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Old August 20 2014, 09:54 PM   #871
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kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Seriously, I'm done with this conversation.
You keep giving up. Callisto, Shakespeare, what are you giving up next?
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Old August 20 2014, 10:00 PM   #872
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kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I'm not saying you can't enjoy it, but pretending its something that is easily understood is ridiculous, and at this point I'm just getting beat up by Shakespeare snobs.
This is the only point of yours that doesn't work for me. You don't like Shakespeare? Fine. You do't get it? Fine, not everyone does.

But it is easy to understand, maybe not for you, but to try and imply it's not easy for other people is absurd. And if you really were done with this discussion you would have posted that statement at the end of your post and not the middle
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Old August 20 2014, 11:17 PM   #873
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kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Seriously, its hilarious how people deny the fact that Shakespeare is very hard to understand for a lot of people, while speaking normal English themselves.
What the hell is "normal" English? There are hundreds dialects and variations across the world.

If it was so easy or normal, why aren't you writing like him?
For the same reason I'm not composing concertos like Mozart or painting cathedrals like Michelangelo.

Because NO ONE talks or write likes that anymore
No one talked like that 400 years ago either. It's poetry. And any iambic poem written in 2014 looks just like that.

I'm just getting beat up by Shakespeare snobs. I get it, you like your ancient plays. Good for you, I wish you nothing but happiness while enjoying your ancient plays.
No one is beating you up. We're simply trying to open you up to one of the most important aspects--gifts, really--of our culture. There's just so much to get out of it, not only from a language standpoint, but in the way it hones readers' ability to think critically and expanded. You see, no one is supposed to understand it. Get the gist of the plot, sure. But that's not hard to do, even with a fast read. And of course, meant to be performed, and the plot is so much more clearer in a performance.

As far as fully digesting it, it's not meant to be easy. People literally devote their entire lives to it. But even spending a half hour a night reading and re-reading a few pages (going over the lines that give you the most difficulty) and spending five minutes thinking about what you read and letting the imagery marinade long enough to draw your own conclusions will be so beneficial to your life. At the very, very least it will help you see the films, show, comics you love in a new light and open you up to different ideas and interpolations, either your own or ones you read here and other boards.

And, at the risk of getting too personal, reading Shakespeare aloud quietly to yourself can do wonders, like nothing else in the English language, for your verbal confidence such that you may feel better at you next interview.

To this point, I think students learn so much more and get more that well be beneficial to them in life than they do, say, calculus. So much so, that it pains me that R&J is really only mandatory Shakespeare left in schools--those that are lucky enough to have any at all.

what's the point of reading a story whose language is so obtuse that you have to interpret what the words on the page even mean?
And this is where you lose me. Elizabeth-era Chaucerian English just isn't that different from modern English. I mean, in that entire Ophelia passage you posted, was there a single word you've never seen before? The definitions really haven't changed. (The spellings may have.) Certainly, there are a few words here and there with distinctively different meanings, but any word is properly annotated in any copy of any play/sonnet written in the last 150 years.

Is it a little obtuse? A little. Figurative? Of course. It's poetry! But most of our modern parlance is figurative--and the figures most commonly derived from Shakespeare!

Lastly, I think forging an appreciation for Shakespeare can only help with one's appreciation for Star Trek. While, it's hard to deny Shakespeare's influence on all of modern story telling, I don't think there's a single popular franchise that's more engrained in a Shakespearean mindset than Trek. I mean the guy is everywhere. Even getting past the obvious like the two "main" captains are big fans, the story ideas, themes and concepts are all Shakespearesque. But more than that the actors and their dialog--not just specific lines, but the overall cadence--is so much like Shakespeare. And I mean all the actors, not just Shatner and Stewart.
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Old August 21 2014, 04:36 AM   #874
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CorporalClegg wrote: View Post

what's the point of reading a story whose language is so obtuse that you have to interpret what the words on the page even mean?
And this is where you lose me. Elizabeth-era Chaucerian English just isn't that different from modern English. I mean, in that entire Ophelia passage you posted, was there a single word you've never seen before? The definitions really haven't changed. (The spellings may have.) Certainly, there are a few words here and there with distinctively different meanings, but any word is properly annotated in any copy of any play/sonnet written in the last 150 years.
Its not about understanding the individual words, its about understanding them together. If I wrote this

And lo, the walrus pumped a ferry hippo back,
into the mountains of steel magnolia kangaroo
And then, said purple, apple bottom daisy carriage
Fredrick saddle in the cloudy stable with cantaloupe
Would you have any idea what I mean? Its all actual words, but it doesn't go together. Same with a lot of the sections of Shakespeare's work I've seen. While most of the words, taken by themselves, are recognizable, when put together a lot of it is gibberish. The words aren't put into what we would call actual sentences nowadays. Sure, it varies, and from what little I've seen sometimes his stuff can be almost kind of readable if you take a good amount of time to think about it, but thats not good writing. I'm sure it was at the time, but it didn't age well over centuries.

Edit: Deleted response to Aldo's last post

Last edited by kirk55555; August 21 2014 at 06:36 AM.
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Old August 21 2014, 05:10 AM   #875
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And lo, the walrus pumped a ferry hippo back,
into the mountains of steel magnolia kangaroo
And then, said purple, apple bottom daisy carriage
Fredrick saddle in the cloudy stable with cantaloupe
That's not really the same as what Shakespeare wrote. Though it does remind me of an old Steve Martin bit

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Old August 21 2014, 06:43 AM   #876
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(Note: This is about the conversation in general, not a direct response to Nerys Mik's last post).

This is getting ridiculous. I don't want to argue anymore. I went from being somewhat curious about Shakespeare's stuff based on elements of it being used in things I like (but being unable to decipher the bizarre language or understand it when spoken), to basically hating the topic now (well, its more like hating Shakespeare's fans, I guess). I probably wouldn't touch even a modern translation of his stuff now. So, a hearty "good job" to the few hardcore Shakespeare snobs. You've managed to make a layman not only lose any interest in your special subject, but to go from mild interest to active dislike. Congratulations. I'm just being condescended at or insulted, its not even a conversation at this point, so I'm done. I'm going back to posting about less exclusive topics.
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Old August 21 2014, 06:48 AM   #877
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I don't like Shakespeare, I don't like poetry, that's fine. To pretend that it's difficult or opaque is anytime matter entirely. It's fine to not like things.
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Old August 21 2014, 10:49 AM   #878
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Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
I don't like Shakespeare, I don't like poetry, that's fine. To pretend that it's difficult or opaque is anytime matter entirely. It's fine to not like things.
Exactly That's all I was saying to Kirk55555.
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Old August 21 2014, 01:51 PM   #879
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so I understand there's going to be a new Avengers movie...
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Old August 21 2014, 02:27 PM   #880
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Yes and it will be written by Shakespeare.
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Old August 21 2014, 02:45 PM   #881
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He liked the reference to Shakespeare in the park in the first one.
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Old August 21 2014, 09:58 PM   #882
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And lo, the walrus pumped a ferry hippo back,
into the mountains of steel magnolia kangaroo
And then, said purple, apple bottom daisy carriage
Fredrick saddle in the cloudy stable with cantaloupe
Seems pretty straightforward to me.
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Old August 21 2014, 10:02 PM   #883
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Fredrick is at the zoo eating cantaloupe. What's not to get?
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Old August 21 2014, 10:06 PM   #884
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Corran Horn wrote: View Post
so I understand there's going to be a new Avengers movie...
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Yes and it will be written by Shakespeare.
Unto Ye Avengers Cometh Ye Age Of Ultron ?
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Old August 21 2014, 10:38 PM   #885
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Just to play Devil's Advocate for a second (though I know we're trying to move on), I get where kirk55555 is coming from with regards to "modern English." Let's take one of the most famous, easy-to-understand lines from a Shakespeare play...

"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?"

Modern (or perhaps we should say "contemporary") English? Absolutely not! This is not a question of accents or dialect. It is, quite frankly, that much of Shakespeare contains words and phrases that we just don't use anymore! Nobody in the modern world uses the phrase "wherefore art thou." We say "Where are you?" Similar, yes, but not the same.

Extend that to the rest of Shakespeare's works, and add in the fact that it's all written in rhyme and meter, and yes, reading Shakespeare can be incredibly difficult.

Now, with that said, I still maintain that watching Shakespeare is so much easier. When you have people speaking who know what they're saying and how they're supposed to be saying it, and you can hear it in the context of a story, it all makes sense. But trying to read it on your own without that context is not as easy as a lot of you are trying to make it out to be.
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