Friday, April 23, 2010

Homebaked Shakespeare

Happy 446th Birthday, Will!

In honor of the Big Guy's birthday, I've decided to throw him a Numerology-palooza. Shakespeare loved his number tricks. Check out Psalm 46 in the King James Version of the Bible, which came out just after his 46th birthday. Count 46 words down from the top and you'll find the word "shake"; count 46 words from the bottom and you'll find the word "spear." Now go empty out your bank account and wire me the funds.

Okay, even if you don't buy the Psalm thing (although, come on, you have to admit it's cool), there's no arguing with the fact that today, on Shakespeare's 446th birthday, at 4:46 a.m. epicenter time there was a 5.4 earthquake in Guam; or that at 4:46 a.m. today it was Nautical Twilight in Zagreb, Croatia. I mean, come earthquake AND something that sounds really ye olde poetic and significant like "Nautical Twilight"? How can you not be a believer?

I'm going to prove my theory by composing a sonnet made up only of Act 4, scene 4, line 6's of his plays. Get it? 446. I will throw in one line per quatrain and couplet of my own-- he liked to collaborate, so I think he'd approve. If I can do it, and it makes sense, then we know Shakespeare is trying to communicate to us through his words. (And before you serious Shakespeareans get your hose all in a knot because Shakespeare didn't actually divide his works up into the acts and scenes that you see in the Riverside Shakespeare, just calm down. The Bard works in mysterious ways.) Okay. Ready?

Spare not for cost. Go, you cot-quean, go!
What's this for? My good lord, O Seigneur Dieu!
'Tis Willie's birthday, don't you know?
Pardon wife, henceforth do what thou wilt!

However these disturbers of our peace
For barbarous and unnatural revolts
Do try to stop our revels 'til we cease
Tis well and hold your own in any case.

But where's the body that I should embrace?
Then is my sovereign slain?
No, good sir, his words survive this place,
Our substitutes in absence well invested.

To use one language in each several clime:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILL, it's party time!

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