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Shakespeare’s language in everyday English

Actor Shaheen Khan talks about how phrases from 'Macbeth' are still commonly used in English today.
Myself, when I was reading Macbeth, we all know certain of Macbeth’s lines. You know, they’re just– I know there are like so many of them in the English language. But for me, what was so thrilling was when I started reading Macbeth, I was like “be all and end all”, that’s from here, you know. And so when I now go and see a Shakespeare, I don’t know how other people feel, but I know I get a real thrill when those words that are used today connect me back to his time. It’s like, wow that’s thrilling, you know. The world is my oyster, or– I can’t think of, there are so many that we use every day.
He’s just so clever.

One of Shakespeare’s gifts to the world has been the wonderful idioms and proverbs which he used or invented.

In this video, Shaheen describes her experience of preparing to act in ‘Macbeth’, and finding that she already recognised a lot of the lines from the play, because they have become phrases which we use every day. In fact, they have become so common that people often don’t even realize that they are quoting Shakespeare.

  • Which two idioms does Shaheen mention?
  • Do you know what they mean?
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Exploring English: Shakespeare

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