How Now, Wench? Talking Like Shakespeare Chicago Mayor Richard Daley declareth Thursday "Talk Like Shakespeare" day in honor of the 445th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth. And folks in the Windy City are learning to speaketh the Shakespearean lingo.
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How Now, Wench? Talking Like Shakespeare

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How Now, Wench? Talking Like Shakespeare

How Now, Wench? Talking Like Shakespeare

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In Chicago, the current mayor is the second Richard Daley to hold that office and Richard 'The Second' Daley declared today Talk Like Shakespeare Day in his city. That's an honor to William Shakespeare's 445 birthday. NPR's David Schaper checks in on the windy city to hear how well folks there are picking up the Shakespearean lingo.

DAVID SCHAPER: How doth thou talketh like Shakespeare?

Ms. BARBARA GAINES (Founder and artistic, Director of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Instead of saying, Hey you, Hark thee or…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. GAINES: …prithee, prithee.

SCHAPER: Barbara Gaines founder and artistic director of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater says to talk like Shakespeare thou replaces you and when in doubt use eth at the end of a verb.

Ms. GAINES: If you can rhyme something, that's brilliant.

(Soundbite of crowd)

SCHAPER: Of course some of Chicago's most dramatic theatrics take place on the political stage. So we've come to the backroom of the Chicago city council to catch some aldermen talking like Shakespeare.

(Soundbite of crowd)

SCHAPER: Alderman Tom Allen wouldn't even try.

Mr. TOM ALLEN (Alderman): I think Chicagoans have their own unique dialect, and it doesn't sound very much like Shakespeare.

SCHAPER: True, but that didn't stop Alderman Emma Mitts from giving it a try on one of her pet issues.

Ms. EMMA MITTS (Alderman): My cousins, methinks thou shouldeth support another Wal-Mart in the city of Chicago.

SCHAPER: Veteran Alderman Dick Mell tried a few Shakespearean barbs.

Mr. DICK MELL (Alderman): I would like to have my beef-witted colleagues support the barnacle-bladdered, boar-pig ordinance that I have presented today.

SCHAPER: In his 35 years on the city council, Mell says he's seen many a Shakespearean plotline unfold.

Mr. MELL: Et tu, Brute. I think a lot of us have been stabbed at the back unfortunately.

SCHAPER: Did I mention that Rod Blagojevich's estranged father-in-law?

Unidentified Man: (Unintelligible) here, here.

SCHAPER: Another Chicago arena that's home to many a Shakespearean like tragedy is Wrigley Field.

Mr. VINCE PAVALONIS(ph) (Beer vendor): Who thirsts the old style?

SCHAPER: Beer vender Vince Pavalonis tried a Shakespearean sales pitch.

Mr. PAVALONIS: To drink or not to drink: That is the question. Who's thirsty?

SCHAPER: As for the fans, 15 year old Corey Sparlin(ph) of Chicago quickly finds a Shakespearean way to insult the other team.

Ms. COREY SPARLIN: What fools thee mortals be?

SCHAPER: Chicagoan Sean Johnson pareth into the Cincinnati pitcher.

Mr. SEAN JOHNSON: You artless, fowling bat pig.

SCHAPER: Art and Claire Korman(ph) are fans of both the Cubs and Shakespeare. So, when the game takes a tragic turn…


Mr. ART KORMAN: Oh, home run, right field.

Ms. KORMAN: Yeah, but we have to grieve. How would - how would Shakespeare grieve?

Mr. KORMAN: Alas, poor cubbies.

Ms. KORMAN: Alas, poor Cubbies.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KORMAN: I knew them.

Ms. KORMAN: Twas a long one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KORMAN: Yes.

Ms. KORMAN: And long gone.

SCHAPER: The Cubs cometh back and winneth this game. So in thy words of Shakespeare, all's well that ends well. So fair thee well. Tis David Schaper, NPR Newseth on Talk Like Shakespeare Day in Chicago.

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