In celebration of Nebraska Shakespeare’s annual performances on UNO’s campus, we thought it would be fun to share why Shakespeare has stood the test of time.
We owe a lot to Shakespeare — more than you think, my friend.
In fact, you probably use many of Shakespeare’s phrases without realizing it.
Take the word, swagger. Two of Shakespeare’s plays — “Henry V” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — showcased the word.
In “Henry V” (Act 2, Scene 4), Williams said: “An’t please your majesty, a rascal that swaggered with me last night.”
In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 3, Scene 1), Puck said: “What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here, so near the cradle of the fairy queen?”
By transitive property, Shakespeare is responsible for your “swag.”
Here’s a list of 15 popular sayings we say or write so often, they’ve become clichés.
1. KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO’S THERE?
We bet you’re waiting for a punch line.
Meaning: Often a children’s joke, the phrase involves tension and anxiety.
From: MacBeth (Act 2, Scene 3)
2. GREEN-EYED MONSTER
From: Othello (Act 3, Scene 3)
3. IN A PICKLE
Meaning: a difficult or uncomfortable situation.
From: The Tempest (Act 5, Scene 1)
4. FULL CIRCLE
Meaning: completes a cycle, returns to its beginnings.
From: King Lear (Act 5, Scene 3)
5. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER
Meaning: being in a position to take advantage of life’s opportunities.
From: The Merry Wives Of Windsor (Act 2, Scene 2)
6. CATCH A COLD
Meaning: To get sick.
From: Cymbeline (Act 1, Scene 4)
7. IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME
Meaning: that something is indistinguishable or incomprehensible.
From: Julius Caesar: (Act 1, Scene 2)
8. FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE
Meaning: Respond to an attack by using a similar method as one’s attacker.
From: King John (Act 5, Scene 1)
9. LOVE IS BLIND
Meaning: an inability to see shortcomings in a lover; doing crazy things when in love.
From: The Merchant Of Venice (Act 2, Scene 6)
10. WILD GOOSE CHASE
Meaning: a hopeless and never-ending pursuit.
From: Romeo and Juliet (Act 2, Scene 4).
11. A HEART OF GOLD
Meaning: a very kind or honorable person
From: Henry V (Act 4, Scene 1).
12. BREAK THE ICE
Meaning: to start conversation.
From: The Taming Of The Shrew (Act 1, Scene 2).
13. LAUGHING STOCK
Meaning: a person subjected to ridicule.
From: The Merry Wives Of Windsor (Act 3, Scene 1).
14. WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE
Meaning: to express your emotions openly, especially when others notice without much effort.
From: Othello (Act 1, Scene 1).
15. METHOD TO HIS MADNESS
Meaning: Someone’s strange behaviour has a purpose.
From: Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2)
How many did you recognize? Let us know in the comments below.
(Sources: Mental Floss and Business Insider)