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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds James mentioned the phrase pomp and circumstance, which was used in Shakespeare’s play, Othello. It describes a very grand ceremony. For example, when a king or president is on a state visit to another country. So we could say, much pomp and circumstance surrounded the president’s funeral. There are other phrases like this which Shakespeare used, and which are basically two words with very similar meaning or sound. One phrase, used in several of Shakespeare’s plays, is your own flesh and blood. This is a way of emphasising the link that you have, or don’t have, with someone in your family. For example, you could say, “My brother’s not like me at all. It’s hard to believe he’s my own flesh and blood.”

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds This means, it’s difficult to believe that my brother and I are related, that we’re the same flesh and blood, because we’re so very different from each other.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds Another phrase is, the be-all and end-all, from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, and which we mentioned week three. It means, the single most important thing. For example, you could say when you’re choosing a job, a good salary isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s more important that you enjoy the work you’re doing. So, that’s another three of Shakespeare’s phrases which we use today. Pomp and circumstance, your own flesh and blood, and the be-all and end-all.

Some Shakespeare phrases with 'and'

Anthony talks about some phrases which Shakespeare helped to make famous:

  • pomp and circumstance
  • the be-all and end-all
  • flesh and blood

Choose a phrase you like, write your own example sentence with it, and share it by adding it below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council