Thank you, William Shakespeare

17 Dec

“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” William Shakespeare


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — We should credit the unscrupulous publishers who published the 18 unauthorized versions of William Shakespeare’s plays, made some money perhaps, and managed to get away with their shenanigans.
We understand there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era, thus his plays were reportedly published in quarto editions.
Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived, it was learned.
According to, a collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of William’s plays in the First Folio.
Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print, it was learned further.


Writer Guy Wright believes Shakespeare is the most quotable playwright and poet in the world until this generation.
“I doubt that there’s anyone reading this who goes through a normal day’s conversation without quoting Shakespeare,” Wright writes in Word Power.
“Once in a while we realize we are doing this,” he adds, “but most of the time we lift his lines to season our speech and sharpen our opinions without the slightest thought of the source.”
Wright cited the examples below:
When you call a man a “rotten apple,” a “blinking idiot” or a “popinjay”…When you say he “bears a charmed life” or is “hoist with his own petard”…When you proclaim him “a man of few words”…


When you speak of “old comfort,” “grim necessity,” “bag and baggage,” the “mind’s eye,” “holding your tongue,” “suiting the action to the words”…
When you refer to your “salad days” or “heart of hearts”…
When you deplore “the beginning of the end,” “life’s uncertain voyage” or “the unkindest cut of all”…
“By golly, you’re quoting Shakespeare,” hisses Wright.
Here are more:
When you use such expressions as “poor but honest,” “one fell swoop,” “as luck would have it,” “the short and the long of it,” “neither here nor there,” “what’s done is done”…
When you say something “smells to heaven” or is “Greek to me,” or it’s a “mad world” or “not in my book”…


When you complain that you “haven’t slept a wink” or that your family is “eating you out of house and home,” or you’ve “seen better days”…
When you speak of a coward “showing his heels” or having “no stomach for a fight”…
When you nod wisely and say, “Love is blind”…or “Truth will come to light”…or “The world is my oyster”…
“You are borrowing your bon mot from the Bard. Shakespeare was the greatest cliché inventor of all time,” Wright explains. “Without him to put the words in our mouths, we would be virtually tongue-tied, and the English language would have a lean and hungry look.”

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in EDUCATION


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