March 13, 2013 — As a lifelong fan of William Shakespeare, I’ve often felt that he was a man far ahead of his time.
Today, he would be famous, not as a dramatist, but as one of those commentators on CNN who knows everything.
He’s already said or written profound sentences and phrases that we use every day, usually with no idea where they came from.
To prove my point, I’ve taken some of the best known phrases from his plays and poems and tried to match them with contemporary situations in today’s wacky world.
I begin by apologizing to the Bard of Avon for trifling with his literary genius in this pathetic, thinly-disguised attempt to write today’s column.
For example, he could be describing the gridlock in Congress over the federal budget with “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
Parents with selfish, misbehaving children could relate to his observation that “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”
Here’s one for parents who don’t want to face the possibility of loaning money to their children when they reach adulthood:
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend…”
Everyone who’s been unlucky in love might lament their fate by saying “I am one who loved not wisely but too well.”
And in happier days, a musically-inclined lover might say “If music be the food of love, play on.”
But if it didn’t work out, a jilted sweetheart might find consolation in “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
A politician protesting his innocence in a growing scandal could utter “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”
If an aspiring political leader asked for advice, the old bard would remind them that “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”
When confronted with the young folks who have become incredibly rich because of the Internet, Shakespeare might say “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
If he were to host the Oscars, his monologue might be “All the world‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”
To those who didn’t win an Oscar, he could offer “All that glistens is not gold.”
I can’t resist the temptation to end with Shakespeare’s timeless advice on what to say to a dog who wants to sleep in the house:
“Out, out damned spot.”