When it came to foretelling today’s celebrity plague, Nostradamus had nothing on Shakespeare.
by Brian Sack
As a prophet, Nostradamus had nothing on William Shakespeare. Sure, the French seer predicted the A-bomb and the rise of Adolf Hitler (or so this guy at the bar convinced us the other night), but did he give us any warnings about Tom Cruise or Karl Rove? No, it was Shakespeare who cleverly sprinkled his plays with dialogue that foretells today’s celebrity culture. There can simply be no denying that the line “age can not wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety” was meant to describe Madonna, or that the command to “give thy thoughts no tongue” was written by someone who just knew that someday, somehow, there would be a Donald Trump.
Still not a believer? Consider the examples below and you’ll be forced to concede that the only question is whether the “wretched soul, bruised with adversity” is Courtney Love or Andy Dick.
“I understand a fury in your words, but not the words.”
“Journey’s end in lover’s meeting.”
“The nature of bad news infects the teller.”
“Kiss me Kate, we will be married o’Sunday.”
“Deny thy father and refuse thy name.”
“The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct.”
“I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine.”
“This was the unkindest cut of all.”
“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.”
“Having nothing, nothing can he lose.”
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”
“The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.”
“I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.”
“Thou art the Mars of malcontents.”
“O! My fortunes have corrupted honest men.”
“Nothing will come of nothing.”
“He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.”