Author Archives: Troy Worman

Happy B-day Shakes!

This is not a complete departure from the deconstruction.

Nevertheless…

Historians believe Shakespeare was born on this day in 1564, the same day he died in 1616.

Although the plays of William Shakespeare may be the most widely read works in the English language, little is known for certain about the playwright himself. Some scholars even believe the plays were not written by William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon but by some other well-educated, aristocratic writer who wished to remain anonymous.

Shakespeare’s father was probably a common tradesman. He became an alderman and bailiff in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Shakespeare was baptized in the town on April 26, 1564. At age 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter in 1583 and twins in 1585.  Sometime later, Shakespeare set off for London to become an actor and by 1592 was well established in London’s theatrical world as both a performer and a playwright. His earliest plays, including The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew, were written in the early 1590s. Later in the decade, he wrote tragedies such as Romeo and  Juliet (1594-1595) and comedies including The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597). His greatest tragedies were written after 1600, including Hamlet (1600-01), Othello (1604-05), King Lear (1605-06), and Macbeth (1605-1606).

He became a member of the popular theater group the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who later became the King’s Men. The group built and operated the famous Globe Theater in 1599. Shakespeare ultimately became a major shareholder in the troupe and earned enough money to buy a large house in Stratford in 1597. He retired to Stratford in 1610, where he wrote his last plays, including The Tempest (1611) and The Winter’s Tale (1610-11).  Meanwhile, he had written more than 100 sonnets, which were published in 1609. Although pirated versions of Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet and some other plays were published during Shakespeare’s lifetime, no definitive collection of his works was published until after his death.  In 1623, two members of Shakespeare’s troupe collected the plays and printed what is now called the First Folio (1623).

Some quotes:

  • All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
  • It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
  • To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night they day, though canst not then be false to any man.
  • Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
  • Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind.

Which is your favorite Shakespeare quote?

Source: Brainy Quotes

The Grapes of Wrath

Published 75 years ago today.

Joyous Synonyms

cheerful, ecstatic, exuberant, festive, heartwarming, joyful, jubilant, merry, upbeat, wonderful, blessed, blithe, delighted, glad, gleeful, jocular, jolly, mirthful, pleased, spirited, vigorous

Trajectory

“If there is danger in the human trajectory, it is not so much in the survival of our own species as in the fulfillment of the ultimate irony of organic evolution: that in the instant of achieving self-understanding through the mind of man, life has doomed its most beautiful creations.” — E.O. Wilson

03.17.14

Abbey Theatre: Irish plays, Irish actors.

Six Word Memoirs

The Ides of March

The Ides of March is the day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15.  It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE (Before the Common Era).

[B.C.E. is the partner of C.E. – a replacement for A.D. or Anno Domini, which means “the Year of Our Lord.”  B.C.E. replaces B.C. (Before Christ).  Unfortunately, use of ‘c’ and ‘e’ means B.C.E. could be confused with C.E. or simply morphed into “Before Christian Era” by the those who adhere to monotheistic religions based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament.]

[C.E., of course, can be called an abbreviation for Common Era, Current Era, or Christian Era.]

In the original Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year.  The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations, not to be confused with C.E. New Year’s celebrations.

The Romans did not number days of the month sequentially from the first through the last day.  Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month:  the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st) of the following month.  The Ides occurred near the midpoint, on the 13th for most months, but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October.

The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar.  On the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the Roman new year.

[Not related] On this day, March 15, 1946, “Route 66” was recorded by the Nat Cole Trio.  Written by Bobby Troup, the song was a big hit for Cole, who at the time had already had 11 top ten hits on the R&B chart.  Route 66 was later covered by many rock and roll performers, including Chuck Berry.

Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins was born today.  So were others who I will not mention.

March 17 is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 291 days remaining until the end of the year.

Also on this day, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas (1493), the Council of Trent met for the first time (1545), Maine became the 23rd state of the United States (1820), Liverpool F.C. was founded (1892); symbolics.com, the first Internet domain name was registered (1985), the Syrian civil war began (2011).

Happy birthday Liverpool F.C.!

3.14 Smart Things About Pi

1. Pi didn’t earn its name until the 18th century, when Welsh mathematician William Jones started using its symbol (the first letter in the Greek word for perimeter).  In Medieval Latin it was known as quantitas, in quam cum multiplicetur diameter, proveniet circumferentia, or “the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference.”  I prefer Pi.

2. The average sinuosity of a river (its length as the fish swims divided by its length as the crow flies) is pretty close to Pi. Why? Water on the outside of a bend erodes the bank, while slower-moving water on the inside of the curve deposits silt. Eventually the shape morphs into a loop–until an overflow cuts off the detour, straightening the curve. Rinse and repeat.

3. Pi contains everything. Pi is nonrepeating and also thought to be “normal”–that is, 0 through 9 seem to occur in equal proportion among its digits. If that’s true, any series of digits can be found somewhere in Pi; since it’s infinite, they’ll eventually show up by chance alone. Convert Lord of the Rings or the entire Simpsons oeuvre into code and look at the raw numberals. They’ll appear in Pi, in that order, somewhere.

3.14. Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day (today, March 14), 1879.

Source:  Wired

No Tears

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

– Robert Frost

Beware

Pickpocketing is a form of larceny that involves the stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without their noticing the theft at the time.  It requires considerable dexterity and a knack for misdirection.  A thief who works in this manner is known as a pickpocket.

Loose Women is a British lunchtime television program. It consists of a panel of four women who interview celebrities and discuss topical issues, ranging from daily politics and current affairs to celebrity gossip.

 

Five Short Story Classics Online

Following is a list of five short story classics currently available online at the Short Story Group.