Shakespeare Without the Words

Isn’t that like saying Shakespeare without the reason he is Shakespeare?

Deutsch: Shakespeare Denkmal Sommer 2004 in Weimar

The Word Wizard

Ok, words may be feeble vehicles for carrying the full wieght of human passion but if you think about it, even people are feeble vehicles for carrying the full weight of human passion. We have so many feelings, so many values, so many experiences and we just want to show them to others somehow. The funny thing is, we don’t just struggle showing ourselves to other people but to ourselves as well. (And that’s when we get great songs like this.)

But words are powerful. Words on paper can change a persons life. Yes, in the sense that fiction can tranform our ideas but also the fact that paper contracts bind us in real ways that we don’t often even think about. Although I do rant about the Top Five Reasons I Hate Being Literate. The point is that words are really important.

I think Shakespeare is powerful because of his control over words. He can manipulate twisty turns of double meanings while keeping an internal rhythm which captures the hearts of the audiences even if they can’t define the rhythm. He is able to capture human passion,” Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” but he makes our cries and rants beautiful because he has not only captured human emotion but tied that to artistically stunning sounds.

Macbeth Consulting the Vision of the Armed Hea...

I wonder if I ranted in iambic pentameter if it would be more effective?….

What is the point of saying all this? Making Shakespeare “accessible” is running a huge risk of dumbing him down to the point of being worthless. His words are hard but people are hard to and sometimes struggles are worth it, when there is something so wonderful complex that you are trying to figure out. Struggling thorugh Shakespeare has proven to help your brain (duh), it gives you a sense of satisfaction, and it opens up new ways of understanding…not just understanding the broad concept of humanity but hopefully yourself as well.

Sketch of William Shakespeare.

Is dumbing him down fair to either him or the readers?

 

So the question becomes, is Shakespeare worth translating? The sublties of words can get marred when passed to a different medium. Tranlations of words always fall short. Is he worth dumbing down so kids can understand the basic story line before they can understand his tricky early modern english?

What do you think?

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Writing Contest!

I have been writing a lot more lately. I think it is because the book that I have needs to be finished by June because that’s when I get it in hard print (just five copies but I get them for free thanks to winning nanorwrimo🙂 And I would like to have the ebook version out by that time as well.

But here’s a little contest which looks like a blast!

It’s more of a submission than a contest but here it is:

The First Line Literary Journal.

Here are the guidelines if you are interested:

1. Start your story with the lines: “I started collecting secrets when I was just six years old.”

2. Any genre but stay around 300-3000 words.

3. Deadline is May 1st so write fast!

I haven’t decided to go with a science fiction piece for this or one involving pirates. Either way it’s going to be loads of fun!

Top Five Friday: Birthday Wish List:)

I am a girl of simple pleasures. I figured a birthday simple birthday wish list wouldn’t hurt. Please add the top five things on your wish list to the comments:)

TARDIS Mk VII

Mine. Please be mine.

1. I would like the Tardis. Preferably with the doctor. (If you didn’t know it was david tennet’s birthday yesterday;)

2. Eowyn’s dress because it’s basically the perfect dress for doing any melodramatic in, running through a field of flowers, holding a sword, horseback riding…

eowyn's dress

3. A Lunch Date with Shakespeare. If you are rolling your eyes and thinking it’s not possible you are wrong! Look at the first thing on my list. It makes everything else a complete possibility:)

4. ship

Because, I already have an entire crew picked out for the ship to;)

For my final and greatest wish I would ask for a wardrobe…except that I have already been to Narnia and it doesn’t quite work that way anyways. So instead, I would be delighted to have:

5.The library from Beauty and the Beast. ‘Nuff Said:)

Happy Friday people! Happy Friday!

21 days till 21 years

There are 21 days till I’m 21 years old.

This is exciting!! So I have decided to describe my spring break in 21 words in celebration of this fact.

However, before I do that, I want to update everybody on my writing life. I am still editing Griffin Tamer. And I’m sick of it. I like to create words and exciting moments, not check grammar and plot like structure hour after hour. I will be so excited to finally publish it this May! Hard work will be rewarded and I will be able to focus my free time on creativity again:) But I’m learning a lot of great skills for writing so I can’t complain too much.

There’s the update. Here is my spring break in 21 words.

1. Sleep

2. Editing

3. Procrastinating

4. Panera

5. YA Fiction

6. Scones

7. Easter

8. Octave

9. Novena

10. Running

11. JillianMichaels

12. DanniAllen

13. OUAT

14. Sisters:)

15. Brother:)

16. PushingDaisies

17. Moments

18. Chocolate

19. More

20. Chocolate

21. Relaxation

 

Top Five Reasons I Hate Being Literate!

As an English major, this post may be my death wish…but… here it goes: Five reasons I can’t stand the fact that everyone in our country is literate!

1. Oaths are made via paper

We just don’t trust spoken promises as much anymore. Now instead saying it on our honor, we with a signature which we put on anything legal and binding. Really?

2. Oral Tradition is lost

When is the last time you’ve memorized Beowulf? Or any other story for that matter? If you have done this lately, you’re cool. But you probably still see my point: story telling is getting lost. Passing down oral tradition via mouth and tales are lost as well.

3. People believe everything written

Not everyone what they read but a lot of people do.This is dangerous when they read things like newspapers which are always biased one way or another. Sketchy!

4. Our tests tend to suck

There aren’t as many oral tests (at least not in America). They aren’t as personal. They aren’t face to face. I see where more personal exams would be hard but still, making things like tests so generalized…blurg! Do they leave room for creativity and the human person?

5. This one is very personal: spelling matters.

Is this point important? I won’t even try to pretend it is. But my life would be easier if we didn’t have to spell.

I’m done venting. And with that, I am going to go write my paper.

In Shakespeare’s Own Words

In Shakespeare’s “own” Words:

I am all my characters. A writer cannot help but pen his self-portrait through words, whether it is through the sweetest of souls or vilest of villains. Be as that may, I cannot help but see in certain players a clear mirror of myself for better or for worse, and find written in them my deeper parts, my truer desires, my voice. Let this be as the preamble to my claim I make in saying I am more of Harry than any other character in my recent play.

Like him, I use words as power, manipulating them to forge a meaning and by meaning cause action. I fight for my country and my beliefs through a veil. I can say what I want because I am the master of words. But like him, I have the nettles in my soul which surround my better traits. I also have my unmasked moments as he had when he wooed Catherine. The power of my words can soar upwards because they have the steady base of true character beneath them, and if I am not fully Henry yet, perhaps I wish to be for it is not simply the power of words, nor even the beauty of words, but the meaning inside them.

Although I know I have not noble birth.

I make my stand as hidden king of verse.

I am not full with lower though light mirth.

I wield my darker themes through plays diverse.

My words and wit are military hidden,

That siege men’s thoughts in a confuséd hour

But do within this vellum all as bidden.

Swaying men’s thoughts through pleasant words my power.

As if from Stratford is his simple soul,

Pomp hides by over-show like plays I write.

Uniting a torn country is our goal;

But I find in fine words and sounds delight.

The round’s the throne for my expression best.

Where wit and wonder pose the greatest test.

 

How was that for Shakespeare’s voice?

Presuming to write an assignment in first person is dangerous, especially when that person you are pretending to be is Shakespeare. I’ve mimicked other authors but this seemed a little extra daunting! Because…well…he’s Shakespeare, duh!

We were asked to talk about which voice in Henry V he is. I mean, he has all these different views in there and it would be nice to know what he really thinks. When he writes people saying all kinds of stuff, what would he say? Million dolla question right?

By the way, it’s my first sonnet I’ve ever written! Excitement!

Exciting News!

If you love Fairy Tales you should know that The Fairy Tale Told series has started again!!

“You will want to read this story because you are missing the entire in-between which happens to be extremely important if you want to know who these princesses are, is about dangers that you should know about before you start your own adventure, and is filled with apples and magic”

Check it out!

Need Motivation?

Do you need inspiration while a army of assignments assail you? In your mind eye, transform your pile of books and impending papers into a wall that you must siege. Be brave! And fight hard! And watch this to be inspired:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzh_6Bw8SD4

Just got done reading this part of the book (King Henry V) and was thrilled to find such a good rendition of it online (thanks to my awesome roomie!)!

BTW’s does it just blow anyone else’s mind when they find out that Loki makes one really BA king of England? I just love that actor!

Watch here for more cuteness! (It’s the scene when he tries to woo Catherine…Dawww so cute!)

 

Writing Contest

So I have been talking a lot about school and life lately. What about writing? That’s important to!!

I am going to enter the Sci-Fi contest this month…actually tomorrow. If you are interested in writing for it, do it!  (and get a move on it because it closes tomorrow!) Here’s the challenge:)

Stories should be between 1,500 and 4,000 words, and must:

  • Explore a utopian/dystopian theme
  • Feature a technology that’s scientifically plausible
  • Feature a non-human character (What is a non-human? You tell us!)

I’m pretty excited because I’ve got some weird stuff going on in this story! I won’t find out about the results till April but I’ll let you know once I hear (or don’t hear) back about it, and I’ll let you know when I post it so you can read it to:) And for those of you interested, I am still editing my Nanowrimo story so those two things are taking up my time that is not taken up by school work and working out and social life.

How’s your writing life going?

 

The Right Word for Magic

Tolkien makes a valid point. “Magic” makes you think of magician. Magicians do things that are fairly scientific like mixing chemicals together and sighting specific formulas. What?

I’m not a huge fan of that kinda magic.

I’ve talked earlier about what kind of magic I want in my stories and I have decided to go with more of the “natural magic.” I think that Tolkien has found the right word for it: Enchantment.

Which brings up a big question: Enchantment?

That’s not just in fairy tales! That is a type of enchantment which is in our world to. So I guess an even more important question (and hopefully equally interesting) is what kind of enchantment do we want in our own world?

Hold on! I am not asking you to start seeing fairies in everything, but there is the meaning wonder connected with enchantment and when we lose wonder, we are left in a colorless world which we have imprisoned ourselves in.

We know that we are meant to do things that bring us wonder. What is the enchantment in your own life? Is it climbing a mountain? Watching a sunset? Reading a book? How about eating a cookie. I tell you, no matter how many times I have a had a chocolate chip cookie there is something about licking the spoon that is magical (and sort of in the magician sense because we did have to do some mixing;) and it always brings out the kid in me.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pure magic…yup, pure magic

I guess it’s funny to say that  “Enchantment” is what “brings out the kid in me” because really, all it does is bring out me. The side of me that is filled with wonder. I guess that’s all of us. We all have the ability to be enchanted, to be filled with wonder