Shakespeare Everyday

Nosing around the web for online Shakespeare resources (full report later), found this nice list of everyday terms that are “quoting Shakespeare.”

“All our yesterdays”— (Macbeth)

“As good luck would have it” — (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

“As merry as the day is long” — (Much Ado About Nothing / King John)

“Bated breath” — (The Merchant of Venice)

“Be-all and the end-all” — (Macbeth)

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” — (Hamlet)

“Brave new world” — (The Tempest)

“Break the ice” — (The Taming of the Shrew)

“Brevity is the soul of wit” — (Hamlet)

“Refuse to budge an inch” — (Measure for Measure / The Taming of the Shrew)

“Cold comfort” — (The Taming of the Shrew / King John)

633px-First-page-first-folio-measure-for-measure“Conscience does make cowards of us all” — (Hamlet)

“Crack of doom” — (Macbeth)

“Dead as a doornail” — (Henry VI Part II)

“A dish fit for the gods” — (Julius Caesar)

“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” — (Julius Caesar)

“Devil incarnate” — (Titus Andronicus / Henry V)

“Eaten me out of house and home” — (Henry IV Part II)

“Faint hearted” — (Henry VI Part I)

“Fancy-free” — (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

“Forever and a day” — (As You Like It)

“For goodness’ sake” — (Henry VIII)

“Foregone conclusion” — (Othello)

“Full circle” — (King Lear)

“The game is afoot” — (Henry IV Part I)

“Give the devil his due” — (Henry IV Part I)

“Good riddance” — (Troilus and Cressida)

“Jealousy is the green-eyed monster” — (Othello)

“Heart of gold” — (Henry V)

“Hoist with his own petard” — (Hamlet)

“Ill wind which blows no man to good” — (Henry IV Part II)

“In my heart of hearts” — (Hamlet)

“In my mind’s eye” — (Hamlet)

“Kill with kindness” — (The Taming of the Shrew)

“Knock knock! Who’s there?” — (Macbeth)

“Laughing stock” — (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

“Live long day” — (Julius Caesar)

“Love is blind” — (The Merchant of Venice)

“Milk of human kindness” — (Macbeth)

“More sinned against than sinning” — (King Lear)

“One fell swoop” — (Macbeth)

“Play fast and loose” — (King John)

“Set my teeth on edge” — (Henry IV Part I)

“Wear my heart upon my sleeve” — (Othello)

“Wild-goose chase” — (Romeo and Juliet)


And some nice bits on Shakespeare’s Sonnets–ever surprising works–from a recent TLS.

Writers as well as readers have found the sonnets irresistible – not only because of their quasi-autobiographical subject material, but also because of their raw exploration of why anyone would bother to write at all. These poems have indeed enjoyed extraordinarily complex and rich afterlives. Jonathan Post’s chapter on “regifting” the sonnets attends to new work by British and American poets including Jen Bervin, Carol Ann Duffy, Don Paterson, Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg. The boorish speaker of Wendy Cope’s “Strugnell’s Sonnets”, in Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, keeps twisting Shakespeare’s opening lines: “The expense of spirits is a crying shame”. In an altogether different register, the American poet Alice Fulton’s collection Barely Composed contains a poem which scrambles a series of prefixes, suffixes and homonyms from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 87. As Post puts it, “how strange and barely recognisable, yet so it is”. The title of Fulton’s poem, “Peroral”, refers to the practice of taking a dose of medicine by the mouth – and this suggests, to Fulton and perhaps to Post, a new way of doing creative justice to poetry from the distant past. Reading the sonnets is no longer simply therapeutic, as if influence were a form of influenza. It seems more purposeful to work collaboratively (instead of competitively) with these poems in order to create bright new redactions

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