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William Shakespeare’s high comedy, “Twelfth Night, or, What You Will,” (1600), centers on themes of love – unrequited love, lost love, secret love, fickle love. But another theme is also explored – carpe diem, or “seize the day.” The idea that we should embrace life and live it to the fullest and in the present was a very […]

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Sonnet #130 by William Shakespeare Pass the breath mints!  The Bard paints an unflattering portrait of his mistress.   My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun [brown], If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her […]

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Yesterday, I cut my finger with a knife. My daughter asked me, “Is it bad, Mom?” I thought of the street fight scene from “Romeo and Juliet” when Mercutio gets wounded. Romeo says to Mercutio, “Courage, man. The hurt cannot be much.” Read today’s post to discover Mercutio’s famous response. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, 1595 […]

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Juliet: O, Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? is probably the most well-known Shakespeare line of all time – and the most misunderstood. The line is from “Romeo and Juliet,” Act II. Scene II. To give Juliet’s words some context, let’s start at the beginning. Our play takes place in 16th Century Verona in Northern […]

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Today is William Shakespeare’s 445th birthday. In honor of the occasion, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley wants us all to celebrate by using the Bard’s words, declaring that today is “Talk Like Shakespeare Day.” The official website offers some suggestions as to how you can talk like Shakespeare: Instead of you, say thou. Instead of y’all, say thee. Rhymed couplets are all […]

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“Which one?” he asked, when actor Richard Burton was told in 1957 that his father had died.  It was an odd question, but a legitimate one. Richard, indeed, did have more than one father. Was it his birth father, the poor Welsh coal miner, who had died? Or, was it his foster father, the British schoolmaster and […]

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In my last post, “Elvis the Pelvis,” I wrote about Elvis’ sensational and controversial performance on “The Milton Berle Show” (NBC) on June 5, 1956, when he sang “Hound Dog.” His playful yet sensual rendition of the blues number – his hips gyrated provocatively  – rocketed Elvis to fame while also unleashing a floodgate of criticism. Elvis was too […]

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