Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature


“I don’t know what anybody sees in Hamlet. It’s just a bunch of clichés strung together.”Shakespeare

Why do we study Shakespeare? Might as well ask why we learn to talk. Whether people know it or not, they are, in fact, using Shakespeare every day. (I feel the same way about math, but Will is gonna use up all the space here.)

I really do not care who wrote all that stuff. All I care is that someone wrote it all down. And I think most scholars believe it was all written by one person. Of course, there are always some who will dispute even that, but they will probably also argue whether the sun came up this morning. My real point is that none of us exist in a vacuum and you can cause a small ripple or a tidal wave. The trick is not to ignore the tidal wave.

Someone once concluded that the only body of work more quoted, at least in English, than Shakespeare was the Bible. That’s pretty good company.  I found thirty phrases generally attributed to Will without much effort. Guess we wouldn’t know what to say without him.

Admittedly, many of these are paraphrased quotes (I blame that on modernization), but these are all phrases heard every day and penned by Will over 400 years ago:

  1. All’s well that ends well
  2. Break the ice
  3. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  4. Catch a cold
  5. Dogs of war
  6. Green-eyed monster
  7. Heart of gold
  8. I have not slept one wink
  9. I must be cruel, only to be kind.
  10. In a pickle
  11. It was Greek to me
  12. Laughing stock
  13. Lord, what fools these mortals be.
  14. Love is blind
  15. Make your hair stand on end
  16. Set your teeth on edge
  17. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
  18. The play’s the thing
  19. The world’s mine oyster
  20. There’s method in my madness
  21. This is the short and the long of it
  22. Tis neither here nor there
  23. Too much of a good thing
  24. Unkindest cut of all
  25. Up in arms
  26. Vanish into thin air
  27. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
  28. We have seen better days
  29. Wear your heart on your sleeve
  30. Wild goose chase

Next time, maybe I’ll explain why it’s futile to hate math.

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