Daley announces 'Talk Like Shakespeare Day'

April 23, 2009 9:26:01 AM PDT
If William Shakespeare were alive today he would be a remarkable man, as he'd be 445 years old this coming Thursday. Mayor Daley wants all of us to celebrate that birthday by quoting Shakespeare all day long. At the north end of Lincoln Park, William Shakespeare waits peacefully for his Chicago birthday celebration. It's believed he was born on April 23, 1564. All these years later, Mayor Daley wants all of us to become, in a sense, Shakespearean actors and quote the bard this Thursday. One wonders if the mayor will give up his Bridgeport-ese for 16th century English.

"I do that every day. I talk like that every day," Daley said, laughing.

So by proclamation of Richard the Second this Thursday we are all supposed to start talking like Shakespeare. This is going to call for some rehearsal. The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. And you have to practice too.

Shakespeare was a playwright and a poet and over the period from 1590 to 1613. In just twenty three years, he changed the English language so much that today we still uses his phrases in our every day speech. Phrases like as dead as a doornail, a foregone conclusion, all that glitters is not gold, all's well that ends well, one fell swoop, in the twinkling of an eye, and woe is me.

As they say in Kiss me Kate, "brush up your Shakespeare, start quoting him now, brush up your Shakespeare, the women you will wow."

You've only got three days.


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