Originally posted by avalanchethecatWas it a play you'd never read or seen performed before?
From school and for years after, I felt totally in agreement with this. Virtually all of Shakespeare seemed, to me, to be archaic, opaque and entirely staid. Then a few years ago I was prevailed upon to go and see a troop called 'Oddsocks'. They present the works with more humour than you would think is possible (last year they did Hamlet - The Comed ...[text shortened]... er se that's the problem, it's the way it's usually presented that stifles understanding.
Originally posted by FMFNo, it was Romeo & Juliet. I thought I already understood it pretty well, but I'd never enjoyed it before. You get a bit of a flavour of them from their website:
Was it a play you'd never read or seen performed before?
Originally posted by SeitseNot necessarily so. If one has been through every sentence in deep analysis, before seeing a play, and have full understandings of the multiple meanings and ploys Shakespeare toyed with, then the final viewing of a play is superb. It takes a long time to strip a single Shakespeare play, and analyse it in modern day language, but nevertheless the value is there to be seen, once; and I iterate again, the play has been understood in writing form before seeing acts.
I guess English speakers pretend to enjoy/understand Shakespeare
the same way Spanish speakers do with Cervantes, feeling like not
doing so would be like a sacrilege towards their linguistic golden calf
and the greatness of one's cultural heritage.
Could it be the same with German speakers and Goethe?
It would be interesting to know also if French speakers feel the same
towards their own sacred cow.
Originally posted by FMFThere is something wrong with McWhorter. If he thinks Shakespeare wrote in a different language, he should try Chaucer. FFS, Shakespeare wrote in early modern English, Chaucer in late middle English - halfway through the vowel shift, and it shows - and with a modicum of practice, Chaucer's language is no problem for an intelligent person. Shakespeare is a doddle.
Anybody's feel a tingle of agreement at the suggestion that there is a bit of a hoax going on or is there just something wrong with McWhorter?
Originally posted by FMFYeah. The Tempest and Othello spring to mind. Loved them both. Still haven't read Othello. Oh, and The Taming of the Shrew, which I did read afterwards. Granted, Othello was a Dutch translation, but The Tempest certainly wasn't; I'm not sure about the Shrew one, that was years ago.
His question is: have you ever been to a performance of a Shakespeare play that you hadn't studied or read beforehand and understood it fully?
Originally posted by PalynkaThe 'Shakespeare is a doddle... He wrote English, unaverage English, but quite recognizable and understandable English... I understood The Tempest the first time I saw it without reading it first...' kind of thing' is a 'hoax' - albeit a harmless one - if you ask me.
But is that a hoax?
Originally posted by FMFInteresting. Being a non-native speaker, I was repeatedly told about the extreme difficulty in reading Shakespeare. For me, the myth was the polar opposite. It's definitely not a doodle to me, but if you compare it to Milton and it is far easier to understand what is going on.
The 'Shakespeare is a doddle... He wrote English, unaverage English, but quite recognizable and understandable English... I understood The Tempest the first time I saw it without reading it first...' kind of thing' is a 'hoax' - albeit a harmless one - if you ask me.