Memorizing Shakespeare (1 Viewer)

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I am a Senior in high school and this week in English my class has to memorize a soliloquey(sp?) from either Hamlet or Macbeth. I find it pretty pointless to just try and memorize things, but it is pretty "fun"(for lack of better word).

I am doing the, "To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus-" part from Macbeth.

I was just curious if any of you guys and gals had to memorize Shakespeare, and if after all these years, for some of you, you still remember it?
 

UncleTrvlingJim

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Yeah... there are some great ones. The St. Crispin's day speech from Henry V; King Lear's "reason not the need", Hamlet's speech on man; from MacBeth I like:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
 
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Yeah... there are some great ones. The St. Crispin's day speech from Henry V; King Lear's "reason not the need", Hamlet's speech on man; from MacBeth I like:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
I like that one too. That is the speech he gives right before he gets into the battle with Macduff and all the prophecies the witches told him unravel before his eyes and is then slain my Macduff.
 

Taurus

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Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that.

I was playing Horatio in our AP English production of Hamlet. Horatio lives, which is cool, but doesn't have many really good lines.
 

gaminerie

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it is sad that so much of America (including myself) can recite "Ice Ice Baby" or "Paul Revere" but nothing from "King Lear"

I like that one too. That is the speech he gives right before he gets into the battle with Macduff and all the prophecies the witches told him unravel before his eyes and is then slain my Macduff.
Dammit! You spoiled it for me!

Heh. i'm kidding, i had to study this stuff at two high schools, and i would have in college, had i not had a day job which precluded me from taking the only section of the class.

Enjoy it, it will expand your mind
 

DadsDream

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Not Shakespeare...try Lewis Carroll.

A teacher challenged me to memorize and recite "Jabberwocky" for extra credit. That was 35 years ago and I can recite it.

So can all four of my daughters because I challenged them. :)

JABBERWOCKY
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
 

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Yeah... there are some great ones. The St. Crispin's day speech from Henry V

...+1- I'm actually not a big fan of Shakespeare, but I did that monologue for an acting class in college. It's really inspirational and makes me feel like going out and conquering something:

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day, and live old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian":
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. (IV, iii)

...Funny, as I was typing this post, I stopped to flip channels and came across the movie "Renaissance Man" on the Hallmark Channel, in which I believe Devito recites this exact speech........
 
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staphory

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My favorite is from Romeo and Juliet...


But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
 

BullDawg

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My favorite is from Romeo and Juliet...


But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
Deduct one mancard. :spit:
 

Mr. Blue Sky

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I am a Senior in high school and this week in English my class has to memorize a soliloquey(sp?) from either Hamlet or Macbeth. I find it pretty pointless to just try and memorize things, but it is pretty "fun"(for lack of better word).

I am doing the, "To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus-" part from Macbeth.
...So how'd it go??
 

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