Leave it to Patrick Stewart to spread the love of Shakespeare to the masses.
With absolutely no message or explanation to accompany it, the "X-Men" actor delighted fans by taking to social media to share a video of him reading the literary legend’s Sonnet No. 116 on Saturday.
The following day, Stewart gushed that he was "delighted" by the response to his first clip and, because of it, he announced his plans to start from the very beginning and read one of the Bard’s poems each day.
"When I was a child in the 1940s, my mother would cut up slices of fruit for me (there wasn’t much) and as she put it in front of me she would say: ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’" the 79-year-old recalled.
The "Star Trek" star then used this logic to put forth a new phrase: "A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away." Taking this mantra to heart, he then posted a video of him reading Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 1.
If Stewart plans to read one sonnet each day, he’s got quite a few to go through -- luckily for us -- as the playwright published 154 of them in a quarto in 1609.
Almost all of these poems are formed by constructing three quatrains (four lines) and ending with a couplet (two lines) which are written in iambic pentameter.
In addition, they mostly all follow a similar rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, meaning lines one and three of the quatrains rhyme, lines two and four of the quatrains rhyme and the two lines of the couplet rhyme.
Given the social distancing we’re all practicing, we should consider ourselves lucky to essentially have front-row seats to watch a Shakespearean actor like Stewart in action.