Controversial The Works of Shakespeare: The Originals Out of Date?

Discussion in 'Plays' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 27, 2017.

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Are the Original Works of Shakespeare Out of Date and No Longer Relevant?

  1. Yes.

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. No.

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    [​IMG]


    Your thoughts on the works of William Shakespeare?

    Favourite plays and quotes?



    Are the original texts still relevant?

    Or do they need to be adapted into modern terms (Othello is now a 21st century businessman etc.) in order to even remotely chime with a modern audience?

    The themes may still be powerful - and the meaning behind the dialogue - but are the original texts hopelessly out of date and are his works just something we put on our bookshelves to look clever, but that we never actually read?

    Is Shakespeare - or at least his original texts - out of date?


    And do you have any opinions on the conspiracy theories that perhaps Shakespeare never wrote his plays at all and that they were the works of someone else entirely?


     
    #1 Doctor Omega, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  2. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    No use-by date on original packaging (like the Pharaonic honey found in the pyramids, but a lot newer AND handily already in English - good to go - enjoy!)
     
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  3. Gavin

    Gavin Active Member

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    True but it's a very dated English that requires a bit of effort to follow. I wonder how long before our language changes to a point where reading (or watching) Shakespeare in its original form will be impossible without effectively learning another language?
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    A bit of effort to tune in the first time, maybe...but not "very" dated, compared to Chaucer (which I also did at school - and we got told off if we talked about "translating" it).

    There are occasional words we don't use any more, but fewer than people often think.
    Words Shakespeare was experimenting with - and where the experiment failed
    Words we think we know, but which have shifted meaning in 400 years can be the real bugger. If I asked you Shakespeare-style to fetch me another drink "incontinent" - I would mean without delay, not with a leaky bladder. Both meanings have to do with getting your timing right or risking unpleasantness.

    Mostly it's the phrasing and the grammar and the wordplay that, badly acted, screws things up - not the words themselves -
    I love Eddie Izzard's line "Kill him, he speaks in complete sentences" - in this context.
     
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  5. Gavin

    Gavin Active Member

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    True. I've seen performances where they basically try to read the script like lines from poetry and it quickly loses all meaning. Those that perform it in conversational terms (original language and all) demonstrate how meaningful it can be. And being paired with live action often helps add meaning to lines which, read by themselves, are less clear.
     
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  6. Carol

    Carol Very Active Member

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    I've got a 3-hour seminar on Henry V next week - I'll let you know how it goes.

    <deep breaths, controls burbling excitement...>
     
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