This is about HAMLET. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen it. You know the old story about the boss who took his young secretary (professional assistant?) to see it and when it was over, he asked her how she liked it. "Fine," she said, "but it was full of clichés." Scholars have counted the number of words in Shakespeare's plays that he invented or coined, that didn't exist before. Astronomical. Mind-boggling. How did they live without them ? How could we live now without them?
When I go on a diet, which is like, constantly, I say, "Oh that this too too solid flesh would thaw, melt and resolve itself into a dew..." If I got some of that wrong, you can correct me, do us both good. When I procrastinate and put off what I am resolved to do, should be doing, I say, "And thus, the native hue of resolution is sullied o'er with the pale cast of thought." When we went to see the Royal Barges in what country? - that I will have to look up - I found myself murmuring Enobarbus's speech about the infinite allure of Cleopatra, remember, I quoted it in my blog then. It begins: "The barge she sat in like a burnished throne...."
Of course, I say anon, anon all the time. Once it meant presently or immediately but now it means in a while. "Anon, anon, sir." I'm coming.
Golden lads and lasses must/As chimney sweepers come to dust." It sounds like Housman, but it's Shakespeare. On the other hand, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" sounds like Shakespeare but is really Sir Walter Scott. I looked up the golden-lads line because I wondered at chimney sweepers -- could that be right? It is. And I found a whole list of lines that have been attributed to Shakespeare and were actually said by someone else, like my title above. I have always known it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but apparently Shakespeare often gets the credit.
So today, as I said, I am going to listen to the immortal bard once more. Anon, anon, sir.