Hear ye, hear ye! 'Tis Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

Hear ye, hear ye! 'Tis Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

My Monday posts are usually dedicated to ‘Did You Know, Chicago?’. This has been put on hold to tell you about the amazing and official Talk Like Shakespeare Day. To celebrate Shakespeare’s 448th birthday, Mayor Emanuel has actually declared the Bard’s 448th birthday a day when “all citizens are encouraged to express themselves through the incorporation of Shakespearean language and dialect.”

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater created Talk Like Shakespeare Day in 2009 – choosing April 23 because it’s Shakespeare’s birthday – and it has since become a worldwide sensation. To celebrate, there will be a special Monday performance of “Being Shakespeare” at the Broadway Playhouse preceded by a birthday party for the Bard in the theater’s lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Navy Pier will also host activities throughout the day. Shakespeare himself will be at the pier, and anyone who speaks Shakespearean to him will get a free ride on the Ferris Wheel. He’ll then spend the evening at Harry Caray’s, giving out raffle tickets for a plethora of prizes.

Here are a few tips from the official website to teach you how to get your Bard on:

  1. Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all, say ye).
  2. Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  3. Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
  4. Instead of cursing, try calling your tormentors jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
  5. Don’t waste time saying “it,” just use the letter “t” (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
  6. Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
  7. When in doubt, add the letters “eth” to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  8. To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with me thinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
  9. When wooing ladies: try comparing her to a summer’s day. If that fails, say “Get thee to a nunnery!”
  10. When wooing lads: try dressing up like a man. If that fails, throw him in the tower, banish his friends and claim the throne.

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