Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22358 – 822:
Here’s the haps:
I usually say something about Shakespeare on the twenty-third of April every year. It is, as best as anybody can tell, the day he was both born and died, 1564 – 1616. This year I am more aware than ever of the global reach of the Internet and I know I have several readers from the U.K. which makes me slightly self-conscious. Okay. I’m over it. As I thought over this post I realized that if I were to post some of his stuff I wouldn’t be able to boast a “G” rating anymore. When you read a lot of Shakespeare it’s got “PG-13” jokes, and even “R” rating in a lot of places. I mean, when MacDuff comes walking back with Macbeth’s head in hand? Or all the people killed at the end of Hamlet? What about the puns at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet? Easily “PG-13” material or worse. He became very influential at court because both Queen Elizabeth and King James loved the theater. There is a story, which I call anecdotal because I couldn’t find a reliable source I felt was trustworthy, that James even had Ol’ Bill work on some of the Bible he was working on. I found several places that pointed out that, in Psalm 46, the 46th word from the beginning is “shake” and the 46th word from the end (not counting selah which may be a musical notation) is “spear” and Shakespeare was 46 years old. Most of that is just fluff and stuff but kind of interesting nonetheless.
Since the day is pretty much gone I will just leave you with a video clip of an abbreviated version of the prologue to Henry V from a favorite video game of mine, Civilization II, followed by an attempt at a sonnet of tribute written by myself in 2015.
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?