Friday, July 1, 2011

Testing Shakespeare

Forget the economy. Forget the, what is it now, 4 wars? Or 5 wars? Forget about the high level of unemployment. Forget the high level of taxes.

Some people want to know about the things that are really important. Like if William Shakespeare was a stoner.

There have been articles at Time, Fox News, and other places, about this. And they want to dig up the Bard of Avon to find out.

But really, all you have to do is look at his body of work, compared to the work others, and determine if this is a fool's errand.

Compare this passage:
To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep, No more.
To this passage:
Dave's not here.
Okay, let's compare Shakespeare's work to something more recent than Cheech and Chong. Like this:
We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
To this
Hope and Change!
Which of these were more likely to have been written ... or repeated ... by a stoner?

There's more.

Which is more likely to have been written by a stoner? This:
Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge?
Or this:
The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines
I don't think it's Shakespeare they need to be testing.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, I envy you.

    There's no greater feeling than making a non-obvious connection between two very different ideas, and to be able write it up so that the connection makes perfect sense to the casual reader afterwards.

    You did it with this one, and it had to have felt great.

    Sadly, I haven't had that feeling since the last time I posted a Newsish Fakery :-(


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