Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shakespeare



Over the course of the past few days, I’ve been watching an old BBC version of As You Like It on YouTube.  I’ve read the play, and remembered enjoying it.

If I’m honest, I watched it for the sole reason of seeing this exchange between Orlando and Jaques:

Jaq:  Rosalind is your love’s name?
Orl:  Yes, just.
Jaq:  I do not like her name.
Orl:  There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christened.

Sass is timeless.  This entire conversation is brilliant.  And I’m a sucker for a well-turned phrase and saucy comebacks.

And I was not disappointed in the exchange in the movie.  I find it a good adaptation.

I’ve only read a handful of Shakespeare’s plays.  Yeah, yeah, just another bunch of classics I’ve never read.  However, I don’t really beat myself up over that.

They’re plays.  Shakespeare did not write it for us to read.  They were written for us to watch, to view.

I can assure you, screenwriters today do not write their scripts for the casual bookworm to read.  It is for the screen.

Now, some decades or centuries ago, I think it was okay to read Shakespeare’s plays.  What were the chances you were ever going to see it?  And what were the chances you would be able to view all of them?  Goes for now as well.

I live in the 21st century.  The only Shakespeare I’ve ever been able to see performed is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It’s my favorite.  There are film adaptations, some actually pretty good, to most if not all of Shakespeare’s plays.  It might not be seeing the play itself, but it’ll probably be the closest I can get considering my region.

I can complain about the too-much-technology with the rest of the world.  Nothing bothers me more than talking to someone and they pull out their cell phone.  However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take advantage of it.  If there is a series of Shakespeare films on YouTube, done by the reliable BBC to boot, well, here is close to how the Bard wanted his work to be appreciated.

Woo-hoo, let’s watch the movie!

Which is something no self-respecting bookworm should ever say, but to each her own.

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