29 October 2010

Original Shakespeare

Hamlet happens to be a favorite of mine too.

In college I was able to take two different Shakespeare courses. During the course it was a delight to borrow some BBC productions that followed the exact wording of Shakespeare's plays and follow along between both the performance and the book.

But this delightful find really would have pushed me over the edge: "Professor's research allows audience to hear Shakespeare's words in his own accent."

Thanks to the work of Paul Meier, audiences can get a sense of what it might have been like to eavesdrop on opening night of “Hamlet” or “Romeo and Juliet” at the Globe Theater in London or to listen in on a shipboard conversation on the Mayflower as it approaches the shores of the New World.

“What did English sound like back then?” Meier said. “Was it posh or down to earth? Was it anything like today’s British or American English? Would we understand it?”

Considering the number of challenges that understanding Shakespeare in a modern tone can be difficult, I would likely struggle with this production too. But it doesn't mean I wouldn't try. I can't wait until this hits the public radio waves.

via kottke.org

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