Irritatingly, I can't find it now, but I was just reading an interview with Michael Emerson from Lost where he was talking about the theater, and how much he likes it when language is more than just a means of communication. And then I had a Shakespeare reading, and it's easy to see exactly what he's talking about. Or, as Lady Macbeth puts it:
To feed were best at home;Ceremony is our sauce; language is our sauce with which we dress our subsistence need for communication. It's possible that in Shakespeare's time, filled as it was with infant mortality and shit in the street, the thick sauce of ceremony was accordingly more prized and needed, to disguise the world the way it was. In our more pleasant circumstances, we can get away with a more nouvelle cuisine version of our lives. For example, I believe one of the reasons that men in L.A> don't wear suits as much as that they tend to be more buff; old-timey businessmen had bellies and needed the sack suit to disguise it. Either way, the act of display is kind of universal.
From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.
And this, of course, may be one of my favorite lines of Shakespeare:
I am in bloodThat's every war that ever was right there, in red sauce, no less.
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.