In Which My Dorky Interests Converge

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Heads Up: The Blog, a copy editing blog, which I think comes from the desk of the Wall Street Journal, brings this angry rant about the misuse of Shakespeare:

"Now is the winter of our discontent
made glorious summer by this son of York

Isn't it fun to be a copy editor? "Now" is an adverb, and it tells you something about how things are different from the last time we checked: The far-distant actor ("this son of York") has done something (don't you just love the passive voice?) to "the winter of our discontent." What was done to it? It was made "glorious summer." So lighten up. You've been waiting for the sun to shine on your back door, and it just did. March wind gonna blow all your cares away! Stop complaining about the potholes and read the damn sentence."

I have a soft spot in my heart for Shakespeare's history plays even though my thesis was titled "All That Is Spoke Is Marred -- Othello's Transformation of Speech Through Iago’s Influence."

Othello is still my favorite, but I really loved the Richard and Henry plays, so this post made me laugh. Plus the comments are great, because they argue over the use of the word "son." I bet the folio and quarto versions differ, but I can't tell because I have not shipped my Shakespeare plays here yet. Post in the comments if you can look it up in your notes of your edition of Richard III.

P.S. The next person who tells me that all they know about Iago is that he was Jafar's bird is going to make me burst into tears. Read the play. It's short. And amazing. Love, adultery, poetry, racial tensions, plotting, backstabbing, murder, suicide. What else could you possibly want in a play?

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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