Shakespeare’s Use of Delight in his Literature
Delight is definitely not the word I would use to describe my attempt to research and complete an essay on this word. In my search for interesting facts or any facts at all, I could not find anything that was remotely interesting about it.
There are many poems, quotes, and articles that include delight, yet none of them is specifically on the topic of delight. There are many things that are joyful, yet this research paper was not.
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I found that the word delight means “something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment”. Delight comes from the Middle English word “delit”, also Old French “delitier”. Which meant “a pleasure” (Webster).
There are many words that mean “to give great pleasure or enjoyment”. Some of them include delectation, enjoyment, joy, pleasure, happiness, and the like. Those are for the noun delight. Delight can also be used as a verb. Some synonyms of the verb are cheer, enchant, gladden, gratify, overjoy, please, pleasure, tickle, and adore. You can use any of these to replace delight.
The bible also uses delight many times. “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself” (KJV Proverbs 18). I have no clue what that means because it doesn’t make any sense to me. If I had to guess as to what it is about then I would think that a fool, or someone that is not too bright, doesn’t enjoy or take pleasure in understanding life and hopefully, his heart will help him to understand it.
Shakespeare, the king of all literature, or at least that is how I feel about how all throughout high school teachers have portrayed him. He used the word delight in many of his plays but I decided to look into King Henry the VI. Cade is speaking to Buckingham and Clifford and says “But you are all recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery to the nobility” (Shakespeare 4.8). He is saying that Buckingham and Clifford enjoy taking orders from the king and they are his slaves. I did not read the whole play so I do not know this is exactly what he is saying, but from what I gathered Cade is a rebel and is fighting against King Henry VI and Clifford and Buckingham are working for the king and telling Cade that if he joins them that he will be pardoned.
Throughout time there has always been poetry. Some poetry is about being happy and enjoying life. There is also poetry that talks about death and destruction. In both types of poetry, there is the use of the word delight. Whether it be someone is happy that they are alive or that someone has the pleasure of killing people or destroying life. Robert Frost wrote “The Tuft of Flowers”. In line 14 he used the word delight. “Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night / some resting flower of yesterday’s delight” (Frost). Whoever he is writing about, their memories are fading over time and they are thinking about all the times they enjoyed in the past. I have never been able to understand poetry and have never liked trying to figure out what the author is trying to say by using all kinds of strange words and sentences.
Even famous quotes of world leaders and philosophers use the word delight sometimes. “To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman” –George Santayana 1906. What he means is that it is good for a soldier to like war; it is a bad idea for a captain to like war, and if a statesman enjoys war then it is wrong but ok.
Over hundreds of years, the English language has always been changing and will continue to change for eternity. The word delight used to be delit in Middle English, and this came from the Old French word delitier. This meant to please or charm. It also came from the Latin word delectare, which meant to entice. There is no way to tell what the word delight will look like or mean in a few hundred years from now.
Investigating all these different places where a single word was used has been a learning experience. At times I was frustrated almost to the point where I was about to say forget the whole project. At other times I was able to work smoothly and do what I needed to do. In the future I hope I will not have to do a research paper like this again. The idea of assigning a single word for a multi-paged report is ludicrous. The only thing I liked about this research paper is that we at least had a guideline and specific places that we needed to look for research. I am glad that I am finished learning that delight means to give pleasure or enjoyment, or that Shakespeare used this word in one sentence in many of his plays, or that the bible even used it. The bible used many words, and so did all the other authors and editors, so this research paper was pointless because I doubt that I will ever need to know exactly where “delight” came from or who used it in what quote or poem.
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