze to get this much put out.