Jeopardy Loves Shakespeare

And that’s one of only two reasons anybody should read the Bard — in order to answer “Jeopardy” questions and get a master’s degree in English Lit. You’ve got to be a real classical nerd to appreciate the guy. His poetry doesn’t rhyme and his meter doesn’t scan.

My daughter, Mary, disagrees. She claims that in his plays Shakespeare popularized all the great plots — the political murders, family intrigue, unrequited love, blah, blah, blah, etc. Oh, really? I’ll tell you this. His dialogue was ridiculous. People never talked that way, not in Shakespeare’s time or any other time.

I don’t pretend to be a student of English literature, so I will come off as a clumsy buffoon to the one percent of the literati who actually enjoy Shakespeare. But I am not alone. We learned recently from no less an authority than “Jeopardy” that some of the great thinkers of the last century called Shakespeare a crashing bore. Among them were George Bernard Shaw, who could adroitly string nouns and verbs together, and Charles Darwin, who was no monkey’s uncle.

But if you aspire to riches on “Jeopardy,” follow Cole Porter’s advice in “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”

I’ve finally got that off my chest. It’s been bothering me for half a century. One other thing. “The Great Gatsby” was overrated. That’s all for now.

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One Response to Jeopardy Loves Shakespeare

  1. Barry Goodrich says:

    Bill did have one great line — “What’s past is prologue.” From The Tempest, I believe…

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