Tucked into a small town in central Maine is the Theater at Monmouth which each year brings Shakespeare's plays alive on the stage. Charlie and I try to go at least once over the summer.
Earlier this week we went to see Hamlet. My oldest daughter lived, breathed, dreamed and spoke fluent Hamlet throughout her sophomore year of high school and still counts it as her favorite play. Charlie, as a high school english teacher, teaches the play each year. So, over the years, in spite of myself, I have had quite a bit of passive Hamlet exposure.
The performance that we enjoyed on Tuesday night was very good and what struck me is how very familiar the words are--and how familiar the thoughts behind the words.
Here are some of my favorites:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy"
"Brevity is the soul of wit"
"Madness in great ones must not unwatched go"
"More matter, with less art"
"This above all, to thine own self be true"
What is especially interesting, is how often we hear some of the lines in everyday speech, perhaps with the speaker not even realizing where they originated.