ShakeDic: vainglory

June 9th, 2017 → 2:51 pm

“Have I lived thus long…
A woman, I dare say without vainglory…”  – Henry VIII

vainglory – inordinate pride in oneself or one’s achievements; excessive vanity

I love this word – so many gems out there that have gone out of use!  Too bad!  I can think of at least one orange-haired dude to whom this word could be applied every single day.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Trump & Wolsey

May 18th, 2017 → 5:25 am

“He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one that by suggestion
Tied all the kingdom.  Simony was fair play.
His own opinion was his law.  I’ the presence
He would say untruths, and be ever double
Both in his words and meaning.  He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful.
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.”  – Henry VIII

In this passage Katherine of Arragon is describing Cardinal Wolsey after his fall.  It is impressive the similarities to Donald Trump.  Both men were fat (“unbounded stomach”), egotistical (“ranking himself with princes”), chaotic (“tied all the kingdom”), corrupt (“simony was fair play”), narcissistic (“his own opinion was his law”), prone to lying (“he would say untruths”), pitiful (“pitiful”), and eventually, nothing (“his performance, as he is now, nothing”).  I only wonder what will be Donald Trump’s end.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Love and Madness II

February 6th, 2017 → 5:29 am

“…thou has metamorphized me,
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at naught;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with
thought.”  – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

At the same time as we are discussing the sonnets, this week the Shakespeare discussion group I participate in also began reading The Two Gentlemen of Verona.  The above lines are in the very first act. They are about love, but again, I can easily see them as describing madness; this time the madness that Donald Trump inflicts on others.  Love and madness really are too, too similar.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Love and Madness

February 2nd, 2017 → 9:41 am

“My reason…Hath left me,
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly express’d.”  – Sonnet 147

The Shakespeare discussion group I participate in recently decided to begin discussing the sonnets.  And at random started with Sonnet #147.  It is about someone who is heartsick in love, but these lines made me think of the madness of Donald Trump.  Love and madness can sound frighteningly similar.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Guest Post – Scots on Trump

January 27th, 2017 → 6:19 am

“Trump’s a clay-brained guts, knotty-pated fool,
whoreson obscene greasy-tallow catch, right?”  Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, the second largest party in the Scottish Parliament

Mexico’s president recently canceled a meeting with Donald Trump.  Other world leaders have admonished him harshly.  But Ruth Davidson takes the cake with an apt Shakespearean insult.  The best part is, she could have gone further.  That quote comes from a larger comment about the lying, ridiculous Falstaff which Trump does strikingly resemble (minus the humor).  Here’s the larger quote:

“These lies are like their father that begets them,
gross as a mountain, open, palpable.  Why, thou
claybrained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou
whoreson, obscene, greasy tallow-catch–”  – Henry IV, Part I

Translated into modern English:

These lies are like the man who tells them:
huge as a mountain, obvious, and plain as day.
You clay-brained fatso, you knuckleheaded fool,
you son of a whore, you obscene tub of lard–

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Alternative Facts

January 24th, 2017 → 5:07 am

“Truth’s a dog that must to kennel. 
He must be whipped out, when Lady Brach
may stand by th’ fire and stink.”  – King Lear

This is Trump’s approach to the truth, that it must be whipped and beaten like a dog, while falsehood (Lady Brach) gets to stand pride of place by the fire and stink the room up.  Ugh.  So depressing that there is a history to this.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Guest Post – Obama as Hamlet

January 16th, 2017 → 5:41 am

“And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”  – Hamlet

Opining on the end of the Obama presidency, author Ann Wroe wrote in The World in 2017 about Obama’s speech patterns and his excessive use of pauses.  Apparently, people have written entire dissertations on the length and number of Obama’s pauses – who knew?  It’s an interesting essay on his thoughtfulness, but also his sometimes damning hesitation.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

November 22nd, 2016 → 6:55 am

“Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.”  – Henry IV, Part II

I just re-watched Henry IV Parts I and II, of the amazing Hollow Crown series.  In this set of plays we watch the future Henry V go from being a brash, licentious, dissolute youth, to a king who renounces his former ways and his former lowlife companions to become a better person.  The plays end with the newly crowned King Henry V stating that he is a changed man, a better man, and that he will put from him the delinquent acquaintances of his youth.  Wouldn’t it be nice if Trump did the same thing?  Now that he is President-Elect, disavow his former scandalous self and his former villainous friends and become a more honest person.  I’m pretty sure it won’t happen, but, wouldn’t it be nice?

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Queen Elizabeth II

November 17th, 2016 → 5:34 am

“Truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;
She shall be loved and feared.”  – Henry VIII

Shakespeare wrote this about the first Queen Elizabeth, of course, but I’ll project it onto the second.  Just watched Netflix’s new series The Crown and found it both interesting and entertaining.  We all have such varied, difficult, and surprising lives to lead, royalty included.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians


November 13th, 2016 → 7:27 am

“I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.”  – Hamlet

I look back on my last post, on the morning of the U.S. election, and am amazed at its prescience.  I had meant that the end of the campaign season was at last at hand, but I ended up predicting that the end of decency had come to America.  God help us.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians