Sunday 24 June 2018

Shakespeare400 - My favourite lines from Shakespeare

John Kelly, broadcaster and author.
John Kelly, broadcaster and author.
Broadcaster Rick O'Shea.
Author Rob Doyle.

My favourite lines from Shakespeare 

John Kelly, writer and broadcaster

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."


"Hamlet has seen his father's ghost and here he tells his friend - a rational man and a scholar - that there are some things that even smart people don't know. They aren't the most poetic lines in the play but they're wise ones even so. I studied Hamlet for A level - a rare enough in-school exposure to something mind-expanding and inspirational. I read it still."

John Kelly presents 'The View' on RTÉ One and 'The JK Ensemble' on Lyric FM. His latest novel is 'From Out of the City'

Rick O'Shea Broadcaster

"If music be the food of love, play on,

Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken, and so die."


"I like this partially because it's so often truncated and misquoted giving it exactly the opposite meaning to the original line - I may have been guilty of that when I was young - and partially because the last time I saw it performed I was lucky enough to be standing with the groundlings at Shakespeare's Globe for the recent version in which the incredible Mark Rylance played Olivia.

"He was hypnotic and elegantly funny as I'd hoped he would be. Having Stephen Fry as Malvolio and the late Roger Lloyd Pack as Sir Toby Belch did it no harm either. If you really love Shakespeare standing under open London skies with the groundlings for a fiver is the only way to see it."

Rick O'Shea presents 'The Poetry Programme' on Radio 1 and 'The Rick O'Shea Show' on 2fm

Rob Doyle, author

"To sleep: perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause."


"Like so much in Shakespeare, it was written half a millennium ago but has that shock of timelessness to it - a plaintive expression of the situation of longing for death in times of crisis, but not being certain that to commit suicide won't plunge you into an even worse reality."

Rob Doyle was acclaimed for his debut novel, 'Here Are the Young Men'. His latest book is 'This is the Ritual'

Irish Independent

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