I just stumbled across something which in context is perfectly obvious, but still it made me laugh. From As You Like It, Act IV, Scene 1:
No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is
almost six thousand years old, and in all this time
there was not any man died in his own person,
videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains
dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
could to die before, and he is one of the patterns
of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair
year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been
for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went
but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and being
taken with the cramp was drowned and the foolish
coroners of that age found it was 'Hero of Sestos.'
But these are all lies: men have died from time to
time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
I say it’s obvious in context because Mr. Shakespeare certainly didn’t have the benefit of modern science, evolution and all that good stuff to work with. He’s got Rosalind pretty much quoting the Bible on this point, best I can tell.
I just found it funny. If anybody today tried to argue that the world is six thousand years old (“almost”, at that!) I wouldn’t have much more for them than a sad sigh and directions to the nearest elementary school science classroom, whether they were vice presidential material or not. So naturally when our beloved Mr. S says it, it makes you pause and say “Wait, what?”
Wondering if I can get the Creationists to claim Shakespeare as one of their own? :)