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Be the Bard

National Talk Like Shakespeare Day.


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How oft’ hast thou the chance to lob insults like “thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad” or “qualling dog-hearted miscreant” on foes and fiends of old?

Waste not thine advantage. On April 23, celebrate the same late bard who rouses actors to fame and acclaim (and high school students to scorn and cursing), during National Talk Like Shakespeare Day.

But where should you begin? Actor Ron Campbell, who performed in Cal Shakes’A Comedy of Errors, suggests beginning at the end.

“I learn the last line, and then I learn the line before the last, and then the line before that,” says Campbell. “Many people start at the top, and the rhythm starts to peter out by the end.”

And when the words are incomprehensible, heed their sounds and do what feels natural.

“Just speak normally, and you’ll understand the words,” Campbell advises. “People go into this faux Mid-Atlantic English accent, but that’s probably not what it sounded like.”

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