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Friday, May 17, 2013

365 Poems: Strange Shakespeare

Day 137

So we were thinking about strangeness and how to approach the strange today. We thought about the archetype of the stranger, but thanks to 57 years of observation, our conclusion is short: We are all strange. (Cue Joseph Campbell.)

Next, we wondered what our good friend, William Shakespeare, had to say about strangeness. Of course he didn't let us down:

(from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5)

Horatio: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come,
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on),
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall—
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out—to note
That you know aught of me. This not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
Swear.

Good, huh? But that's not the best of it. We happened upon a site called 'No Fear Shakespeare' that "translates" Shakepearean prose into modern English! With just the kind of results we anticipated, feared ... and enjoyed:
We know! STRANGE!

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