The Weekend Australian - Review - - Theatre -

A se­lec­tion of ev­ery­day Bardisms that have stood the test of time

Wild-goose chase Romeo Mer­cu­tio: and “Nay, Juliet, 1592 if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five.”

Un­com­fort­able Romeo and Juliet, 1592 Ca­pulet: “De­spised, dis­tressed, hated, mar­tyr’d, kill’d! Un­com­fort­able time, why camest thou now to mur­der, mur­der our solem­nity?”

Fair play The Tem­pest, 1610 Miranda: “Yes, for a score of king­doms you should wran­gle, and I would call it, fair play.”

Be­long­ings Mea­sure for Mea­sure, 1603 Duke Vin­cen­tio: “Thy­self and thy be­long­ings are not thine own so proper as to waste thy­self upon thy virtues, they on thee.”

Fash­ion­able Troilus and Cres­sida, 1602 Ulysses: “For time is like a fash­ion­able host that slightly shakes his part­ing guest by the hand, and with his arms out­stretch’d, as he would fly, grasps in the comer: wel­come ever smiles, and farewell goes out sigh­ing.”

One fell swoop Mac­beth, 1603-07 Mac­duff: “He has no chil­dren. All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hel­lkite! All? What, all my pretty chick­ens and their dam? At one fell swoop?”

In a pickle The Tem­pest, 1610 King Alonso to drunk jester Trin­culo: “How camest thou in this pickle?” Trin­culo: “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last …”

Laugh­ing stock The Merry Wives of Wind­sor, 1602 Doc­tor Caius: “Pray you let us not be laugh­ing-stocks to other men’s hu­mours”.

New-fan­gled Love’s Labours Lost, 1597 Biron: “At Christ­mas I no more de­sire a rose than wish a snow in May’s new­fan­gled mirth.”

Fore­gone con­clu­sion Othello, 1604 Othello: “But this de­noted a fore­gone con­clu­sion: ‘Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.’ ”

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