Today marks the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt. There are English citizens around the world who hold this day sacred, in much the same way we Americans hold the 4th of July, and the Thai hold the King’s birthday sacred. For those of us who aren’t English, but lovers of Shakespeare, today is sacred for other reasons. Perhaps the second most famous speech ever written in the English language, behind a certain soliloquy from Hamlet, takes place (theatrically) upon the field at Agincourt. Here are some justly famous versions of this speech, and an up and comer for admission to their ranks:
Today is the birthday of Henry the Fifth, the first monarch of England to grow up speaking and writing fluently in English. Before him, all spoke either French or Saxon. Let Shakespeare say it for me, and for us all; better than any ever said it before, or hence. This movie alone is a large part of why Henry V is one of my favorites of Shakespeare’s works. Image found here.
Okay, yeah, sure… We traditionally celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd of April. But we don’t really know when he was born. We do know he was baptized on this date. Now, I’m as traditional as the next guy. Heck, on a good day, I can take on all comers… tradition wise… But that ding-dang A to Z Challenge thingy didn’t line up properly, to ‘do’ Will on the 23rd. So I’ll ‘do’ him now. Because there are some days that should never go by unremarked…
I had replied to a commenter on my post yesterday on Cheese (with a capital ‘C’, because Cheese is very important), with an attempt to bring all the wondrous glory that is cheese (oops… I mean Cheese) into a poem, of sorts… That attempt, such as it is, is as follows: Would the Bard work as hard on a poem about Cheese, If the Cheese smacked of chard, and was hard, if you please? A bit Seussicallian, to coin a word, and to give my poor efforts entirely too much credit by association. Surely, I thought, (I really hate it when I refer to myself as Shirley… even in my own head…) I say, I thought, surely I could do better than that!