It’s Shakespeare’s birthday

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Happy birthday, William Shakespeare. We think, at least, that this is the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth (and also the anniversary of his death.) In honor of the day we think Shakespeare was probably born, then, let’s celebrate with some journalistic offerings, and a little of the Bard’s own faux-tweets thrown in, too.



On Wednesday, The Guardian shared a gallery of 45 actors who played Hamlet, including Laurence Olivier, Jude Law and Sarah Bernhardt. They did not include Bart Simpson, so please allow me to suggest a number 46.

On Wednesday, Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark wrote about his favorite Shakespeare sentence. The Guardian also offered a quiz to see how well you know your Shakespeare. After you take that, head on over to BuzzFeed and take their March 2 quiz to find out which Shakespeare character you are (it involves many versions of Beyonce!) I got Beatrice.

Also on Wednesday, The Huffington Post offered more insights into Talk Like Shakespeare Day with “Talk Like Shakespeare Day Is Just What It Sounds Like.”

A few tips:

– Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all,
say ye).
– Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
– Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
– Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
– Don’t waste time saying “it,” just use the letter “t” (’tis,t’will, I’ll do’t).

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that Shakespeare’s a cultural icon around the world, according to a new poll. “The Queen and David Beckham came second and third respectively.”

On April 21, Christina Sterbenz with Business Insider shared 14 phrases that actually did come from Shakespeare.

2. “In a pickle”

Meaning: a difficult or uncomfortable situation.

In “The Tempest,” King Alonso asks his jester, Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” (In other words, “How did you get so drunk?”)

The inebriated Trinculo responds, “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last …” (Act 5, Scene 1).

Trinculo’s drinking does cause trouble for him, which gives the modern use its meaning. Shakespeare’s original intent makes sense though, as many pickling processes require alcohol.

Finally, earlier this month, Amanda Christy Brown and Katherine Schulten wrote “Seven Ideas for Teaching and Learning” Shakespeare in The New York Times. That post also includes this clip of Alan Cummings in a scene as Lady Macbeth. Enjoy.

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