Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Little But Fierce

And though she be but little, she is fierce.
(Helena describing her friend Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, III.2.325)

I had a farewell lunch with a very endearing former student who has just launched an exciting career as a legal journalist. She may or may not be reading this post. She told me that she subscribes but “just kind of skims” because she’s “just not that into Shakespeare” and, besides, I tend to go on. I have already admitted that these two characteristics—the obsession with Shakespeare and the inclination to be, shall we say, a tad didactic—just might mean that this blawg is not likely to go viral any time soon. At least it will never have the mass appeal of the “super cats” on YouTube that my husband felt compelled to send me the other day. I am resigned to this fact. But in honor of my student and the recent discovery regarding the Higgs boson, I have decided to dedicate July to the diminutive. In other words, this shall be a month of short posts.

Besides, today is July 4th, a decidedly American holiday about which Shakespeare had nothing to say as the Jamestown colony was not even founded until 1607, just a few years before Shakespeare “shuffled off this mortal coil.” (Hamlet, III.1.66). And if Americans are universally recognized for anything it is their short attention spans.

So here is a little Shakespearean aphorism lawyers should appreciate:

            Let me have no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen.
The Winter’s Tale (IV.3.747)

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