Welcome to Feast of Languages!

Follow along with me as I ponder, regale, and hopefully enlighten those of you who are interested in the quirks of the English langauge and its extensive and varied use, especially The Bard’s, whose work I have come to love over the years. Because Shakespeare’s words confound, delight, entertain, and frustrate – all to my satisfaction, I find much humor and irony in that the inadequacy of linguistic sophistication is a dominate theme in William Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labor’s Lost. Here is the scene that inspired me to create this website: In Love’s Labor’s Lost (Act V, Scene I, 32–37), Mote and Costard make fun of Armado and Holofernes’ attempts at sounding as if they are intelligent and witty guys who can exchange snappy lines with the best of them:

Armado: [To Mote] Chirrah.
Holofernes: [To Nathaniel] Quare chirrah, not sirrah?
Armado: Men of peace, well encountered.
Holofernes: Most military sir, salutation!
Mote: [Aside to Costard] They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
Costard: O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.

In addition to musings on Shakespeare, the meaning behind commonly used phrases will also be explored – hopefully, getting some ideas from my readers, perhaps even you. I delight in phrases that are often used by people who have no idea their words were taken from Elizabethan-era plays that were created over 400 years ago. Ever hear someone say, “It’s all Greek to me.”?

My goal is to keep Feast of Languages as a free web site that helps to unlock the mysteries and explain classical literature, English idioms, literary terms, literary theory, and comments on the English language and its use.

Homework Questions get priority: Go directly to the “Contact Form” tab. Feast of Languages is a secure web site. Contact me with confidence – your information is safe and will not be shared or sold. Period. I maintain this site so there is no “third-party” vendor with access. I respect your privacy; at any time, simply reply back with “Delete” in the subject area, and you will be removed from all mailing and notification lists. (Typically, I only send out messages when there is a new post.)

N.B. All text quoted from Shakespeare’s works is taken from The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, 2nd Edition edited by John Jowett, William Montgomery, Gary Taylor, and Stanley Wells © Oxford University Press 1986, 2005 unless otherwise noted.

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and questions as you read-along.

All the best,

Catherine Jo Dixon