Shakespeare is More Modern Than Most of You Think

Many phrases that Shakespeare wrote are still being used today.

I first studied Shakespeare, along with millions of others as part of my GCSE reading list. My groans were louder than most, as I tried to interpret the difficult wording and phrases.

Then as time went by I grew to love the beautifully poetic words; the humour and the imagery. I fell in love with Shakespeare and it is a love that has stayed with me for years.

I regularly visit Stratford-Upon-Avon, his home town, to feel closer to the master.

The love and enthusiasm for his work is something I can now inspire in my students.

The Legacy Shakespeare Left

Like many others, at the time I never appreciated the legacy that Shakespeare left us. So many words and phrases he wrote in his books have become ingrained in the English language. Common statements everyone uses, that many do not know, relate back to the man himself.

Here are a few of my favourites:

WILD GOOSE CHASE” // ROMEO AND JULIET, ACT II, SCENE IV

“Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?” — Mercutio

GREEN-EYED MONSTER” // OTHELLO, ACT III, SCENE III

“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” — Iago

SEEN BETTER DAYS” // AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT II, SCENE VII

“True is it that we have seen better days and have with holy bell been knolled to church, and sat at good men’s feasts and wiped our eyes of drops that sacred pity hath engendered.” — Duke Senior

OFF WITH HIS HEAD” // RICHARD III, ACT III, SCENE IV

“If? Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet, talk’st thou to me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor — Off with his head.” — Richard III

FAIR PLAY” // THE TEMPEST, ACT V, SCENE I

“Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, and I would call it fair play.” — Miranda

BREAK THE ICE” // THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, ACT I, SCENE II

“If it be so, sir, that you are the man must stead us all, and me amongst the rest, and if you break the ice and do this feat, achieve the elder, set the younger free for our access, whose hap shall be to have her will not so graceless be to be ingrate.” — Tranio (as Lucentio)

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