Wednesday 20 April 2016

Is it Shakespeare or is the Bible?

For a bit of light relief (and I certainly need some)...and going back for a second to my favourite hobby-horse, Radio 4's Sunday...

The programme conducted a short 'Is it Shakespeare or is the Bible?' test in the light of the claim that Shakespeare's primary Biblical influences were Genesis, Job and Psalms, plus (of course) the New Testament "with which many of his lines can easily be confused".

The poor lady they tested kept getting it wrong - and, in fairness to her, I can't say I got 100% either.

Can you score 100%?

So: Is it Shakespeare or is the Bible?
1. A man after his own heart.
2. Give up the ghost.
3. Be cruel only to be kind.
4. Cast thy pearls before swine.
5. The milk of human kindness.
6. In the twinkling of an eye.
7. Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
(Answers will be found in the comments field).


  1. 1. The Bible.
    2. The Bible.
    3. Shakespeare.
    4. The Bible.
    5. Shakespeare.
    6. The Bible.
    7. Shakespeare.

  2. Probably 3!

    OFF TOPIC: Just watching Newsnight getting all excited about alleged Islamophobia in government and the Goldsmith campaign. Secunder Kermani is batting for one side only. He hasn't rebutted any of the accusations against Khan - just giving us the usual denials and mood music. It's like a party political broadcast for Sadiq Khan. He ends up with some generalisations about the "new" politics (i.e. ethnically and religiously based hate politics in my estimation - another product of uncontrolled mass immigration).

    1. The moment Andrew Neil selected that audience statement/question about her burqa-clad friend feeling intimidated by people staring at her as a prelude to the question to Khan about his associations, I knew the BBC angle would be to spin it as racist/Islmaophobic instead of honestly scrutinizing Khan's actions and whom he supports behind the curtain. Broadcast after broadcast confirms this.

    2. Yes, that Newsnight report was a wholly biased intervention in an important election.

  3. "Blunt" appears to be the BBC "Word of the Month". It has its uses if you are a pro-Remain BBC reporter. Of course you want to avoid sounding too biased. You don't want to say: "I agree with Obama - the UK should definitely stay in the EU." So instead you do this little dance of speculation asking "how blunt" he will be...and blunt just gives that nice impression that it's normally about telling the truth.

    So appropriate that it was also Sir Anthony Blunt's surname.

    1. Obama always seems to be giving people a "blunt message", at least according to the BBC.

  4. I knew only 4, 6, and 7. 4 I knew from school, 6 I knew from Star Trek, and 7 I knew from Gilligan's Island. Whether that says more about me or more about society, I have no idea.

    1. To be beamed up or not to be beamed up - that is the question./ Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous Ferengi/ Or to take arms against a Romulan battlefleet.

    2. There's quite a bit of Shakespeare throughout the various Star Trek incarnations. I don't know if Gilligan's Island ever made it overseas.


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