"Who is it in the press that calls on me,
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music..."
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616) made more than 500 references to music in his plays, sonnets, and poems. Do you know from which play the above quotation came from? No romance here, but a tragedy indeed.
Below are 6 meager samplings of some of them. Images are also shown of musical instruments used during that period.
It is my soul that calls upon my name.
How silver-sweet sound lover's tongue by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!
(Romeo and Juliet: 2: 2)
A guitar-like musical instrument used during the Elizabethan period in England in the 14th and 15th Century, the golden age of English history, when Queen Elizabeth I was the ruler.
The Taming of The Shrew (Katharina and Petruchio); Artist: Washington Alston 1809; South Carolina US.
Preposterous ass, that never was so far to know the cause that music was ordain'd! Was it not to refresh the mind of man after his studies or his usual pain?
(The Taming of the Shrew: 3: 1)
A modern interpretation from Bristol's Old Vic in 2018 supplied by Mature Times
If music be the food of love, play on...
(Twelfth Night: 1: 1)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sound,
Is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoils...
(The Merchant of Venice: 5: 1)
The Egyptian Queen: 19th Century engraving: Granger Collection New York
Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love
(Anthony and Cleopatra: 2: 5)
US President Ulysses Grant asks Senator Carl Schurz to play on a flute he proffers using the same Shakespearean quote.
Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will,
Though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
(Hamlet: 3: 2)
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