April 23 is believed to be the birthday of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and this is also the day he died. So it’s time to recall some of my favourite lines from Shakespeare, recited by the actor John Gielgud, and then keep my date with my Shakespearean heroine, Rosalind, in a wonderful, playful love scene from As You Like It.
But first Sir John Gielgud, in the role of Prospero in The Tempest.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
(Act IV, Scene 1, The Tempest)
And now over to As You Like It.