Suddenly Wishes Not To Be

| Learning | September 12, 2013

(My class had happened to get the same English teacher for four years in a row, so everyone knows each other rather well. One student in particular rarely ever pays attention and is prone to asking questions that have already been answered, or otherwise strange questions. We’re studying Hamlet.)

Teacher: “[Student], could you read Act III, Scene I, starting at line 1749. I’ll tell you when to stop reading.”

(This is Hamlet’s famous soliloquy.)

Student:To be, or not to be, that is this the question.*stops reading and looks puzzled* “I’ve heard this somewhere before; where’s it from, sir?

Teacher: “…uhh… this.”

(The class erupts into laughter.)

Student: *genuinely shocked* “Really? I thought it was from somewhere else; Shakespeare is so full of clichés!”

Teacher: “Funny about that…”

(The teacher then rattles of a list of clichés, all of which have their first known usage in Shakespearean works. This student does not ask many questions for the rest of the year.)

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