Wait, Polonius Says What?

First of all, I am an English major and I consider my knowledge of Shakespeare to be above that of an average person. I am no expert by any means — sure, I have read a lot of his plays, but I have not studied him extensively.

I have to admit, I have only read Hamlet one and a half times (I have had to read it twice for school, but life happens and the plot is not one of the more difficult ones to remember), so, I am not as familiar with it as I am with other Shakespeare plays. Recently, I saw an awesome production of Hamlet at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The three (okay, four) main quotes (with how I imagine the punctuation in my head and not from an acual script) that I associate with Hamlet are:

  • “To be or not to be. That is the question.”
  • “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
  • “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
  • (“Get thee to a nunnery!” Although this is a quote that helps lead Ophelia towards her tragic ending, it has always been one of my favorites.)

Anyone who has read the play well enough to obtain a basic knowledge of it probably knows that the first and fourth quote there are spoken by Hamlet. If they are smarter than me, they probably know that the other two quotes are both spoken by Polonius. Gasp! Polonius! Ophelia’s father who although is important to the play seems insignificant to me and had no lasting impact? Why does he get all of the cool lines?

Total academic and English graduate student fail on my part. Anyway, that is what this blog is going to be about. My academic, professional, teaching, and life discoveries (or fails as I so prefer). Most of them probably won’t have to do with Shakespeare, or even literature, but more with things like spilling coffee completely down the front of my shirt while teaching. Or finding out that I need to wear glasses all of the time (story to come soon). Or daily observations that should be obvious, but my graduate student brain cannot seem to process them.

I hope you enjoy my journey of academic fails and accomplishments.




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