Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DOES LITERATURE AFFECT our LIVES?



"If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me," you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you want to party; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due -- if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

"The Story of English" Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil pgs. 99-100 Penquin Books 81986


7 comments :

  1. My English Lit teacher (she was tough with a capital uff) went through a similar study with my class (not just Billy S). She gave me a failing (or almost failing) grade on my 1st report card - even though I had nothing lower than a B for any of my work. Said my grades supported a B, but not my effort. She wanted me to WORK not rely on the fact that stuff came easily to me. Well, I WORKED & she became my favorite teacher (& most inspiring) & at the end of the year - she changed that grade to an A - to match the 3 that I WORKED for during the marking periods that followed. I'd like to think she would be proud of me nowadays - She's be about 90 by now.

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  2. That's a delightful story, Dave. I think she was the sister of my Grade 11 English teacher. Up until then I was on the fence. But that particular teacher couldn't encourage me enough.

    Bravo for good teachers!

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  3. Twilight Zone Music - I was also in 11th grade when this happened.

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  4. I have always wondered about Willie S. Was the master bard Willie or Edward De Vere Earl of Oxford. Time periods are off a bit but then who knows.
    Nice.

    love-bd

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  5. I know that during my studies at the university, a few short period of time was spent questioning Willie's true identity. I, for one, have no idea. I have often wondered why more isn't made of it, but when I asked someone in the field, they laughed. Hmmm.

    Thanks for stopping by, Beloved. Your site is lovely and your poems are beautiful.

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  6. oh, Willie was 14 years old than Eddie. What do you suppose that proves?

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