Happy birthday Sir William Shakespeare!
You haven’t aged a bit.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar…
I can still recite parts of Mark Antony’s famous funeral speech (Act 3, Scene 2) in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. I was in high school, and it was required for us to perform it in front of the class. Up until then, I had never met William Shakespeare. Sure, I had heard of him, but didn’t get to know him until I was in my teens.
My appreciation for his prose has grown over the years. It amazes me that his works haven’t aged. Every generation embraces his writing like he is one of their own.
Writing about love and loss, pain and pleasure, or other matters of the heart never goes out of style. William Shakespeare’s plays and poems remind us we are more alike than different.
I am thankful for people like my friends AJ and Melissa Leon, and the fine folks at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Stratford-upon-Avon, for keeping the bard’s quill from running dry.
Kudos to everyone who contributed to the Happy Birthday Shakespeare Project. “And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.”
Marc Antony’s Funeral Speech
photo credit: Lee J Haywood