“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.” -William Shakespeare
So I opened with a Shakespeare quote. I’m not exactly sure what he means by it, as is true with almost all of the Shakespeare I’ve ever read, but he’s probably onto something that transcends time in its depiction of the human condition.
I am currently enrolled in a class devoted entirely to Billy Shakespeare himself, because as you know, being well-versed in sixteenth-century English literature is a highly marketable skill. (At my last internship interview, I managed to work the phrase “if you music be the food of love, play on” into an answer about my previous work experience. Still waiting to hear back.)
The thing is, I am actually really enjoying this class. Maybe it’s because my professor swears a lot and makes references to Bud Light and TJ Maxx. Maybe I’m still caught up in a little post-London Anglophilia. Maybe I’m on the verge of a psychotic break and this is the first warning sign. But no matter the explanation, I’ve become someone that my sixteen year old self would definitely have wanted to punch in the face.
A Shakespeare fan.
In honor of this somewhat disturbing revelation, here is a brief list of reasons why Shakespeare actually kind of rocks.
The guy loved sex jokes more than Judd Apatow. For example.
Hamlet: That’s a fair thought to lie between maiden’s legs.
Ophelia: What is, my lord?
So many rad character names. (Benedick! Rosencrantz! Second Murderer!)
This stage direction, simple yet effective: [dies]
He had an impeccable sense of style.
One of the best cheesy 90’s movies of all time, based on The Taming of the Shrew.
Amanda Bynes as the world’s least believable boy, as inspired by Twelfth Night.
Has anyone actually seen this one? I heard Paul Giamatti’s in there somewhere, and boy does Romeo have some cheekbones.
Finally, Shakespeare is the indisputable king of puns. As Mercutio of Romeo and Juliet lay dying from a fatal stab wound, he utters this beauty: “Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.” (Grave? Grave? Get it?)
To be honest this whole post was an elaborate way of procrastinating reading Henry V. So for now, fair Internet perusers, I must bid you adieu. This has been a great and nerdy time, and I promise next week I’ll talk about something that won’t make most people want to punch me in the face.