Titles for the Common Words
Shakespearean Riches in a Little Room

Illuminant by
Robert Wilfred Franson
December 2008

Titles from Shakespeare?

The works of Shakespeare: what a great source for writerly inspiration! And of course anyone simply can have fun with Shakespeare's so often sweet and noble phrases. Where to begin? Well, Barbara Paul maintains a thorough and useful reference of Titles from Shakespeare, play by play and most popular overall.

Ah, wonderfully inspiring, title-providing William Shakespeare. The untitled writer's boon, as our groping manuscript of words comes to its focus, topped by a casually apt phrase from the Bard. The freshness of great poetry, titles most fair! With such a fanfare for the common word, who would bardlings fear?

Yet — perhaps we should put this originality to the test, in the texts. We poetically reverential and referential writers, having discovered that

  • the play's the thing to apply a
  • sea change to our
  • double, double, toil and trouble of nobly entitling
  • all that glitters in our authorial mind's eye (aye, and even gaining
  • sweet revenge against
  • the evil that men do) to the untitled commons —
        we yet may come
  • full circle to see that it's only
  • much ado about nothing; that Shakespeare is not quite
  • the undiscovered country of our titling hopes;
        but stay: this is not after all
  • outrageous fortune, for
  • the quality of mercy (we may trust) extends even
        to any (as yet) untitled common mass of words.

And so on, just from Barbara Paul's most popular Titles from Shakespeare.

If we are fortunate enough to find a Bardic phrase that encapsulates our thought as neatly as we desire, nay enshrines it, surely that is Shakespearean riches in a little room, I say.


© 2008 Robert Wilfred Franson

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