[FoRK] Humanities...

Elias Sinderson < elias at soe.ucsc.edu > on > Mon Jun 12 10:55:03 PDT 2006

Joe Barrera wrote:

> Corinna wrote:
>>  On a slightly related note, I have a hard time seeing value in 
>> Shakespeare
> [..] please make the effort to become familiar enough with 
> Shakespearean English to enjoy it. Otherwise you'll just be missing so 
> much. 


I've often been struck by the use of plot lines (in modern tales) that I 
was introduced to through Shakespeare. If you can't stomache the raw 
dialogue as text, I would make the same recommendations thet others have 
to experience it through theater or film. Skimming the cliff notes 
beforehand is an excellent way to familliarize yourself with the general 
plot, who's who and so on, thereby leaving more room for enjoying the 
drama without being confused. The language barrier is probably the most 
difficult thing to overcome, but one can often guess the meanings of 
words from their context, even if this means that most of the (often 
bawdy) puns will go unnoticed. Also, if you're watching a film at home, 
it affords you the ability to pause / rewind as necessary, have ongoing 
discussions with anyone else who is watching it with you and to have 
various resources on hand for reference during the viewing.

As far as Shakespeare is concerned, familliarity breeds amusement, both 
in the re-presentations and fresh interpretations of the original works 
as well as in the (direct or indirect) references found in modern 
dramas. For me, the real value of knowing Shakespeare is the depth that 
it brings to other works, whether written or performed. That it requires 
a bit of effort is recognized, but there are literally a ton of 
resources at your disposal and is considered by many to be well worth it.

Good luck,

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