While the works of Shakespeare are undeniable classics of what then passed for the English language, modern audiences find them daunting and often require editions where present-day translations are provided. Here are a few clarified excerpts:
• "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Modern Translation: Rose petals being a medieval delicacy, traveling grifters would use actual rose oil to mask the smell of rotting cabbage leaves in order to dupe peasants out of their farthings.
• "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts."
Modern Translation: It is considered socially acceptable to do different voices throughout your work day, and don and lose police hats or construction helmets you happen upon.
• "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Modern Translation: If your doddering husband wanders off at the mall, you’ll both find somebody new. I mean, it’s the mall.
• "Brevity is the soul of wit."
Modern Translation: It’s seriously very important to be brief. It’s bad to not be that. One time I was at the grocery store and asked this old guy I played poker with how he was doing. Well he went on and on about some used car deal that didn’t work out in his favor. I mean, I’m just trying to buy some cereal that tastes like candy. The kind with the bird who can’t believe that the cereal tastes like candy. The point is, never trust a bird about cereal.
• "Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war."
Modern Translation: Are you ready for some football?