SparkNotes Blog

14 Shakespearean Ways to Answer the Question “How Was Your Summer?”

If you did something really fun over the summer, you can go right ahead and skip this article. Just leave the way you came. The rest of us are going to be scratching our brains trying to come up with different ways to say “Good, I guess,” “It was fine,” and “I just didn’t leave the house for three months, thanks for asking.”

Or you could simply let Shakespeare do the talking. Here’s how you should answer the question “How was your summer?” according to the Bard of Avon.

If you feel like summer lasted all of five minutes, you reply:
“Swift as a shadow, short as any dream.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1

If you had a miserable summer job, you reply:
“It was vile and bad.”
The Comedy of Errors, Act 5, Scene 1

If you watched the trailer for Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of Cats, you reply:
“O, woe is me,
To have seen what I have seen!”
Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1

If you didn’t have air conditioning, you reply:
[Aside.] “Too hot, too hot!”
The Winter’s Tale, Act 1, Scene 2

If you slept for like 80% of it, you reply:
“I enjoy’d the golden dew of sleep.”
Richard III, Act 4, Scene 1

If you watched the rise and fall of Jeremy Renner’s app happen in real time, you reply:
“It was a disaster of war that Caesar himself could not have prevented.”
All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 3, Scene 6

If you spent the entire summer watching The Great British Bake-Off, you reply:
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”
Richard II, Act 5, Scene 5

If you spent a lot of time outside, you reply:
“Full of moths.”
Coriolanus, Act 1, Scene 3

If you thought you were going to have a Hot Girl Summer but all you accomplished was eating unprecedented amounts of Cheetos at ungodly hours, you reply:
“Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises.”
All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 2, Scene 1

If you want to cultivate an air of mystery around what you did, you reply:
“‘Tis neither here nor there.”
Othello, Act 4, Scene 3

If you didn’t do any of the summer reading, you reply:
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
—Sonnet 18, ln. 4

If you love warm weather and you’re already dreading the snow, you reply:
“Now is the winter of our discontent.”
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 1

If your summer was sweaty and boring but there were also good things like Detective Pikachu and Lil Nas X on Twitter, you reply:
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”
All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 4, Scene 3