Tag Archives: As You Like It

400 Years After Shakespeare’s Death

The Cobbe Portrait, William Shakespeare

On April 23rd, 1616, it is believed that William Shakespeare passed away. While we don’t have records of his death, we do have records of his funeral which occurred two days later on April 25th, 1616.

At the age of 52, Shakespeare left behind a body of work that has captivated pop culture and has been the favored subject of academia (think of your high school literature classes) for the past 400 years. Shakespeare’s works have lead to an unparalleled phenomenon across cultures and well past his time.

This blog has continually looked for Shakespeare from searching for Shakespeare in bookstores in Taipei, Taiwan to visiting a bookstore with his namesake in Berkeley, California. Speaking of books, we’ve reviewed the Star Wars Shakespeare-style books, have shared our own stories about¬†Shakespeare, and have made so many freaking posts about Shakespeare loot it’s kinda ridiculous.

Summer is the time of Free Shakespeare Plays in Los Angeles

I’m lucky to live close to L.A. because, in the summer, Los Angeles is filled with things to do. For one, we have The Last Bookstore, which is just plain awesome and filled with catacombs of used dollar books.

There are also tons of lectures, literary events, book signings, and poetry readings to attend as well.

But my most favorite thing to do in the summer is to attend the free Shakespeare plays put on by the Independent Shakespeare Company as well as Shakespeare by the Sea.

This summer both companies are putting on two Shakespeare plays – one tragedy, and one comedy, each.

Photo by Mike Ditz from the Independent Shakespeare Company website.

The Independent Shakespeare Company is putting on Romeo & Juliet June 25th through July 26th in Griffith Park. This is the classic tale of two adolescents whose forbidden love spins out of control and ends with a double suicide. The Independent Shakespeare Company makes this production their own by adding a little Sid and Nancy twist – this tale is set in the modern world of punk rock. So if you’re a fan of Shakespeare, and/or a fan of punk, this show should blow your socks off.

You Might have Quoted Shakespeare Today

Shakespeare was more than just a wordsmith–he was also the inventor of many idiomatic expressions we commonly use today. Some of his most popular phrases that most people will recognize as his work are “green eyed monster,” “a plague on both your houses,” “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse,” “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Horatio,” and so on. But there are many more idioms he coined that we use everyday that you might not recognize as Shakespeare’s work.

“As cold as any stone”
From King Henry V

This idiom is used generally to describe someone as being unfeeling, but in Henry V the phrase was used to describe the feeling of a dead man lying in bed.

“As merry as the day is long”
From Much Ado About Nothing and King John

This idiom is used to express being happy and Shakespeare used it in the same fashion, although usually in a negative comparison to actions other characters had taken. I could have been as merry as the day is long if you hadn’t done something stupid is the modern equivalent to how Shakespeare used this phrase.

“As good luck would have it”
From The Merry Wives of Windsor

I almost don’t need to describe this one. It just means that you’ve run into a bought of good luck, just as Falstaff had in The Merry Wives of Windsor.