The Bard’s barbs are still fitting in 2016

(Photo: Democrat illustration)

March 31, 2016
TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT
Mark Hinson and Randi Atwood,
Platform Editor

 
“If the skin were parchment and the blows you gave were ink/ Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.”

That loaded couplet is taken from William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.” It is spoken by a mistreated slave named Ephesian Dromio. Shakespeare was always great with a biting comeback or a pithy quote.

Tallahassee’s Southern Shakespeare Festival is staging “The Comedy of Errors” starting April 15, at the amphitheater in Cascades Park. It’s free and open to the public. For more on the festival, click over to southernshakespearefestival.org

To get ready for the return of the Bard in our backyard, we decided to research some of Bill Shakespeare’s best lines and see how they applied in contemporary Tallahassee and Florida. Here’s what we came up with:

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” – State workers in the guano-infested Northwood Centre

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – Fracking proponents, who were beaten back in their attempt to bring the controversial process to Florida

“Et tu, Brute?” – Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons to principal-turned-whistleblower Rocky Hanna

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – Florida House of Representatives

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – No state official ever

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Tallahassee Democrat Zing!ers

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Gov. Rick Scott on climate change

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” – Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, on every topic

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” – Twice-divorced Pam Bondi, during the attorney general’s drive to block gay marriage in Florida

“The nature of bad news infects the teller.” – Cranky Democrat reporters

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” – The wild rhesus macaque monkey running loose on Alligator Point in January

“Lawless are they that make their wills their law.” – Big Sugar lobbyists in Tallahassee

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – Hulk Hogan

“There’s many a man has more hair than wit.” – Gov. Scott’s hairdresser

“I will praise any man that will praise me.” – Jeb Bush endorsing Ted Cruz

“O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick.” – Tenants of a home on Ox Bottom, which was the site of a high profile drug bust

“What’s done can’t be undone.” – The compromised Apalachicola Bay oyster beds

“If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.” – Advice taken at the end of FAMU’s last dismal football season

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” – Mayor Andrew Gillum announcing that he will not run for Congress

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – Spring breakers in Florida

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Any stupid crime story featuring the ubiquitous Florida Man