Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'tis Shakespeare's Birthday

This Thursday William Shakespeare will turn 445 years young. Why not celebrate his birthday by talking like you're a character in one of his plays? That's what Mayor Daly is proposing Chicagoans do on "Talk Like Shakespeare Day"—check it out at Chicagoist. For those of you in the Windy City—and everywhere else, really, because who doesn't want an excuse to talk like Shakespeare?—start practicing where to insert your "haths" and "thous" forthwith.

This is also a great time to rediscover The Sonnets, a novel by Lennard J. Davis. In it, Davis looks at what would happen if Shakespeare found himself living in modern-day Manhattan. Our protagonist, Will Marlowe, is a Columbia University English professor teaching a class on Shakespeare. Things start to get interesting when he realizes that his life is beginning to parallel the Bard's sonnets. If you're looking for a satirical take on Shakespeare, academia, and the urban jungle, then this is the book for you.