If you happened to be meandering about the boathouse this past Friday April 22, attempting to shuffle off all your mortal coils, you probably encountered a rare and glorious sight. Picture this: a throwback to Elizabethan England–food, drink, and chairs encircling a grand center stage–all in celebration of one monumental man: William Shakespeare.
He is the author of 37 plays, 154 sonnets, countless poems and the chief architect of over 3000 words in the English language (ever wonder where “swagger” came from?) He is quoted worldwide, coming in second only to the Bible, and his understanding and ability to profess the trials and tribulations of human nature assigns him a mouthpiece for humanity.
While this may sound slightly morbid–trust the Shakespeare geeks, it’s not–members of Marist’s English Department and fellow aficionados gathered to memorialize the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s “death-day,” yes I said it his “death-day,” as well as his 452nd birthday with all the pomp and circumstance befitting of a king.
Dr. Richard Grinnell conducted the ceremony, inviting theatre lovers to perform scenes and monologues, and even Donald Trump, via the voice of Junior Victoria Dearden and some scripted assistance from The New Yorker Magazine, performed his rendition of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be.” Dr. Moira Fitzgibbons disclosed Shakespeare’s favorite tongue twisters and rappers Dane-Gerous and M.C. Beth (or was it Dr. Gregory Machacek?) leaked some pretty privy information about the goings on inside the minds of pivotal players. Following the two hours of merriment, students and professors alike wondered, “Are we at Marist College or at the Globe Theater?”
Through remembrances such as these, Shakespeare has lived on through his insults, metaphors, rhetorical maxims, parodies and beloved characters, making 400 years melt away as if time was no object at all.
Have a favorite Shakespeare sonnet or play? Share with us in the comments below!
Learn more about Marist’s English Department here!