"Gilbert, the waspish member of the Gilbert and Sullivan team, had little regard for the acting ability of Sir Beerbohm Tree. He felt that the controversy over the true identity of Shakespeare could be settled once and for all. His solution was to have Beerbohm Tree recite from the Bard over the graves of the three contenders, Shakespeare, Bacon, and Marlowe. The real Shakespeare would, he felt certain, turn in his grave." OSCAR LEVANT. The Unimportance of Being Oscar (New York: G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS, 1968) ** <---------- Ophelia, this way to the nunnery ** Shakespeare began Hamlet as a searching study of the soul of man, but before he was done the characters were fighting duels all over the place and going mad and participating in all the varied experiences which come to men in melodrama. Heywood Broun. Seeing Things at Night. *** Shakespeare, who belonged to a generation whose immediate predecessors had experienced social upheaval and anarchy and, as a result, were haunted by a dread of them, put into the speech of Ulysses in his great and bitter play Troilus and Cresside the sense of chaotic nightmare engendered by the removal from the body politic of the cement of “degree, priority and place, institute, course, proportion, seasons, form. Office, and custom, all in line of order” Sir Arthur Bryant. Illustrated London News (July 1971).
KICKSHAWS The word kickshaws derives from the French quelque chose, meaning ‘something’. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has a variety of alternative spellings for kickshaws and lists various illustrative quotations. The earliest quotation is dated 1598, when it appears in the original French form quelque chose. A couple of years later in 1600, Shakespeare used the spelling kickshawes in Henry IV, Part 2: “A ioynt of mutton, and any pretty little tinie Kick-shawes. ” Two decades further on (1623), the Bard used the word in Twelfth Night, albeit with a different spelling: “Sir Andrew Aguecheek says: I delight in Maskes and Reuels sometimes altogether. Sir Toby Belch replies: Art thou good at these kicke-chawses Knight?” The word has become imbued with a variety of slightly different meanings over the centuries a fancy dish in cookery, a , a , a , a fantastic person, something dainty or elegant, but unsubstantial or comparatively valueless. I was wondering about the existence of derivative forms - the OED has kickshawed. I tried a Google search and found the surprisingly named kickshawaii website, but it turned out this was a site about how and where to get entertainment and shopping kicks in Hawaii! DARRYL FRANCIS, reprinted from INTERIM (May 2021) ** EVEN SHAKESPEARE IS NOT BELOVED BY EVERYBODY Jennifer Higgie in her marvelous collection of historical insults -- FAR TOO NOISY, MY DEAR MOZART(London: Michael O'Mara Books, 1997) --presents a few choice opinions about the Bard of Avon from noted writers. To wit: "Crude, immoral, vulgar, and senseless." Leo Tolstoy With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I detest so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his...it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him. George Benard Shaw This enormous dunghill. Voltaire To the King's theater, where we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid, ridiculous play I ever saw in my life. Samuel Pepys ** If Shakespeare can be so crudely dismissed & insulted why should lesser writers care what critics and reviewers think about their works? SHAKESPEARE IN TOMBSTONE Tombstone is not nearly as much fun As it used to be: Shot glasses smashed against mirrors, All that broken glass, Gun-Slinger after gunslinger coughing Out their lungs Into what is left of their brains. The day of the movie singing- Cowboy has long passed. At 8 A.M. morning light Is clear As an ace-high straight. Clementine loved Tombstone. Its desert flowers Smelled like shaving lotion. But her calicos are long gone. Wyatt Earp’s youngest brother, Plugged in his back, Has been discovered face-down In a driving rain. Another Curtain lowered, His soliloquy Left unfinished, Crossing the bourn from which No traveler returns. To be Or not to be etc. etc. He was,like his brother, A mess of personal problems. Wild Bill? Not a lot of heroes left, Good guys galloping pell-mell Out of this place. Actors In this movie have also passed Into that other country, You too shall be in that cast. Well…“I humbly thank you; Exeunt all,pursued by bears. Louis Phillips Louis Phillips