Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Appreciating Shakespeare: the "Nooooooooo!" Edition

Spotted this on Slate's Browbeat blog--a full eleven and a half minutes of people shouting "No."  Check it out.

At about the 4:00 mark, I was thinking nostalgically of how Shakespeare railed against the heavens in the under-appreciated classic King Lear.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
    You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
    Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
    You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
    Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
    Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
    Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
    Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
    That make ingrateful man!

And he goes on from there for another three paragraphs, cursing his fate.  Or earlier, when his two daughters between them refuse to allow him to drag his extravagant train of one hundred knights into their homes, he refuses to believe them and calls down curses.  Although at the moment, he can't think of any specific revenge, he knows he will come up with something horrible:

No, you unnatural hags,
    I will have such revenges on you both,
    That all the world shall--I will do such things,--
    What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
    The terrors of the earth.

Or, he could just keep screaming 'Noooooooooooo!"  

Oh, that Shakespeare--you have to admire him.  Especially after watching eleven and a half minutes that demonstrate how far we have fallen over 400 years. 

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