Wednesday, February 27, 2013

wordy wed #1: no more shakespeare!!! at least not like this

When I see quotes on Pinterest, I often google them to try and check the original source, for often they are WRONG!!! Sorry to get all shouty, but that is one thing that really bothers me. Or perhaps, that I fear. That the ubiquity and convenience of the internet has led to such dispersal as to dilute truth.

Shakespeare obviously did not write, "When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew."

As nice as it would be, because the saying seems romantic and having it be from Shakespeare not only makes it seem more romantic but also makes you seem romantic and erudite in the process, it is not true!!!

Is it such a bad, crotchety thing to want things I see and read to have some literary integrity?

Anyway, at least someone else kind of felt the same way I did. Self-titled "Shakespeare Geek" Duane Morin compiled a list of lines commonly misquoted as Shakespeare's in the downloadable file, Not by Shakespeare.

Here are some of the quotes he corrects:

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
-> Actually William Congreve in The Mourning Bride (1697).

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
-> Walter Scott, Marmion.

'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

-> Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam(1850).

And as for "When I saw you I fell in love. And you smiled because you knew"? That's from someone named Arrigo Boito, "who does at least have a Shakespeare connection in that he’s written a number of operas based on Shakespeare’s work including Othello and Falstaff."

Of course I am no old-quote specialist or Shakespeare expert myself, and would have easily mistaken some of the above cited examples to pass as Shakespeare. Plus, I found this correctional source on the internet too - who's to say Mr. Morin's document is any more reputable?

But at least it looks like a good bit more work went into this than some other things I've seen around, and a brief cursory google-check shows the first corrected quote to hold true.

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