Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare
Here’s Shakespeare plumbing the depths of desire, and doing so at a ravenous pace to make you feel what he means. Dirty and high-minded, equipped with an incredible vocabulary, but unable to resist puns. Amazing.
Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and, till action, lust
Is perjured, murd’rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe,
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
(Image from New York Review of Books)