William Shakespeare – English
For the glory of the word, for expressions we use every day like:-
‘Love is blind’
‘Brave new world’
‘All that glitters is not gold’
For his plays and poems and for such stunning insights into love, death, war, humour and all of life.
And for wisdom such as ‘An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told’.
And his love poems such as Eternal Summer: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
And for such drama as Hamlet’s famous soliloquy: To be, or not to be? That is the question-
Or the dreadful chant of the three witches from Macbeth:
Round about the cauldron go; In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone, Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got, Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
And for his devastating view of the cycle of life:
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances…
And such exquisite little poems such as these:
Full fathom five father lies; Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change, Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding dong
Hark! I hear them now-Ding-dong, bell.
– From the Tempest
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
– From A Midsummer Night’s Dream