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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: February 8, 2013

Recently, in my Shakespeare class at SUNY Old Westbury with Professor Hegde, the class was given as assignment. It was “discuss whether and/or why Shakespeare should be considered a creative genius.”

It is a fact that the plots or storylines in all of Shakespeare’s plays (about 36 of them) were based on pre-existing sources, in many instances, stories by other authors, Plutarch’s lives, etc.

Shakespeare took these stories and fleshed them out. This included adding brilliant dialogue and turning the story into an interesting and historically correct play. There were no English dictionaries during his lifetime so Shakespeare coined and invented many words and phrases that are today considered integral parts of the English Llanguage.

You may be surprised at these additions to English, which had not yet been formalized. Some of his coined statements:

“Knock, Knock, Knock! Who’s there?”— Macbeth

“Neither an borrower, nor a lender be.”— Hamlet

“Parting is such sweet sorrow.”— Romeo and Juliet

“Neither rime nor reason.”— The Comedy of Errors

“To thine own self be true.”— Hamlet

“Too much of a good thing.”— As You Like It

“Wild-goose chase.”— Romeo and Juliet

“All the Worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players.”— As You Like It

Shakespeare’s vocabulary was 25,000 words; today’s college students’ vocabularies are somewhere around 5,000 words. Some more terms coined by William Shakespeare and still used today like amazement, birthplace, cold-blooded, dawn, eyeball, fashionable, generous, ill-tempered, jaded, love letter, majestic, outgrow, puppy dog, quarrelsome, rascally, schoolboy, tranquil, useful, vulnerable, well-behaved, yelping and zany.

Also: gossip, luggage, marketable, mimic, obscene, undress and submerge. More phrases: a fools paradise; foregone conclusion; sorry sight; dead as a doornail; bag and baggage; Ides of March; fairplay; good riddance; in stitches; heart’s content; tongue-tied; tower of strength; Greek to me; love is blind and vanish into thin air.

The English language today is certainly richer for the many words and phrases created by the genius of William Shakespeare.

News

Plainview school officials are looking for public input for the next round of capital improvements.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District announced the search for volunteers to serve on its Facilities Upgrade and Improvement Advisory Committee at a special Board of Education meeting held on July 16. The committee will advise and assist the District in preparing a capital improvement bond issue that will be proposed to the Plainview-Old Bethpage community for a vote in December.

One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.

Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.


Calendar

Sonny And Perley

Saturday, July 26

Young Israel Blood Drive

Sunday, July 27

Fun In The Sun

Monday, July 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com