I yam what I yam


‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteem’d,
When not to be receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost which is so deem’d
Not by our feeling but by others’ seeing:
For why should others false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No, I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
Unless this general evil they maintain,
All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

Shakespeare: now stealing from Popeye. By the way, I really love the use of the word “bevel” in this, and the one-word-per-beat line: “Which in their wills count bad what I think good”. I know there’s a word for that, and SK would know it, and maybe in my NEXT year of assistant directing I’ll know the words for all the rhetorical devices. (Maybe.)