Archive for November, 2008

Shakespeare Lipogram: Cymbeline

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

This is the third in a five-part series of Shakespeare Lipograms. For my third lipogram, I have chosen to summarize a Romance, Cymbeline, using “I” as the only vowel.


British King

British King did wish his kid, Inspiring Girl, did hitch with Swindling Witch’s kid, Insipid Nitwit. Inspiring Girl did this which British King didn’t wish: hitch with Whiz Kid. British King did dismiss Whiz Kid. Inspiring Girl did miss him. Swindling Witch bids Skill Wiz fix his spirit mix, giving Right Fit this. Skill Wiz did switch this spirit mix.

In Rimini, Whiz Kid sits with Nihilistic Twit. This visit is grim. Whiz Kid insists his virgin Inspiring Girl isn’t with sin. Nihilistic Twit will risk his rich bills with Whiz Kid’s ring if this virgin is with sin. Whiz Kid will print, giving Nihilistic Twit his visit.

Nihilistic Twit visits Inspiring Girl. Thinking Inspiring Girl isn’t with sin, Nihilistic Twit tricks this virgin, which will win his risk. Hiding in his bin, his trick is glimpsing this virgin in birth digs in midnight’s dim. Glimpsing firm skin, thick lips, thin midriff, fit thighs, Nihilistic Twit will fib right.

Nihilistic Twit fibs with Whiz Kid, which wins his ring. Whiz Kid is livid. Whiz Kid prints this in ink: Right Fit, Kill This Girl! Right Fit fits Inspiring Girl in stripling things, giving “him” Swindling Witch’s spirit mix. This Stripling Mimic will find Whiz Kid.

In his wild crib, Childish Misfit is living with British King’s Missing Kids. Missing Kids think Childish Misfit is kin. Stripling Mimic finds Childish Misfit’s wild crib. Stripling Mimic finds Missing Kids liking him, inviting him in. This link didn’t think it is missing siblings knit. It is!

Insipid Nitwit primps in Whiz Kid’s digs. First Missing Kid kills him. Stripling Mimic drinks Right Fit’s spirit mix. Missing Kids think Stripling Mimic is stiff. Missing Kids sing. Rising, Stripling Mimic finds Insipid Nitwit’s stiff, thinks it’s Whiz Kid, will miss him. Whiz Kid fights with British wing, which wins! In this fighting, British pinch Whiz Kid with Nihilistic Twit. Whiz Kid’s spirit kin visit him in his brig.

Whiz Kid with Nihilistic Twit visits British King with Stripling Mimic. Right Fit’s tiding is Swindling Witch is stiff. Stripling Mimic finds British King liking him, giving him his first wish. His first wish is Nihilistic Twit will spill it with this ring. Nihilistic Twit spills it: this ring is Whiz Kid’s. His fib did win it, which is ill. Striking Nihilistic Twit, Whiz Kid is livid. Lifting him, Stripling Mimic is hit. It is Inspiring Girl!

First Missing Kid spills it: It is him which did kill Insipid Nitwit. British King will kill him. Childish Misfit spills it: British King is Missing Kids’ kin; Inspiring Girl is Missing Kids’ sibling. British King did dismiss Childish Misfit’s sins. Whiz Kid did dismiss Nihilistic Twit’s sins. British King, with his kids, is in his bliss!


Next Lipogram: Hamlet

Shakespeare Anagram: Richard III

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

From Richard III:

Come; I have heard that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary:
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove’s Mercury, and herald for a king!

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

I entered the legal raffle contest by adding a nerdy note to Duane’s savvy blog.

Playing referee, he picked it randomly, and I won a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Arrive! I’m excited! Hallelujah!

Context here.

Googleplex – 11/28/08

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I’ve done this feature before, but this is the first of what I hope will be a series of weekly opportunities to check in on what searches people do to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought people to this site in the past week.

when queen elizabeth died what
happened to king iago in scottland

Only one reigning Queen Elizabeth of England has ever died, so I’ll assume you are asking about Elizabeth I. When she died in 1603, the crown was inherited by King James VI of Scotland, who then became King James I of England as well. This united the two kingdoms, and today we even refer to the nation as the United Kingdom.

Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare’s Othello. There was also a 7th century Welsh King by that name.

obama shakespeare

I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but I’m not surprised it brought you here. May I interest you in an anagram?

university teachers genghis khan

And you thought the midterm was tough.

is teaching shakespeare good?


genghis khan game

How come you always get to be Genghis?

wife of henry 8th that was ugliest women alive

Ah, you must be thinking of Anne of Cleves, though that may be a bit harsh. Henry had arranged to marry her sight unseen so that he could form a political alliance with her family. But before he agreed to marry her, he sent Hans Holbein the Younger, the greatest portrait artist of his day, to go and paint her. When he returned, as the story goes, Henry liked what he saw and agreed to the marriage. Unfortunately, Henry didn’t realize he was looking at a picture painted by the greatest portrait artist of his day. When he saw the real deal, he was less pleased. The marriage was short, and (fortunately for Anne) ended in divorce.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

book: bush tragedy and Falstaff

why was shakespeare so successful riddle

how did shakespeare change history

letters to genghis khan from family

social justice of gilligan’s island

a good headline for a shakespeare play

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I am South by Southwest; I am North by Northeast;
When presented with Power, I’m bullets, at least;
I’m the moment in water where steam is released;
And a single percentage that dropped or increased.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Ro. See comments for answer.


Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Well, I’m off to Pennsylvania for the holiday weekend. I don’t know what kind of Internet access I’ll have, but I’ve already set the blog on autopilot for the next four days. The posts are written – all regular features: a Riddle, a Googleplex, an Anagram, and a Lipogram – and are scheduled to appear on their proper days, one per day from Thursday to Sunday. Sunday is also the last day of the month, which means that if everything goes as planned, I will have fulfilled my obligations to NaBloPoMo.

I’m glad I participated in the experiment, even though it was difficult at times. I think I’d like to continue trying to post on a regular basis. Thanks to all of you who have been reading along, and especially to those who have left comments behind. You can see the ten most recent comments in the right-hand sidebar if you want to join in the active conversations.

There will be a new riddle tomorrow. As always, the first person to answer correctly gets a name check in the main post. However, since I don’t know when I’ll actually get a chance to go online, it may be a few days before I’m able to respond. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

It seems that I am the winner of the Shakespeare Geek’s comment contest. I won by posting a comment thanking him for blogging about my lipogram experiment.

First prize is the Manga Shakespeare edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sweet!

Thanks, Duane!

Question of the Week

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned on some pretty progressive issues: health care as a right of citizenship, a measured withdrawal from Iraq, a tax increase for Americans making over $250,000/yr., fighting global warming, increased spending on education, and more. But he also campaigned on changing the tone and ushering in a new era of post-partisan cooperation.

It seems unlikely that he will be able to keep both promises. Republicans will resist the Obama agenda fiercely, but Obama will have the clout and the Congressional support to fight back if he chooses to. This week’s question asks whether or not he should, and I’m curious to know what you think.

Do you think Obama should strive for bipartisan compromise and national unity, or should he use all of the powers and support at his disposal to advance a progressive agenda regardless of the opposition?

Shakespeare Lipogram: As You Like It

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

This is the second in a five-part series of Shakespeare Lipograms. For my second lipogram, I have chosen to summarize a Comedy, As You Like It, using “E” as the only vowel.


Between the Trees

The elder gentle begets three men, then meets the end. He cedes the eldest, the Stern Keeper, the effects. The next, the Descent Between, he sends hence. The wee seed, the Extreme Teen, dwells the lesser. The Extreme Teen resents the settlement’s terms. He self-tests the mettle when he enters the Esteemed Wrestler’s meet.

Pretender Fred, the regent, sees the wrestlers meet. (Pretender Fred sent hence the pre-empted regent, Excellent Elder, when he wrested the scepter.) The Esteemed Wrestler wrestles well, yet the Extreme Teen sweeps the meet. The Effervescent Belle sees the Extreme Teen edge the Esteemed Wrestler. She expresses her preference. He gets her present: her jewels. He’s speechless.

Pretender Fred sends the Effervescent Belle hence. She seeks her begetter, the Excellent Elder, between the trees. The Sweet Eggshell tempts the Clever Jester. The three enter between the trees. They dress the sheep herder ensemble. The Effervescent Belle effects the Pretend Gent pretense. The Sweet Eggshell effects the Pretend Shepherdess pretense.

The Feeble Server tells the Extreme Teen severe news. The Stern Keeper’s scheme expects Extreme Teen’s end. They flee between the trees, where the Excellent Elder’s gentlemen dwell (e.g., the Depressed Gentle, etc.). They trek, they even jet, except when Feeble Server needs rest. When he sleeps, Extreme Teen seeks refreshment.

The Effervescent Belle wends between the trees. She precedes the Sweet Eggshell. The Sweet Eggshell precedes the Clever Jester. They see the Senseless Shepherd tell the Elder Shepherd he reveres the Relentless Shepherdess. The Elder Shepherd sells the three the effects, the sheep, even the shelter where they’ll dwell.

The Excellent Elder serves refreshments when he meets the blessed gentlemen. Even the Depressed Gentle enters well-cheered: he met the Clever Jester. Yet, when the Extreme Teen enters, he expects he’ll fence. When the Excellent Elder’s clement, the Extreme Teen repents: he’ll be meek. The Extreme Teen seeks the Feeble Server. Then, the Depressed Gentle renders the best speech yet:

“The scene-set emblem expresses well the sphere’s extent. Men enter. They egress. They represent seven degrees. When they enter, they represent the new-bred fledge. Then, the cheerless prep. Then, the tender teen. Next, the reckless selectee. Then, the well-versed expert. Then, the effete elder. When the event ends, they’re the mere speck: less teeth, less eyes, less keenness, less self.”

The Extreme Teen pens metered verses. They revere the Effervescent Belle’s esteem. She sees the trees where he embeds them. He meets her between the trees, except she yet effects her Pretend Gent pretense. The Extreme Teen tells the Pretend Gent he reveres the Effervescent Belle. He’s dense, yet she relents. The Pretend Gent tells the Extreme Teen he’ll pretend he’s the Effervescent Belle. Remember the Pretend Gent pretense: he’s the Effervescent Belle! Hence, the Effervescent Belle pretends she’s the Pretend Gent, then he (the Pretend Gent) pretends he’s the Effervescent Belle. Get the scheme?

The Relentless Shepherdess rejects the Senseless Shepherd. The Pretend Gent tells the Relentless Shepherdess she needs the Senseless Shepherd. The Relentless Shepherdess prefers the Pretend Gent. Gee. The Depressed Gentle cheers the gentlemen’s deer. The Relentless Shepherdess sends the Pretend Gent her letter. The Senseless Shepherd schleps the letter. The Pretend Gent tells the Senseless Shepherd he needs less Relentless Shepherdess. The Stern Keeper enters. He tells them the Extreme Teen bled. The red sheet lessens the Effervescent Belle’s tender senses. The Sweet Eggshell prefers the Stern Keeper. The Stern Keeper tells her Yes!

The Tree-dweller Plebe reveres the Wretched Wench. The Clever Jester jeers. The Wretched Wench prefers the Clever Jester. The Tree-dweller Plebe flees, dejected. The Extreme Teen, the Pretend Gent, the Senseless Shepherd, even the Relentless Shepherdess, meet. The Senseless Shepherd tells them he reveres the Relentless Shepherdess. The Relentless Shepherdess tells them she reveres the Pretend Gent. The Extreme Teen tells them he reveres the Effervescent Belle. The Pretend Gent tells them he’ll get them wed.

The gentlemen meet. The Stern Keeper expects he’ll wed the Pretend Shepherdess (the Sweet Eggshell, remember?). The Clever Jester enters. He expects he’ll wed the Wretched Wench. The Clever Jester tells the Depressed Gentle the seven effects. The Effervescent Belle enters, less the Pretend Gent pretense. Next, the Sweet Eggshell enters, less the Pretend Shepherdess pretense. They cheer.

The Extreme Teen weds the Effervescent Belle. The Stern Keeper weds the Sweet Eggshell. The Clever Jester weds the Wretched Wench. The Senseless Shepherd weds – yes – the Relentless Shepherdess! The Descent Between (remember?) enters. He tells them Pretender Fred repented! The Excellent Elder expects he’ll be regent. They cheer, except the Depressed Gentle. He recedes. The rest revel.

The End.

Next Lipogram: Cymbeline

Shakespeare Anagram: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

From A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

The simple merry drama wins us, makes him a big deal.

Ties (and the tying tiers who are tied)

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Via, we find a website with pictures of some of the disputed ballots in the Minnesota Senate recount. You can also vote on whether each ballot should count, though it’s just for fun. If Franken wins the recount, the eyes of the nation will be on the December 2 runoff election in Georgia, to see if the Democrats will wind up with the 60 seats they need to block a Republican filibuster.

In the presidential election, Missouri has finally reached a decision. The state has been won by John McCain, bringing the final electoral college count (barring any faithless electors) to 365-173. And in Iowa County, Iowa, we find an exact tie between Obama and McCain, with 4,173 votes each.

You see? You should have voted.