Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
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.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
Thousands of Long Islanders streamed into Burn Park in Massapequa recently for the Town of Oyster Bay’s annual Salute to America concert featuring Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pop Orchestra with fireworks by Grucci.
The event paid tribute to veterans, past and present, and honored three deserving honorees: Guillermo Torres, Plainview’s Robert Reahl and Barbara Tortorice.
Torres is the winner of the Town’s Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Torres was wounded while on maneuvers.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
The kids may be grown. The marriage may have not worked out. Perhaps retirement affords more free time than was anticipated.
Enter The Transition Network, an national social group featuring an active chapter on Long Island that meets regularly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.
Judy Forman, Plainview resident and program co-chair, noted that The Transition Network is an organization of women ages 50 and over who are ‘transitioning’ into the next phase of their lives — whether it be retirement, divorce, losing a loved one or so on — and helping them to meet new people while expanding their horizons.