Category Archives: Shakespeare

Song of the Witches by William Shakespeare

Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse

It is officially Autumn and tomorrow is the first day of October.  Halloween is coming!  So, here is a classic to get us in the mood for the month of spooky happenings and copious amounts of candy!

Song of the Witches
William Shakespeare  (from Macbeth)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron 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.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

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Quotable Monday: Hamlet and Ophelia

Ophelia by John William Waterhouse

Hamlet has always been my all-time favorite Shakespeare play.  And Ophelia has always been one of my all-time favorite literary characters.  It works out then that one of my favorite artists – John William Waterhouse – painted Ophelia in some of his artwork.  The above picture used to hang over my bed and, as a teenager, I would stare at it, taking in the colors and the beauty.  To this day, I still love this painting, the play, and Ophelia.  I love Ophelia so much that I even named one of my cats after her.  But, still, I can’t say that I love her as much as Hamlet believed that he did…

‘Swounds, show me what thou’t do.
Woo’t weep, woo’t fight, woo’t fast, woo’t tear thyself,
Woo’t drink up eisel, eat a crocodile?
I’ll do’t. Dost come here to whine,
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I.
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart. Nay, and thou’lt mouth,
I’ll rant as well as thou.

Act V, Scene I

In my opinion, the best theatrical version of this play was done by Kenneth Branagh and during this scene, he is in Ophelia’s grave.  And, for some reason, as a teenager, I found literary hunks leaping into graves, clutching the corpse of their beloved, to be TOTALLY dreamy.

Hamlet and Ophelia... INTENSE!

Buy a version of Hamlet on Amazon. 


Filed under Classics, Quotes, Shakespeare

William Shakespeare: Sonnet 130

If you’ve ever studied literature, even in high school, you’ve been exposed to William Shakespeare.  In the high school that I attended, each student had to memorize a Shakespeare sonnet to recite during the first few weeks of school.  You see, our theater teacher was extremely enthusiastic about him and, therefore, we all had to be, as well.

I chose Sonnet 130 because I found it to be both hilarious and, in the end, somewhat sweet, even.  Thirteen year-old Megan was happy to see affections being felt for someone so seemingly physically unpleasant.  All of this, of course, is ignoring the fact that this is just a mistress and not his wife that he’s talking about.

Sonnet 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts be dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I had seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes are their more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

But a complete collection of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Poems on Amazon.

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Filed under Classics, Poetry, Shakespeare