Understanding the Bard (Or, Really, Not) - Page 2


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Thread: Understanding the Bard (Or, Really, Not)

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Yes! I wrote: "Apparently, metal and mettle were two different spellings of the same thing."

    Nowadays, we can write, "Of unimproved mettle, hot and full," which I would take as metaphorically treating mettle as if it was a metal. Or we can write: "Of unimproved metal, hot and full," which would be a different metaphor. Shakespeare apparently could do both, or use both meanings together, in a way we cannot. And for better or worse, we are not understanding that the same way the people of the time would have.
    You still aren't 'getting' it. We can, and I'd wager most readers willing to think about it do, understand it the same way. Your entire argument about Shakespeare seems to hinge on the assumption that readers today are too stupid, or lazy, to understand the subtleties of Elizabethan writing. Some are. Many are not. I wouldn't stop exposing students to the wealth of great storytelling and intricate use of language offered by the classics just because they may fall into the former group rather than the latter.

    "There is no darkness but ignorance."
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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  2. #12
    I went 16 years of school never making under a "c" in any course, except beginning college English Lit. Got a "d." Chaucer and Shakespeare. To this day I don't remember what happened, but the next semester I made straight a's (including second semester English Lit) and the dean's list. In later years with more experience and study I learned to appreciate the Bard, but that experience still rankles somehow (so I blamed it on the prof).
    "Put not your trust not in princes, in the children of men,
    in whom there is no salvation."
    Psalm 146

    Timely, isn't it?

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    You still aren't 'getting' it. We can, and I'd wager most readers willing to think about it do, understand it the same way. Your entire argument about Shakespeare seems to hinge on the assumption that readers today are too stupid, or lazy, to understand the subtleties of Elizabethan writing. Some are. Many are not. I wouldn't stop exposing students to the wealth of great storytelling and intricate use of language offered by the classics just because they may fall into the former group rather than the latter.
    I doubt it.

    If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
    The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
    The only sane thing for a reader to do is assume that they understand. Do we agree? Then the next scene is a little confusing. But there is no clue until then that rival has changed meaning.

    FRANCISCO.
    Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.
    BARNARDO.
    Long live the King!


    Here, the careful reader can puzzle out the meaning of stand. (I did not on first reading.) On first reading, I assumed that unfold was some wonderful Shakespearean metaphor that I could try to understand. You would ask more of the reader? I admit a quick trip to the Oxford English Dictionary reveals the correct answer. And there is no metaphor. Do we disagree on how many suspicious words there are?

    Studying Shakespeare is an interesting lesson in all the things that can go wrong in reading. The next line is a non sequitur, or at least does not fit the flow of the conversation, unless unfold is properly understood. Imagine if Shakespeare had written:

    FRANCISCO.
    Nay, answer me. Stand back and reveal who you are.
    BARNARDO.
    Long live the King!

    Now I feel like I'm in the scene. What an interesting way to answer -- revealing his allegiance.

    I lack the skills to know if there is an allusion to "the king is dead". Do we agree that it's ok if I ignore that? Or is that careless? (I did search the internet for about 10 minutes.)

    What a mess! Thinking something is a metaphor when it is not; thinking something is a non sequitur when it is clever. And on and on.

    So, if you want to understand the story, I suppose Cliff Notes is the way to go. To actually understand a few pages of Shakespeare as a writer requires unlimited time, perhaps access to the Oxford English Dictionary, and good awareness that words have changed meaning and often cannot be understood as written.

    Modern Punctuation and Grammar: Tools not Rules is finally published and available for $3 Hidden Content . Should be mandatory for serious writers, IMO. Italics, Fragments, Disfluency, lists, etc. But also commas and paragraph length. Discussed use of adverbs, and ends with a chapters on the awesome moment and the grammar of action scenes. Description at my Hidden Content

  4. #14
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    Tho' acted, spoken on a stage, and therefore the redundant argument.

    ...

    Of course, and yet one rallies, mob-surrounds individual(s) abusing the mettle/metal. A 'literally' type of a crime, or children. Very disappointed how this is not the case on this occasion .

    I believe Shakespeare is our modern English, Chaucer is middle English.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    I doubt it.
    And thereby you prove my point. Thank you.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Hugely ironic, of course, because Shakespeare was originally written to have mass appeal.
    I used to believe this. Because they were high-drama stories, and the writing was unimpressive.

    But I have translated a few of his passages into modern English, and I was consistently impressed by the cleverness and depth of his writing. So I think he was writing for the court. There is some evidence that he was paid by the queen, and Hamlet was performed before the court. But here I am just saying that his writing doesn't read like it was for the common man. He was no Patterson.
    Modern Punctuation and Grammar: Tools not Rules is finally published and available for $3 Hidden Content . Should be mandatory for serious writers, IMO. Italics, Fragments, Disfluency, lists, etc. But also commas and paragraph length. Discussed use of adverbs, and ends with a chapters on the awesome moment and the grammar of action scenes. Description at my Hidden Content

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    I used to believe this. Because they were high-drama stories, and the writing was unimpressive.

    But I have translated a few of his passages into modern English, and I was consistently impressed by the cleverness and depth of his writing. So I think he was writing for the court. There is some evidence that he was paid by the queen, and Hamlet was performed before the court. But here I am just saying that his writing doesn't read like it was for the common man. He was no Patterson.
    Then you should do more research. Shakespeare's plays were written to have very broad appeal with bawdy, violent, satirical content targeting mostly middle and lower class audiences. His plays were the HBO and Netflix of their day, easily attainable entertainment with a wide range of viewership. Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because you can't understand the language it wasn't easily understood by the people who spoke it every day.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    I used to believe this. Because they were high-drama stories, and the writing was unimpressive.

    But I have translated a few of his passages into modern English, and I was consistently impressed by the cleverness and depth of his writing. So I think he was writing for the court. There is some evidence that he was paid by the queen, and Hamlet was performed before the court. But here I am just saying that his writing doesn't read like it was for the common man. He was no Patterson.
    It seems like you have committed the error of assuming that which is written for the upper crust can be presumed cleverer/deeper than that which is written for the common man. I do not think you could have thought that position through.

    You know who else wrote for mass appeal? Charles Dickens. Victor Hugo. Thomas Paine. Mark Twain. A huge number, perhaps even the majority, of authors -- certainly since literacy became normalized. How about Karl Marx? Lots of clever stuff has been written for peasants. It's not all rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    I was consistently impressed by the cleverness and depth of his writing. So I think he was writing for the court. There is some evidence that he was paid by the queen, and Hamlet was performed before the court. But here I am just saying that his writing doesn't read like it was for the common man. He was no Patterson.
    Also, I don't know if you've ever translated Merry Wives Of Windsor or The Taming Of The Shrew, but it's really not that clever or deep and certainly not the sort of thing written for the court. Shakespeare wrote lots of different kinds of material over his life. Sure, some of it is deep and meaningful -- Hamlet, Lear, Romeo & Juliet, etc. but a lot of it is pretty trashy.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  10. #20
    This may seem odd, but I love listening/watching Shakespeare but hate reading his works. The same can be said for poetry - particularly Shelley, Wordsworth, and Keats, I absolutely love listening to their works (https://youtu.be/uLBHmoSGcvE) but don't enjoy reading them.

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