A Stewed Prune

You’re not Karen Carpenter, so don’t let Mondays get you down. Put your Monday to good use by finding (or making) an opportunity to use the following insult from Shakespeare.

Falstaff Quickly

This week’s insult is spoken by the fat knight, Sir John Falstaff, to Mistress Quickly:

There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune (1 Henry IV, 3.3.40).

It is most useful when you’re not sure someone is being truthful with you. The comparison to a stewed prune may not get to the truth, but it might make you feel better.

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Podcast: To Be Free

A brand new episode on The Bard and the Bible Podcast is now live. This week’s podcast pairs Prospero’s soliloquy from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (“Now my charms are all o’erthrown”) with the words of John 8:31-36 in the King James Version of the Bible.

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My (and My Friends’) Favorite Shakespeare Quotes

A guest post by Joseph Bentz

20401344_10155161494984678_871206458_nI have divided my favorite Shakespeare quotes into two categories. The first includes the quotes suggested by friends, whom I asked for feedback. The second category includes four Shakespeare quotes that frequently go through my mind. Most of those are from Hamlet, which is my favorite Shakespeare play and the one I have taught most often. I am an American literature professor, so I don’t get to teach Shakespeare very much, but when I do get to do one of his plays in introductory literature courses, Hamlet is the one for me.    

Great Shakespeare Quotes Suggested by Friends:

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
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Reviewsday: Hag-Seed

Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed: A Novel is a wonderful concept, more-than-ably written. It is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, woven around a prison production of, well, Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 

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Hag-Seed is one of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which famous modern novelists write their own takes on Shakespeare’s plays (the series so far includes Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time (The Winter’s Tale), Howard Jacobson’s Shylock is My Name (The Merchant of Venice), Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl (The Taming of the Shrew), and Tracy Chevalier’s New Boy (Othello)). Atwood’s effort encourages me to explore the others. . . so why did I find it hard to trudge through Hag-Seed until the last sixty pages or so?  Continue reading

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It’s another Monday–time for another Monday insult from Shakespeare.

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This week’s insult is spoken by the loquacious Menenius Agrippa (that’s him facing the women, above) to the Roman tribunes Junius Brutus and Sicinius Velutus (that’s them in the background, above) in Coriolanus:

More of your conversation would infect my brain (Coriolanus, 2.1.91).

It makes a great parting shot when leaving a conversation or meeting. As long as no one there signs your paycheck.

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Podcast: Weary of Life

A new episode of The Bard and the Bible Podcast is now live. In it, the famous “Too too solid flesh” soliloquy of Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 2) is paired with Job’s lament in Job 7:16-21 in the King James Version of the Bible.

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My Top 25 Shakespeare Quotes

A guest post by Sue Schlesman

dsc_8806Let me clarify. Narrowing down my favorite Shakespearean quotes is a nearly impossible task. For one, I haven’t yet read everything he wrote, so there’s no telling what I’m still missing. Two, he was a genius, obviously. It’s so very hard to pull a few threads from so rich a tapestry of philosophy and wit.

But I’m willing to try.

To make the task easier, I’ve limited quotations to lines from Shakespeare’s plays. From there, I’ve boiled down my favorite quotes to the ones that make me giddy, in a nerdy kind of way. These are quotes that on occasion have wormed their way into my real life. I may or may not have been caught quoting them to my children.

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