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May 02, 2008, 10:39:15 pm #15

Re: Shakespeare

Eh, "emo"? Isn't it just tragic? I mean, it IS a tragedy, so it's sort of a given that something tragic happens, right? If you mean "emo" in such a generic way, then you're better off not using the term, and if you're using emo to mean tight jeans thick rimmed glasses and so on, then I'd have to say no. I imagine Hamlet's quite fashionable, actually, aside from wearing all black, but he's sort of in mourning, so you can't really blame him there.


I'm obviously a Shakespeare fan, but if you are to criticize Shakespeare's originality, then I must say that there is no real "originality" in the sense that in some basic form any story has probably been written before. That said, yes, Shakespeare usually adapts plays. Merchant of Venice is a good example of this, and I will use this example, yes.

If you know the story, basically this Jew-guy doesn't like this Christian-guy, and Christian-guy doesn't like Jew-guy, so they're like, rawr, and then suddenly Christian-guy has a friend that needs money to woo some rich lady, but Christian-guy's money is all invested in trading ships, so he has to borrow money from the Jew (becuz lyke, all Jews lend money, mirite?) , and then the Jew's like, if you don't pay me back, I get a pound of your flesh, and they're like, sure whatevs.

As it turns out, all the ships explode (or seemed to at first), and Christian-guy's going to die, but fortunately his friend wooed his lady after passing a "test" where he has to choose between a Gold, Silver and Lead casket (Lead's the real one, duh), and he comes back with lots of monies, and then the Jew's like, TOO LATE, and doesn't want the money, until the "lady" in question pointed out a loophole where the Jew is allowed to take the flesh, but cannot take a single drop of blood.


And essentially, this ENTIRE plot was "stolen" from "The Jew of Malta". I've studied Shylock somewhat extensively, and he's a real charm, but ALL BECAUSE OF SHAKESPEARE.

In the original, the Jew was casted as a sterotypical... Jew. His reason for choosing the merchant's life over money was due to pure malice.

Under Shakespeare's hand, his emotions became complex, he came alive, and became one of the most powerful and iconic characters ever.

"Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances: 435
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own. 440
Well then, it now appears you need my help:
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say
'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur 445
Over your threshold: moneys is your suit
What should I say to you? Should I not say
'Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key, 450
With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?"

Just READ it, just READ it, and imagine a real character saying it. Imagine a talented actor saying it with real emotion, look at the changes in rhythm and pace. This is NOT stereotypical villain A seen in the Jew of Malta. In the Jew of Malta, the Jew didn't even have a name.

Shakespeare is a genius. He is also a sellout, but afterall, whether he cares about artistic integrity or not (probably does) is irrelevant, because he had to make money, and he decided to take ideas that work. While doing so, he injected stories with real personality, he injected them with his genius.

Aside from characters, the main reason Shakespeare's a genius is his command of the language. Why does Shakespeare not work in foreign language? And believe me, it DOESN'T.

Because it's Shakespeare. It's a bit archaic, and hard to grasp if you haven't watched the play before or if you're unused to Elizebethean plays, but be that as it may, he is a literary genius. It may be outdated now, but the fact that he was great is indeniable.

Sorry for the tl;dr. =P
February 23, 2011, 02:49:32 am #16

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