INTERVIEWS FROM THE FAMOUSLY DEPARTED
Happy 450th, William
William Shakespeare Speaks
William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 in Stratford upon Avon, England and died April 23, 1616. He is considered the best writer and certainly the best dramatist in the English language. (Note – All the answers in this interview are from one play – Hamlet)
WRR: Welcome, Mr. Shakespeare. How are you adjusting to Global Warming? Is it hot where you are?
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew. (Hamlet, Act I, scene ii; 1602. All quotes are from Hamlet)
WRR: What do you think about political promises?
Words, Words, Words (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: In other – dare I say – words?
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below;
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. (Claudius, Act II, scene iii)
WRR: How the GOP views the world?
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral bak’d meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. (Hamlet, Act I, scene ii)
WRR: In other words?
I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind. (Hamlet, Act III, scene iv)
WRR: Advice to the GOP?
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, (Ophelia, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: How the Democrats see the world?
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: In other words?
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day (Hamlet, Act V, scene i)
WRR: Advice to the Democrats?
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Hamlet, Act I,scene v)
WRR: Advise to all those running for political office?
This above all — to thine ownself be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: What Presidents really think of their Vice-Presidents
Alas! poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. (Hamlet, Act V, scene i)
WRR: Poll takers?
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: The failure of political parties to compromise?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (Marcellus, Act I, scene iv)
WRR: What could revive it?
The play’s the thing,
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king. (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: And why is that?
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: Pledges to run a clean campaign
But to my mind, — though I am native here
And to the manner born, — it is a custom
More honour’d in the breach than the observance (Hamlet, Act I, scene iv)
WRR: And those politicians who have affairs?
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: The mortgage crisis?
Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: Your advice to attorneys given the five hours allocated to ObamaCare before the US Supreme Court?
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit.
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. (Polonius, Act I, scene i)
WRR: OK. Let’s get a little more general. Our fascination with sports?
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so. (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: Those performers who stay too long at the fair?
To be, or not to be, — that is the question: —
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? — To die, to sleep, No more. (Hamlet, Act III, scene i)
WRR: Whitney, the new queen of Sitcom?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. (Gertrude, Act III, scene ii)
WRR: Ben Franklin thought humility was one’s greatest asset. What to do you think of Ben?
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us. (Hamlet, Act III, scene i)
WRR: 7 billion earthlings?
I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, — all but one, — shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. (Hamlet, Act III, scene i)
WRR: The problem with male aging?
I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: Pyramid schemes? The Penn State Scandal?
When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions. (Claudius, Act IV, scene v)
WRR: First thought when you realized you didn’t have HDTV.
O! what a rogue and peasant slave am I! (Hamlet, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: Another Simon Cowell Review?
O horrible, O horrible, most horrible! (Ghost, Act 1, scene v)
WRR: So a bad economy, nuclear war, broken politics. What’s an average fellow to think?
As indifferent as children of the earth. (Rosencrantz. Act 2, Scene 2)
Happy in that we are not overhappy; on Fortune’s cap we are not the very button. (Guildenstern: Act 2, Scene 2)
WRR: We always like to ask a few questions about writing. Any advice for tabloid journalists?
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
WRR: What good editors should understand?
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. (Hamlet, from a letter read by Polonius, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: The Wild River Review website?
Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t. – Will you walk out of the air, my lord? (Polonius, Act II, scene ii)
WRR: What’s the one thing you regret writing?
Frailty, thy name is woman! (Hamlet, Act I, scene ii)
WRR: Have you seen Helen of Troy up in the afterworld? Any other women in the afterworld? Cleopatra for instance?
I lov’d Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum. (Hamlet, Act V, scene i)
WRR: So is life a trick or is life a treat?
Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business, as the day
Would quake to look on. (Hamlet, Act III, scene ii)
Joe practiced law in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for 14 years and designed large scale databases for AT&T for five years. He currently works for NextLevel Web Strategies, a legal marketing firm based in Princeton, NJ. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, received his J.D. from George Washington Law School and he has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Drexel University.
Joe’s book, Philadelphia Originals, was released for publication by Schiffer Publishing in 2009. The book shows that the unique styles (how Philadelphians paint, sing, practice law, tell a joke, cook) of Philadelphia’s most notable professions can be traced back to the perfect complement of the spiritual William Penn and the practical Benjamin Franklin.
His second project. Philadelphia Before You Were Born, is a study of the last time Philadelphia newspapers used artists for all their illustrations. It was published in 2011.
Joe’s many other published writings include a humorous look at book clubs for the Bucks County Writer and the literary stages of a baseball season for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also writes the Interviews with the Famously Departed Column for the Wild River Review.
Joe Glantz in this Edition
Dick Perez: Sports Artist for the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Phillies
From Washington DC to Salt Lake City: How Nancy Boskoff became Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council