Top 15 Shakespeare quotes | Inspiration

One of my favourite authors and poets is William Shakespeare. I know he’s a bit hated and loved at the same time, but still I think he’s great and has been of vital importance to both history and the English language. I’ve been feeling down recently and Shakespeare always lifts my mood a bit, so I thought I would share my 15 favourite shakespeare quotes!

1. No matter where; of comfort no man speak: Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth, Let’s choose executors and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath Save our deposed bodies to the ground? – Richard II

2. Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me. – Much Ado About Nothing

3. And since you know you cannot see yourself, so well as by reflection, I, your glass, will modestly discover to yourself, that of yourself which you yet know not of.” – Julius Caesar

4. Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; – Henry V

5. “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.” – Othello

6. “Good night, good night! Parting is such a sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow”

7. “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.” – the Merchant of Venice

8. “An’ can you by no drift of conference Get from him why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?” – Hamlet

9. “Live a little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little” – As you like it.

10. “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” – Merchant of Venice.

11. O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. – Henry V

12. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” – As you like it

13. Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day – Macbeth

14. “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

15. “More and men’s end mark’d than their lives before: The setting sun, and music af the close, As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, Writ in remembrance more than things long past” – Richard II

What is your favourite Shakespeare quote? Let me know!
Marc

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A rollercoaster ride between Mania and Depression | Mental Health

Whilst I sit here on the couch staring at my hot brew of tea, I’m contemplating whether I should write this blogpost or not. I’m constantly torn between expressing my feelings and thoughts, because that what’s my blog is for and not getting drawn too much into mental health blogging. I made the decision to write this post, because it feels good to get my thoughts out there and perhaps, I can reach a few people feeling the same way or reach people who can learn something from my insight into this mental illness I suffer from: Bipolar Disorder.


A mental illness manifests itself differently in every person, so I’m not going to pretend that this blogpost will be the solution to your troubles with mental health. I finally feel like I can write about this topic without being triggered. Further more, I feel like I know more about my own illness, which is good and it might be less abstract for people reading this.

Being told that you have a condition or illness you know nothing about, is hard to comprehend. I was previously diagnosed with several mental illnesses and to be honest, it made me very confused. I was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder before they came with the diagnose I’m talking about today: Bipolar Disorder. I was absolutely shattered and distraught from hearing this. I had no idea what this meant, but this made me very scared.
The media has played a huge part in what my perception of Bipolar Disorder was. Every time there is a terrorist attack or a murderer who’s behaviour can’t be explained, they mention Bipolar Disorder. So my feeling with Bipolar Disorder was connected with being a bad person. This lead to incredible identity issues, who am I? Am I a bad person? Still to this day, I ask myself this question.

I felt overwhelmed by my psychiatrist and needed to read more about this. However, we all know that googling an illness, is not one the best things to do.  I went over to the Mind website, because for me that is one of the most accessible websites with reliable information about several mental illnesses and mental health issues. My fundamental question was: What is bipolar disorder? I wanted to know what label I was given and if I could recognise things in myself. Mind UK told me the following:

“Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem that mainly affects your mood. If you have bipolar disorder, you are like to have times where you experience:

– manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high)

– depressive episodes (feeling low)
– potentially some psychotic symptoms during manic or depressive episodes

Everyone has variations in their mood, but in bipolar disorders these changes can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life. You may feel that your high and low moods are extreme, and that swings in your mood are overwhelming.”


This made things a bit more clear for me as I had periods of extreme depression where I couldn’t do anything. Feeling down, upset or tearful. Feeling like I was worthless and I’d rather be not alive. Very agitated and easily triggered. I know this was depression, but I always found it strange that these feelings weren’t everlasting. Because my depression was followed with periods of euphoria. Very excited, very chatty, extremely confident, racing thoughts, higher sexual energy and easily distracted. After reading the information on the website I identified these periods as hypomanic episodes. I became more confident that this diagnose was more accurate than I thought.
So 9 months later, some things have changed and some things haven’t. I can honestly say that I’m in a better place with my mental health and when I say that, I might mean it differently than you might think. The intense feelings of mania, hypomania and depression are the same as a few months back. But my will to live has increased over the months and that’s something I’m rather proud of. I’m becoming stronger in the process and that’s amazing.
But on the other hand, I am not used to the sudden mood changes and the overwhelming feelings I get. I feel so guilty after a (hypo)manic and I feel so guilty to all the people who have experienced this episode. This guilt feeds into the depressive episode and it’s so exhausting, man.
The thing that really is weird to me, is the fact that they told me that I was born with it. That means I’ve been dealing with this for 25 years and will dealing with it for the rest of my life. I know I’m just in the beginning stages of learning how to deal with it and that I’ll be better in recognising the symptoms and how to react to it. I’ll be better in letting people know which actions are real and which actions are the consequence of my mental illness, but it’s quite difficult at this moment. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type I, but it manifests itself more like Bipolar Disorder type 2. It’s literally so confusing.
It makes me feel quite insecure sometimes of the relationships I have, because I can be so unpredictable. It must terribly hard to be family of me, friends with me or have a romantic involvement with me. I have the greatest respect for everyone who is still by my side and I genuinely appreciate all the love and support. But right now, I’m so done with being bipolar or having bipolar. It’s eating me, not knowing how I will feel today or tomorrow. The mood swings have been terrible these past 3 weeks and however I’m feeling better with the day, it still absolutely exhausts me.
It’s like a rollercoaster ride from euphoria to depression. From being overconfident to having no confidence at all. From being productive to doing fuck all. From being a chatty dude to not being able to say 5 sentences in a day. It’s one hell of a ride and I hope I’ll manage this better in the future. I have therapy and go to counseling sessions. I have come so far already and I will continue to grow. But it’s not easy.
If you want to know more about Bipolar Disorder, I suggest you click here
Marc
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When China Rules the World | Opinion

The world is changing, I guess that’s no new information or sentiment for everyone out there. The world changes all the time and it can happen on so many different segments or topics, but I wanted to concentrate on particular socio-economic change the world might see in the near future and it has all got to do with the explosive grow China has made over the years and will continue to do.

I read a book while I was doing my history degree, doing my non-European history course and I found it rather illuminating to be honest. I’ve always been interested in Chinese, Japanese and Korean history, but Martin Jacques “When China Rules the World” opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of a developing modern global economy and its effect.

The book is a in depth analysis of the growth of China on the global market and which cultural, economic, political and linguistic factors have made this possible. But one thing has got me thinking that something could change and Martin Jacques says it like this: “China will replace the United States as the world’s dominant power. In so doing, it will not become more western but the world will become more Chinese. I think this is a very interesting point and it’s something worth looking into. We are so used to the idea that when countries change, they will become more western. That means that they will adapt and adopt our values.

Jacques’ book focusses on the idea that China becomes the dominant power in the world and will not modernise according to Western standards, but that they will modernise according to their own set of values, standards and history. They see the world through Chinese eyes and according to Jacques this will lead to global world seen through Chinese eyes. The West will then modernise according to Chinese standards instead of American standards.

And this is something I think is an amazing theory, because it explores the world in a whole different perspective. But it also raises many questions:

  • What will this mean for the economy?
  • Will English still be the leading language or will Chinese become more and more important?
  • The Chinese believe in harmony over freedom, what will this mean for the contemporary democracy?
  • The Chinese according to Jacques, are one of the most racist ethnical groups in the world. What will this mean?
  • What set of values will vanish and which ones are we going to add to our existing ones?

If you are interested in what he has to say and want more information on his opinion, check this video out!

I’d love to know, what do you think of this theory? 
Marc

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Emotional national anthems during Six Nations | Sport

I’ve behaved for quite some time now, but it’s time to talk about sports more and emotions within sport in particular. The Six Nations will not begin for some months, but somehow this sporting event triggers intense emotions. Especially the anthems of the nations participating, makes me so, so happy and thrilled. I’m not sure if you know it, but I’m a really emotional lad and I wanted to share the anthems that make me feel emotional.

Talk about emotions. I’ve never seen national anthems sung so passionate and emotional, it gives me goosebumps every single time. So here are all the countries’ most passionate sung anthems at rugby matches. At the Six Nations or the Rugby World Cup. I bloody love it – The Six Nations are England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and France.
England (RWC 2003)
Wales (SN 2013)
Scotland (SN 2016)
Ireland (Unknown date)
Italy (RWC 2011)
France (RWC 2015)
What is your favorite anthem of these six? What do you think of your own anthem? Let me know!

Marc
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The Handmaid’s Tale | TV Review

I am a lover of historical drama series, but I have never fancied watching something futuristic. Let alone something dystopian. Well, that was until a few weeks ago, when my girlfriend mentioned a TV series I needed to watch. I’m forever grateful because The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most interesting and fascinating series, I’ve watched in a while and I will tell you exactly why.


First of all it’s good to know that this is a tv adaption of the 1985 novel The Handmaide’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood. It’s a dystopian novel which didn’t catch my immediate attention and I’ve haven’t read the novel. So this review is all from the point of view of someone, who has only seen the TV series. It is set in the former United States of America after a civil war created chaos and a totalitarian christian regime has taken over the country/nation. I had experienced similar views about the former United States of America in the film adaption of V for Vendetta and the similarities were quite striking.

Imagine a world where the worth of women has completely vanished and that the common woman who is fertile, is to be used as a baby making machine for the greater good  of the country. Imagine that you have no free will and that you have to obey every command that is given to you. Imagine that because you are a man, you are privileged, solely because of the fact that you have a different gender. Imagine a totalitarian world where the worth of genders is so important, that it will dictate every sense of your life.

Totalitarianism
The idea of using a totalitarian regime or ideology in series, usually doesn’t get my support because I think it’s used wrong. The term totalitarian is invented in 1952 by Talmon and it’s almost always used to describe something in the past which is anachronistic. So to see the concept of a totalitarian christian regime in dystopian future, was very interesting to seen and refreshing as well. This is because of several reasons.

The first reason is that I think it works and the terminology is properly used and executed in this show. Secondly, I think it can be perceived as a warning to the United States, because of how they have lead their country in the last few years. But it also serves as a warning to all other countries in this world in my opinion, which gives you a sense of reflection in my opinion. And what I think is one of the most interesting things, is that in this dystopian future we don’t seem to develop in the way we do know. What I mean by this is that we always think we are moving forward, emancipating and creating a more equal world for all. We are striving for a future where religion is still very present in our lives, but doesn’t dictate the way we live or are supposed to live. So to see that in this particular dystopian future, the christian values are taking over again, with the Bible being of great significance to the society, is rather mindblowing.

What I also like about The Handmaide’s Tale and their portrayal of totalitarism, is that they have tried to show the theoretical life and the reality of it. It’s not perfect, it’s far from perfect to be honest. The idea of a totalitarian regime is that the people are controlled by their government. The control not only the actions of the people, but they also control their mind. As if you have no own free will, but in reality this is far from the truth and I think it’s brilliant that they did depict that in this show.

Feminism
Just like totalitarianism, feminism plays a huge part in this show. The rights of women have been completely annihilated due to the new regime and even the privileged women only have a certain role/purpose in life. The world and it’s actions are controlled by the men, at least that’s how they want it to be and women are consider lesser beings. Feminism is very difficult thing to portray and what I think is brilliant about this series, is that they focus the feminism on women. Now this may sound odd, but it’s about self empowerment and standing up for yourself, rather than focussing on the hatred of men they have. I think that sends a powerful message, because I’ve seen a lot of stuff saying that men are the enemy and feminism should focus on the hatred of men.

What I also like about the way they talk about feminism, is that they don’t focus on a certain group of women. They let you feminism in different ways and different layers of society and I think this is so, so brilliant. Feminism is about equality for everyone and in this show, they focus on women in particular. But all women and all roles, and that’s a very important message to spread in my opinion.

The show
What I rather like about it, is that there’s plenty of room for dialogue. In contemporary series, I often like the power of dialogue is ignored and people tend to focus on big bombastic scenes of blood and fire. That is why I like the serie this much, because they don’t focus on that. They focus on the importance of the dialogue and I really like that. Mind you, at the end of the first season things move rapidly and I can’t escape the feeling that the makers are doing exactly that which mainstream series/films tend to do nowadays. But I’ll have to wait and see how the show develops in the second season to confirm my feelings or contradict them.

The voice over is of vital importante to the show. By narrating the scenes where you only see a lot, but don’t hear people talking. It gives a chilling vibe, which accurately joins in the seriousness of the show. What I didn’t rate were the amounts of flashbacks. I understand that to tell the story, you need those flashbacks in the beginning but they need to gradually move away. Instead, this show continues to show many flashbacks which confused me a bit. This was because of the fact that you develop different feelings with the flashback-storyline and the actual storyline.

The acting
The acting is very good and this is not because they have A+ actors or anything, but because they have been properly casted. What I also like about several actresses is that they don’t have that typical hollywood face or body, which makes identification with the cast and in extent with the story told, a whole lot easier. I especially like the way the protagonist Elisabeth Moss plays her role of June/Offred and how Yvonne Strahovski plays Mrs. Waterford. They are both such powerful actresses who completely make the show for me. I was really impressed by their performances and especially the performance of Strahovski, because I saw her in Dexter and at that time I wasn’t impressed at all.

What I really didn’t like was to see the Joseph Fiennes, the less talented brother of Ralph. He has no soul in his acting and doesn’t contribute what so ever to the show. His luck is that his character didn’t need much personality to begin with, but I would love to see a different actor in his role. Despite being him in this show, I think the acting is outstanding though.

Conclusion
I think this is one of the best shows I’ve seen and I think the way they portray feminism and ideology definitely makes this show worth to watch. I think the acting is outstanding and the especially the actresses are doing a fantastic job. I’ve seen a few great things and I hope they develop to be like that, however I hope they continue the style of the show. In the end everything seemed a bit rapid and I hope it won’t continue like that, because that would be a shame.

To give you a better visual insight into the show, here’s the trailer:

Have you seen it? What do you think? Let me know!
Marc

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