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Say what?!

I swear I'm gonna get in big trouble with one of my classes.

I'm taking a literature course in Shakespeare. Oh God, have mercy on my soul! What was I thinking when I signed up for this?

We're reading (or in my case attempting to read) some of his major hits. One goal the prof has is to show us the "sublime beauty" (her words) of this great playwright and poet.

"Don't be afraid of the archaic language," she soothingly reassured us. 

Okay, I'll give it my best. I always like a good challenge, especially when it comes to language. I'm game. Bring it on, O Great One.

So, we're in Hamlet now. You know, "To be or not to be, that is the question."

We were in class the other day taking turns reading different passages out loud so we could experience the "sublime beauty" of the language. This is part of the passage I read out loud:

                                   O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
                                   And shall I couple hell? Oh, fie! Hold, hold, my heart,
                                   And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
                                   But bear me stiffly up.

What the holy hell is this? Did he have a dictionary open and just flip through it picking out random words and sticking them together?

I had read the entire act the night before because I knew she was going to ask us to take turns reading it aloud. I really wanted to do a good job because I sincerely want to try and challenge myself to see what this "sublime beauty" is all about. Not only am I paying good money for this education I'm getting, but it would be genuinely nice if I could actually appreciate this man's work.

When it came my turn to read, I tried to put some expression in the words so it wouldn't come out in monotone. I swear I was really trying. I could only get it to come out in monotone.

And I swear by everything that is holy, I DID NOT MEAN TO SNICKER and snort while I was reading it! You believe me, don't you? I had absolutely no control whatsoever when my snickers came flying out of my mouth. It was not my fault and I can't be held responsible.

I can't help that Mr. Shakespeare begs that " sinews, grow not instant old." And I sincerely hope that his sinews bear him "stiffly up." I swear to God I wish him well with those sinews!

So please, Dr. Professor, be understanding of my efforts to sincerely get everything out of this writer I can. I'm trying not to sneak a peek at those modern day translations of his plays. Give me credit for that. But come on. Fie, fie on you for not understanding my snickers!

And as I and my sinews are trying the best I know how, I beg you to "bear me up stiffly." I think.
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