Friday, March 9, 2012

That is the long and short of it ...

Calling all original authors!

So how often have our heroes “played fast and loose”? Or been “hoodwinked”? Or proved to be a “tower of strength” to their partners? How often have we written a “stony-hearted villain”, or “star-crossed lovers”, or had a character “laugh themselves into stitches”?
 

We authors are all individuals and proud of our original work. But if the truth were known, and as I have a tongue in my head – we’ve all been quoting Shakespeare!

I was recently given a wall poster from the Globe Theatre gift shop in London, showing a selection of some of the phrases he’s contributed to our language. Of course, Shakespeare himself borrowed inspiration - from other plays, from popular history, and from classical tales. But his work has caught the public imagination over the centuries, and stays in our mind, with its wonderful blend of irony and ire, drama and danger, passion, humour and happy-ever-after.

Isn’t that just perfect for romantic suspense plots?!

I love Shakespeare’s plays – at least, most of them, though only my son’s (abridged) school version of Hamlet managed to keep me awake until the end :). My favourite is Twelfth Night, a delicious blend of romance, mystery, angst, humour and passion. Oh, and some cross-dressing :).




So Barry Manilow may claim to write the songs, but it was William Shakespeare who coined the phrases - he contributed more phrases and sayings to the English language than any other individual, and most of them are still in daily use.

And if you think you’ll try to track back the source of some of our most favourite phrases …?

Oh that way madness lies!

Just for fun, try this link to the BBCwebsite, where there are some very witty 60-second plot summaries of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, in tabloid-style :).

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Clare London
Writing ... Man to Man
www.clarelondon.co.uk


3 comments:

Marcelle Dubé said...

Fun post, Clare. Thanks for the reminder of how indebted we are to the Master!

Wendy Soliman said...

Lots of sayings in daily use go back to horse and carriage days - In the driving seat, taking the reins, etc.

Great post!

Clare London said...

Thanks for visiting :). I'm always fascinated by the history of phrases, I must say. It's fun to stop and think about it now and then!