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Battle of Agincourt Commemoration

Hi. I think by now you have guessed how little I have time to blog. But I suppose it would be a great mistake not to mention the 600th Commemoration of the legendary Battle of Agincourt. There's a whole website dedicated to it, if you want to know more about people's seriousness when it comes to this event.

Tho only reason why I remember the date, why I care about it, seeing that I am no Englishman nor Frenchman, is Shakespeare. I believe that I'm not the only person in the world who spends a slot in his memory for Julius Caesar's death-day and the Battle of Agincourt/Crispin Day just because Shakespeare mentioned them. So, let's get straight to Shakespeare and his half-deified King Henry V.

When I think of Agincourt, the first thing that comes to mind is the Crispin Day Speech. Naturally. It's hard to choose a favourite among all the actors that have played Henry V. As many other Shakespeare's characters and speeches, this can be highly personalised by any…

Citing Scriptures: Everything That Is, Has Been Before

I was reading Ecclesiastes the other day, and found the verse that I was looking for - the one that I was reminded of when I read Sonnet 59. 
It's Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10 (KJV).
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.  But Shakespeare's Sonnet 59 is a (not so) subtle refutation to the verses' argument that the world repeats itself. Here's what the Bard says about his friend.
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd,
Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To thi…

Say It Like Shakespeare: Motivational Quotes

Do you feel bad today? Do you feel like your problems are Everest-like, so tall and unconquerable? Or even worse, Pompei-like, dark and deadly? Do you need a boost of motivation to help you through the day? Let's do it Shakespeare's way.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. - Hamlet Even the emotional-sometimes-homicidal-sometimes-suicidal Hamlet knows this. Be positive. It's not that bad. It's just our paranoia. We'll get through it.
Extremities are the trier of spirits. Common chances common men could bear. - Coriolanus Despite being a bad mother, Volumnia gives Martius a good advice. Don't be a common man! Prove ourselves better than what they think. Stretch the boundaries, try the extremes, be amazing.
All things are ready if our minds be so. - Henry V King Hal was going to war when he said this line. We're probably not going to any mortal combat today. However, the words still stand. Prepare your mind, and go.
There is some so…

Will Power - Shakespeare Triumphs in a Musical

If Tom Hiddleston has made girls learning St Crispin's Day speech by heart, Christian Borle has just sung Sonnet 18 into their minds.

I am talking about one of the latest musical sensations - Something Rotten!

The plot basically involves two brothers who really want to make a hit in Renaissance theatre world. It won't be easy for them, because at he very top of that same world reigns William Shakespeare. One of the brother, Nigel, is definitely okay with being his fan, but the older brother, Nick, has some issue about it. He makes it really clear that he hates Shakespeare.

I definitely side with his younger brother, especially after the performance of these two of the musical numbers:


Interpretation of Shakespeare as a narcissistic rock star idol of his age, although probably exaggerated, works really fine with me. As too turning Sonnet 18 and Richard III's opening lines into a rock song. Christian Borle makes it really hard not to sing along. Some Shakespeare knowledge wo…

What Face Can Launch a Thousand Ships? "If"

Last week by chance I happened to listen to this song for the first time in my life.


Before, I had had no idea that the song existed. So I just half-listened to it, about how a picture worth a thousand words, and thought, "Good old proverb." In fact, I had a full entry in my diary discussing how a word could give you a thousand pictures as well.

However, when the song went to the second stanza, it went, "If a face could launch a thousand ships..," and I just immediately straightened my back.

"A face that launched a thousand ships," I thought. "It's Marlowe."

In his play Doctor Faustus, his character Faust was talking about the legendary Helen of Troy, the cause of Trojan War and the ultimate destruction of the city.

"Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium--"

I know that is article is so trivial. It is more like a diary entry than anything worth putting in one's blog. However,…