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, 04 December 2013 10:54
The Concerned Citizens of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Community held their Annual Winter Safety Forum at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library recently, and as per the norm for this passionate civic organization, security and preparedness were indeed the name of the game.
Carol Meschkow, president of the Concerned Citizens, started the group 20 years ago originally as a two-week campaign; however, it soon took on a life of its own and is still going strong today, she said.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The Plainview Jewish Center celebrated its 60th anniversary on Nov. 17 with all the flair expected for such a joyous occasion. A brunch was held following a special “Walk Down Memory Lane” held at the Temple at 95 Floral Dr. West.
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, a presenter of a county proclamation said, “This was a very moving and special tribute to a wonderful Temple which has been the source of joy and comfort to so many in the community for so many reasons. It was a pleasure to be part of this 60th Anniversary celebration.”
More than 150 people attended the event, which featured singing children singing, Shofar blowing, a video presentation and the Plainview Jewish Center leadership at its finest.