Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
His tragedies have been celebrated for centuries. For example, there’s the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, in which a Roman general thinks he’d like to be emperor, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Macbeth, in which a Scottish Thane thinks he’d like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is the Tragedy of Richard III, in which a hunch-backed noble thinks he'd like to be king, other people disagree, and everyone dies in the end. There is even the Tragedy of Hamlet, in which a young prince thinks and everyone ends in mincemeat.
(That last is naturally set in Denmark, where the relationship between thinking and dying has been most famously chronicled by Soren Kierkegaard, who called life itself the sickness unto death. He was a very happy fella.)
He gave us many beloved plays, including Romeo and Juliet (1594), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595), Gay Boys in Bondage (1601), Othello (1604), and King Lear (1605). Only a few scattered facts are known about his life. He was born and raised in the picturesque market town of Stratford-on-Avon, surrounded by woodlands. His father was a glover and a leather merchant; he and his wife had eight children including William, but three of them died in childbirth. William probably left grammar school when he was thirteen years old, but continued to study on his own.
He went to London around 1588 to pursue his career in drama (or to sleep with actresses or men who dresses like women) and by 1592 he was a well-known actor. He joined an acting troupe in 1594 and wrote many plays for the group while continuing to act. Scholars believe that he usually played the part of the first character that came on stage, but that in Hamlet he played the ghost.
Some scholars have suggested that Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays attributed to him because he had no formal education. A group of scientists recently plugged all his plays into a computer and tried to compare his work to other writers of his day, such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the Earl of Oxford. The only writer they found who frequently used words and phrases similar to Shakespeare's was Queen Elizabeth I, and although Shakespeare had been seen in women's clothing several times, the Queen was eventually ruled out as well.
Shakespeare used one of the largest vocabularies of any English writer, almost 30,000 words, and he was the first writer to invent or record many of our most common turns of phrase, including foul play, as luck would have it, your own flesh and blood, too much of a good thing, good riddance, in one fell swoop, so is your mother, play fast and loose, up your nose with a rubber hose, d'oh, that's what she said and in the twinkling of an eye.
Shakespeare wrote a lot of other plays and died in the end—on April 23, 1616. His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that he died on the same day he’d been born.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Another page from the ACME Catalog -
Before our feature presentation, ACME would like to start the evening with the Goofy Gophers (Mac and Tosh) Looney Tunes cartoon, the 1955 Friz Freleng directed, Lumber Jerks:
This is the last Friz Freleng's Goofy Gophers cartoon, the next two, Gopher Broke and Tease for Two, were directed by Robert McKimson.
On April 22, 1969, The Who performed their new work Tommy for the first time. The concert, which took place in Bolton, England was a full month before the groundbreaking double album was released. But the new album presented a challenge as to how to present it in their live show. By the time they rolled into Bolton that evening, the decision was made to present Tommy as a whole, rather than just mixing some of the songs into a regular set. The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour wanted to show you that show but it wasn't recorded. So to commemorate the event, please join us in watching a 1989 concert in Los Angeles of the album with many special guest stars performing along with The Who. So don't shout, ACME won't fiddle about while you're watching the show.
Just seven years after wrapping up one of rock's first farewell tours, The Who returned to the stage in 1989 to perform in tribute to the 20th anniversary of their classic album.
Before you go - check out this Billboard article about the 25 songs you to listen to on this Record Store Day.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
On May 19, 1996, Kermit the Frog gave the commencement address at Southampton College's graduation ceremony after being awarded an honorary doctorate in Amphibious Letters for his contributions to environmental awareness and education.